Monday, 24 March 2014

Redwing's out, Wheatear's in

From mid February until about a week ago life went on hold as we cared for our two little boys who too it in turn to be ill with Chicken Pox and a nice range of other bugs. Fortunately other than both having colds both are well again and so I am able to update this blog with details of the few birds I've stumbled across since early March.
Boats in the Spring sunshine at low tide, Burnham Overy Staithe

Work took me out to Great Missenden on the edge of the Chilterns and just beyond the reach of the Metropolitan line.  Walking to Marylebone station to get the overland train I picked out a pair of Mandarin Duck in flight over a garden square. Out of the train window I saw three Red Kites and there were often Kites and Common Buzzards over the conference centre and a pair of Grey Wagtails feeding on the lawn.

Sunday the 16th was a quiet family Sunday with a visit to Grand dads in Brancaster, standing outside in the garden there was a light passage of Redwing's heading west and that evening I heard more Redwing's calling over Hunstanton.

On Monday 17th I was I Minsmere for a meeting and managed a very short walk on the reserve after the meeting during which I heard my first Cetti's Warblers and Chiff Chaffs for the year and watched a couple of Marsh Harriers quarter the reedbed from Bittern Hide.

A lunchtime walk in Ken Hill Wood on Friday 21st was enlivened by all five resident Tit species [Marsh, Great, Coal, Blue and Long Tailed] and I picked up on call and then saw a pair of Bullfinches, rather embarrassingly these were a year tick.

On Saturday 22nd I found a nice flock of Redwings up by Choesley drying barns and a male Wheatear in a ploughed field at Courtyard Farm.  I took the time on this day to check through flocks of Turnstones at Hunstanton and Brancaster Staithe and couldn't find any colour ringed birds which suggest that the flocks of Turnstones I was seeing earlier in the winter have moved on taking the marked birds with them. 

Yesterday the 23rd I managed ten minutes in Brancaster Staithe Harbour photographing Black Tailed Godwits in poor light but it was so good to see some of these moulting into their lovely red breeding plumage it was worth the effort.
Black Tailed Godwit, Brancaster Staithe

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