All things being equall

March 21st the spring equinox (give or take a day!) and the day has been an equal mix of success and failure! I considered going down to Stonehenge to dance as the sun rose but then I thought…NO! Instead we checked the moth trap and went out birding. We began by trying again for Bean goose but we had no luck we did however get a tick later in the day.

On our journey we spotted a pair of hares in a field, we watched them for a while but they didn’t provide much excitement, they seemed to be taking the day in a very relaxed fashion! IMG_9842 (Custom)

 

It was a brighter day than we had expected so we were pleased we had headed up to the coast. First to Thornham and what I can only describe as a very fresh walk along the sea wall. Redshanks and Curlew seem to be doing particularly well there apparently enjoying them selves in the mud. I thought we might find a rare wader that had got lost and taken refuge at Thornahm but not today!!!

A lone Avocet was snoozing in the water and an Oystercatcher posed on the muddy bank.

Titchwell beckoned us and the allure of coffee was strong. it seems impossible to visit this site without being welcomed by a Robin, today was no exception.IMG_9898 (Custom)

The day had warmed up quite a bit and we decided to just walk down to the first hide concentrating on the reeds and  hoping for a year tick. We got the very bird we had hoped for, a Bearded tit, first it flew low and fast but enough to Id it. But then I spotted him low down in the reeds before he came out a clearly flew across the reeds, sadly not to be seen again! Bird number 159 brilliant!

Mission accomplished, that was the bird we were after there today so we just enjoyed a walk then were just going go to leave for Brancaster and a late lunch. On our was back to the car we got a good view of this Water rail, of course twigs and grasses spoilt photo opportunities.

We were nearly back at the car when we spotted a trio of Siskin feeding amonst the fallen leaves.

Lunch at Brancaster Staithe is becoming quite a habit and a very enjoyable one too! There are always birds to entertain us while we eat, today stars were Red-breasted merganser.

Another good day that although it began with a new moth I am saving that for another day. I had thought at one time I might be writing about moths tonight but that was before bird 159 flew in 🙂

 

Determination got us to 150!

What a fantastic day, I had to check the calendar and make sure I hadn’t slept in till May as that’s what today  felt like, look at the colour of the sky!  We had been really looking forward to our ‘Walk with the warden at Sculthorpe Moor and although it was fine it wasn’t really what we had hoped for. There was too much standing about for my liking and too much talk about the site and not enough finding birds, but that may have just been our view point. We had coffee waiting when the walk was over and then the decision as to where we would go next. We toyed with a few ideas but as we were both determined to reach 150 today we decided to go to Choseley barns and wait until we had seen Yellowhammers which never fail to show there. That sounds like fighting talk and of course we could have been let down but we were not.

What beautiful little birds these are with their call of ‘little bit of bread and NO cheese’ made me think of some gorgeous folk I know that have given up cheese for Lent! Once we had walked and seen the birds we parked up near a puddle in the hope that they may come down for a drink. Just as they flew in closer our plan was thwarted by someone else coming and parking right between us and the puddle, honestly the cheek of some people!!!

So 150 reached and nothing else in the area that was calling us so we decided to return to some old haunts. Thornham next in the hope that we might get shots of the Twite, no luck, the carpark is almost one large pool and so much or the path the kind of mud you fear getting stuck in…not again!

On instead to Brancater Staithe harbour which for some reason I just love.

It is great to sit in the car and eat lunch and even with the tide out waders and gulls entertained us. As we watched the Black-tailed godwit feeding in the thick, slimy mud it made me even more grateful than usual for my flask filled with delicious (though I say so myself) hot veggie sausage casserole. So as he dipped his bill in the mud I dipped my spoon in my flask, I think I win!

This Common gull sat on top of the post, alternating between wakefulness and snoozing (reminded me of a certain someone on the sofa occasionally 😉 ). The Black-headed gull spent ages bathing in a pool whilst an assortment of waders looked on.

I do find gulls rather confusing, but it struck me today, that the Common gull is the one there were less of and the Black-headed gull had a white head, so gull Id is easy right?!

Now the next part of the day is where I kick myself…hard! We had seen three Barn owls this morning which was brilliant, all in flight and no photo opportunity. As we drove from Brancater we both spotted a beautiful Barn owl perched on a road sign, perfect pose! Well it would have been if either us had seen in in time, but no by the time we saw it we were upon it and it flew off. Lovely to see but frustrating to have missed the chance.

We stopped of at Holkham to see what was in the fields, not a lot was the answer but I couldn’t resist this pair of grazing Egyptian geese.

I remember the first time we saw them, excitement and people stopping especially to see them, now they are common place.

We went on to a place that is often good for Barn owls, as we had already seen four today I though the chance of one being out was good. We did indeed see another one it flew around the edge of the field and returned with a tasty morsel hanging from its mouth. It dropped out of sight behind the building and although we waited we didn’t see it again. So today we saw five beautiful Barn owls which was wonderful, one day I will get shots to share here…one day!