No mud, that’s new!

About a month ago, the day we saw our first Serin, we went to Blakeney in the hope of seeing Lapland buntings. We walked down the sea wall until we reached the gate that we had been told led to the buntings. As we went through the gate the path was thick with mud, we walked until I thought the mud would seep over my boots! Now I wanted to see the bird but I’m not that keen!!!

Today we returned to try again as I had heard they had become easier to see and indeed they were. We took the same walk along the sea wall seeing a lovely pair of Reed buntings as we went, but when we reached the gate there was no need to go through.

The birds were now bolder, mainly due to the fact that someone was regularly throwing seed down around the gate to encourage them out. We hadn’t been there long when one flew onto the wire quite far back and I had hope we would get better views. After a little while about half a dozen of them flew but were hidden in the undergrowth.

Fortunatley a couple of them came in closer and I got a few shots that I was happier with. We decided to go for a walk further along the sea wall to see what else was around.

A couple of Meadow pipits and several Skylarks also made an appearance, some of them were Skylarking something I love to see and hear.

When we had walked far enough we returned and as we approached the place where the Laplands were and we saw a couple of them were in very close to the gate so I was able to take some more photographs through the gate.


So today, February 26th we got Lapland buntings without wading through any mud in fact we said we think it is the first day birding this year with hardly a trace of mud!

Off for lunch at my sisters before wending our way home. Tomorrow morning we intend to make an early start and go to the arboretum to try, yet again, to see the Hawfinches. If there is no blog tomorrow you will know we failed!!!

Birds now 151

Stuck on 149!

We are still on 149 but that is a pretty good place to be at time of year I reckon, although I hope to reach 150 by the weekend!

Yesterday was one of those days that couldn’t quite make it’s mind up, sun or gloom, cold or not too bad!!! We decided that we would make another trip to Welney, not with any real hope of adding to our number but with every hope of enjoying ourselves.

It is tricky to adequately describe the road that leads to Welney, Ten Mile Bank, except to say that if you suffer from seasickness you had best avoid it! It is reminiscent of, what was called in my childhood, a journey on a scenic railway. The reason I am telling you about it today is because I was greatly amused by the sign that has appearedIMG_8433 (Custom)

I kid you not, I think it was the smoothest part of the road and for certain you couldn’t detect where the ramp was.

Anyway we survived the journey and arrived at Welney in time, you won’t be surprised to hear, for coffee. We watched the feeders and lost count of the Goldfinches that take advantage of the free feed. There were also good numbers of Reed buntings around the feeders and in the reeds behind.

Coffee finished and over to the main hide to see what was there. A young Goldeneye was lurking amongst the Pochards, spot the odd one out in the picture below. Fortunately he came closer later on for better views.

There was a reasonable number of Whooper swans present, no Bewicks and of course plenty of Mute swans that happily call Welney home throughout the year. Most of the swans are out feeding on the fields during the day (I guess the farmers have mixed feelings about them) and come in to spend the night on the safety of the water.

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The coots are beginning to get feisty and bad though this may sound (and probably be)  I rather like it when they get in full scraping mode but they didn’t oblige today. The pictures here are of a group of Moorhen at Slimbridge a couple of weeks ago, that were having a set to. It reminded me of a school playground when the word went around of a fight and others gathered to watch or join in!

Nothing much else at Welney so we decided to leave and pop into the arboretum to try, yet again, to get sight of the Hawfinches. We were again unlucky but did meet some interesting people. One couple that were walking six, yes six dogs, well I think they were all dogs they were so small it was hard to tell exactly what they were! The man was not a bird watcher but was intent on keep catching up with us to tell us all the places we could go to see birds where no one else ever goes! He was rather a strange chap but he meant well…I think! Another two couple like us looking in vain for the Hawfinch and being equally disappointed.

Lastly we met a really nice couple that had just got back from a cruise around South America and had been watching some fantastic birds, a soft shade of green may have come over us. We got into cruise mode with them for some time talking of places visited and yet more simply dreamed of. Turned out the chap was just four days younger than Ian and to celebrate his upcoming 70th birthday they were taking all their family to Mexico, oh well how the other half live! Still good luck to them they did seem  exceedingly nice people so I won’t begrudge them a good time.

So nothing new today although we did add an insect over the weekend, a ladybird, but again no moths.  I end with a picture for Alice, Robins never fail to appear and are happy to pose! IMG_8453 (Custom)

Tomorrow I hope will be more productive as we are off for a walk around a reserve with the warden…watch this space.