March review

The only thing wrong with March is, it went too quickly, apart from that it has been brilliant. We saw great changes in the weather but winter still didn’t really get a grip, for which we were most grateful! We went from frost and hail to bright blue sky and birding in our ‘shirt sleeves’

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Gloucestershire, brilliant company and obliging birds. It was there that I saw my bird of the month, I have picked the Hawfinch. Now it wasn’t a life tick or anything like that but I saw it so much better than I have ever seen it before and got my first photos. Another special bird was the Long-billed dowitcher that we travelled to Rutland water to see.

We added a trip to Bedfordshire to our time away and again enjoyed excellent company, some good walks and the best woodpecker of the year!



Plenty of visits to the North Norfolk coast and other reserves helped us to boost our numbers and the lists have gradually crept up. Our month finished in style as we spent a long day at the coast, in beautiful weather celebrating Ian’s birthday. The weather couldn’t have been kinder and the addition of unexpected family participation made it an excellent end to our firs quarter, all we lacked were some  summer migrants!!!

List time again so look away now if this bit doesn’t interest you!

Ones in bold are new for March, ones in red are life ticks!

Bird List end March 

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Bewick Swan
  3. Whooper Swan
  4. Pink-footed Goose
  5. White-fronted Goose
  6. Greylag Goose
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Barnacle Goose
  9. Brent Goose
  10. Egyptian Goose
  11. Common Shelduck
  12. Mandarin Duck
  13. Eurasian Wigeon
  14. Gadwall
  15. Eurasian Teal
  16. Mallard
  17. Pintail
  18. Shoveler
  19. Red-crested Pochard
  20. Common Pochard
  21. Ferruginous Duck
  22. Tufted duck
  23. Greater Scaup
  24. Long-tailed Duck
  25. Common Scoter
  26. Velvet Scoter
  27. Goldeneye
  28. Smew
  29. Red-breasted Merganser
  30. Goosander
  31. Red-legged Partridge
  32. Grey Partridge
  33. Common Pheasant
  34. Golden Pheasant
  35. Little Grebe
  36. Great Crested Grebe
  37. Red-necked Grebe
  38. Slavonian Grebe
  39. Black-necked Grebe
  40. Fulmar
  41. Cormorant
  42. Shag
  43. Bittern
  44. Little Egret
  45. Great Egret
  46. Grey Heron
  47. White Stork
  48. Glossy Ibis
  49. Red Kite
  50. Marsh Harrier
  51. Hen Harrier
  52. Pallid Harrier
  53. Goshawk
  54. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  55. Common Buzzard
  56. Rough-legged Buzzard
  57. Kestrel
  58. Merlin
  59. Peregrine Falcon
  60. Water Rail
  61. Moorhen
  62. Coot
  63. Common Crane
  64. Oystercatcher
  65. Pied Avocet
  66. Stone-curlew
  67. Ringed Plover
  68. European Golden Plover
  69. Grey Plover
  70. Lapwing
  71. Knot
  72. Sanderling
  73. Purple Sandpiper
  74. Dunlin
  75. Ruff
  76. Jack Snipe
  77. Common Snipe
  78. Long-billed Dowitcher
  79. Black-tailed Godwit
  80. Bar-tailed Godwit
  81. Curlew
  82. Spotted Redshank
  83. Common Redshank
  84. Common Greenshank
  85. Lesser Yellowlegs
  86. Ruddy Turnstone
  87. Grey Phalarope
  88. Mediterranean Gull
  89. Black-headed Gull
  90. Common Gull
  91. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  92. Herring Gull
  93. Iceland Gull
  94. Glaucous Gull
  95. Great Black-backed Gull
  96. Rock Pigeon
  97. Stock Pigeon
  98. Wood Pigeon
  99. Collared Dove
  100. Barn Owl
  101. Tawny Owl
  102. Short-eared Owl
  103. Common Kingfisher
  104. Green Woodpecker
  105. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  106. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
  107. Wood Lark
  108. Sky Lark
  109. Shore Lark (horned lark)
  110. Meadow Pipit
  111. Rock Pipit
  112. Water Pipit
  113. Grey Wagtail
  114. Pied Wagtail
  115. Wren
  116. Dunnock
  117. Robin
  118. Black Redstart
  119. Stonechat
  120. Blackbird
  121. Fieldfare
  122. Song Thrush
  123. Redwing
  124. Mistle Thrush
  125. Cetti’s Warbler
  126. Dartford Warbler
  127. Blackcap
  128. Common Chiffchaff
  129. Goldcrest
  130. Firecrest
  131. Bearded Tit
  132. Long-tailed Tit
  133. Marsh Tit
  134. Coal Tit
  135. Blue Tit
  136. Great Tit
  137. Nuthatch
  138. Treecreeper
  139. Penduline tit
  140. Great Grey Shrike
  141. Jay
  142. Magpie
  143. Jackdaw
  144. Rook
  145. Crow
  146. Common Raven
  147. Starling
  148. House Sparrow
  149. Tree Sparrow
  150. Chaffinch
  151. Brambling
  152. Serin
  153. Greenfinch
  154. Goldfinch
  155. Siskin
  156. Linnet
  157. Twite
  158. Lesser Redpoll
  159. Mealy Redpoll
  160. Bullfinch
  161. Hawfinch
  162. Lapland Longspur
  163. Snow Bunting
  164. Yellowhammer
  165. Reed Bunting
  166. Corn Bunting

Mammal list total 11

Rabbit, Stoat, Hare, Squirrel, Grey seal, Roe deer, Red deer, Muntjac deer, Sperm  whale, Otter, & weasel

Moths total 13  (these are all new for us as we weren’t mothing this time last year)

Winter moth, Pale brindled beauty, Mottled umber, Early moth, Common Quaker, Early grey, Common plume (micro), Hebrew character, Small brindled beauty, March moth, Small Quaker, Clouded drab, Shoulder stripe

Butterflies 2

Red admiral and Brimstone are our first two butterflies of the year.

Other critters 7

  1. Wasp
  2. Ladybird 7 spot
  3. Ladybird harlequin
  4. Lacewing green
  5. Lacewing brown
  6. Bloody nosed beetle
  7. Bumble bee
Total of totals for the first quarter a slightly frustrating: 199





And so to Bed…fordshire!

From Gloucestershire we moved on to Bedfordshire for a weekend with our daughter, son-in-law and gorgeous dog Sprocket (plus cats and rabbits too). We met up at Danish Camp for lunch, if you are ever in the area give it a try! After a bite to eat we went for a walk intending to do a circular walk by the river but due to some flooding we did much the same walk but in separate stages. We had to laugh at the notice ‘Beware deep’ but deep what we know not as it was under water!

We saw a field full of Barnacle geese and of course the ever present Robin. Sprocket entertained us by some athletic log jumping! Later that day Roo and I found a little time to do some shopping.

The next day we all went to the Millennium country park at Marston Moretaine where we separated so some could go for a walk around a lake looking at birds, the others went for a run, now I wonder if you can guess which group I was part of! When we arrived it was grey and very misty, by the time we left the sun was shining. Plenty of ducks and other wildfowl and a good place for Cormorants. We saw three Oystercatchers fly in and land on an island, we later saw them running round in circles round and round the island. they looked so funny, like children playing, in fact I wondered if they were called Alice, Matilda and Daniel!

In the afternoon we visited a very special friend, Richard, in hospital, we had had an email a couple of days previously to say he was in hospital and it was excellent to be able to see him. Whatever his illness throws at him he deals with in an excellent, positive manner, I know a strong Christian faith and incredibly supportive family contribute to that. We also met up with three old friends there, not the best place to meet but lovely to see them. Thank you Roo for making it possible.

Back to pursuing wings I hear you cry!

Monday morning and whilst Ian and I are people of leisure for the year others have to go to work so it was time to say goodbye to family and head home but not before visiting The Lodge RSPB reserve. Like yesterday it began very dull and grey but brightened up beautifully. We had hoped to see the illusive Lesser spotted woodpecker but didn’t, we did however see the Greater spotted one for only the second time this year and a much better sighting.

On our way round to the hide we saw large flocks of winter thrushes both Redwing and Fieldfare. The usual little birds were around the feeders outside the hide as well as some other visitors.

We had enjoyed our walk at The Lodge whether looking forward or up the view was grand!

IMG_9410 (Custom)IMG_9412 (Custom)

We had a good time in Bedfordshire now we have journeyed home to see what Norfolk will offer us next, my goodness this is a good year!