Sunday, 9 May 2021

7th, 8th and 9th May Patching

7th May

Spoonbills are now feeding daily at Hollesley, mainly in the afternoon. So far 2 Adults and 1 1st Summer bird. 

6 Tufted Ducks are unusual. A fall of Wagtails with 6 Yellow and 3 White, many Pied.

8th May

Walk Hollesley to Boyton as i do as often as i can when i have the time and inclination. It was pouring it down but did it anyway. Hollesley Lesser Whitethroats now, in loads of Hirundines,10 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, Cuckoo. and Greenland Wheatear. Over at Boyton i managed to find the male Blue headed wagtail, stunner.

Avocets were giving themselves away now with one having young already.

9th May

Weather was much better today but stayed Hollesley end. Not a bad day with Little Owl, 4 Greenland Wheatear, a Whinchat and Spoonbill again. Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel were the pick of the waders.

Thursday, 6 May 2021


 6th May 

Tonight on patch A Whinchat new in as was a brief Female Ring Ouzel, an Adult and 1st Summer Spoonbills was excellent.The usual Cuckoos, Yellow Wags, Greenshank and 2 White fronted Geese. Pinkfoot still too.  Missed a patch tick Curlew Sand Doh.....

Things are slowly happening, i just really hope for a decent wader of my own this weekend. 

Broad Billed Sandpiper

 So there i was sat at home just about to walk the patch when i noticed the message of a Broad Billed Sandpiper, and of all places Iken again, the exact same spot the Kentish plover was. Again i umed and ared whether to go and thought sod it, 2 great birds just 12k from home. Got on site to see there was actually another path closer to the birds on the shore, wish i knew about this before, the Kentish would have been closer and probably photographable. Anyway turned up on site to a few birders there and the flock being mobile no one had it. Didn't take me long to find it however and eventually some good scope views if always brief as there were flighty. Other birds of note, Spotted Redshank again, 300 Dunlin, Ringed plover, few more Knot with one it summer plum, Bar tailed godwits again and a Peregrine.

2 Mega Waders in as many days, its noce to be able to twitch local. 

Monday, 3 May 2021

Kentish plover

Sat watching the snooker then checked the phone, a kentish plover was found at Iken just 20 minutes from home, after debating whether to go or not, It took just a couple minutes to make the correct decision. I arrived on site to 3 other birders looking, no sign, the tide was almost in and birds were a long way off. Almost gave in but one of the birders moved a little way round the bay and it wasn't long before he was waving me over. We managed very distant views of the female type before it moved off with the tide. The kentish plover just seemed to disappear and no one could find it after that. Five minutes later and I'd have been out of luck. The tide covered the flats. There was a nice mix of waders to accompany the Kentish, Spotted Redshank, knot, Barwit, Black wit, Whimbrel, Dunlin, Grey plover, and Avocet. 

Lakenheath and Weeting Heath

2nd May 2021

Well what a contrast between reserves. Reserves catering for wildlife and not people. Small VC with little to no facilities, still the disappointment of dog restrictions but i can live with that when theirs a bigger picture to look at.  

Anyway started at Lakenheath, bringing back great memories from our yearly holidays camping to North Norfolk and always visiting for the long gone Golden Orioles.  So we didn't go on the reserve but the next best thing was the river bank which ran along the reserve and im sure you would see the same birds anyway. The Hockwold wash was full of life. A Black Tern flew briefly through, lots of Swifts, Greenshank, Wood Sand and 2 Drake Garganey.

The area was alive with Warblers and Cuckoos. A Red Kite flew over and Hobby was a year tick. We walked the river bank for a couple of miles just passed the main reserve and it was great with upto 30 Hobbys in the sky at once, a great site. Eventually 2 Common Cranes flew over from the rough grazing area the other side of the river. 

We had a lovely day here so just to finish the day we nipped over to another great Nature reserve there just for the birds, Weeting heath. We had a late lunch in the car park, it was delightful to sit and listen to a few Common Crossbills singing away.  We nipped into the West hide quickly before they closed to see 2 Stone Curlews, displaying and mating. Looking good again for more Stonies. 

We headed home and as it was only just over an hour away i still had the opportunity to nip into Ramsholt for a newly found Glossy Ibis. A 10km square patch tick from home.

Great end to the day.

Last day of the bank holiday weekend was spent on patch Hollesley to Boyton.
Highlights were 6 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 1 Hobby 6 Common Tern (sea). White Wagtail 2 Med gulls flew up river, the White-front and a Pink footed Goose still. 2 Cuckoo still around and again plenty of Swifts and hirundines. 2 Greenland Wheatear on the sea wall with another 2 on the way to Boyton. 3 Yellow Wagtails  and 3 Lesser Whitethroats along the way. Little Owl in its usual tree but still no Turtle Dove.

As suspected the Ramsholt Glossy Ibis left Ramsholt and headed for Havergate island, almost certainly passing Hollesley, unfortunately this happened after my visit but hopefully it will visit Hollesley sometime soon.

Carlton Marsh (warning do not read if a lover of Carlton Marsh)

 26th April 

Cuckoo, Greenshank, 2 Ruff, plenty swallows house martins and Sand martins. Now 3 Barnacle x Canada. Yellow wagtails. 2 Whimbrel on Patch

29th April

Juv White-fronted goose still. My first ever Female Emperor moth, caught a few males in the garden to lure so nice to see they are local. 1 Whimbrel, 6 Yellow wagtail.

1st May Carlton Marsh
So started early on the patch, highlights were a late Fieldfare , 2 Cuckoo in flight and displaying, Willow Warbler, Common sand on the main flash as was a Greenshank. a Few yellow wags still and the usual White front and pink footed geese. A build up of 12 swift and lots of Sand and House Martins with the Swallows.

Time for a day out, Hoopoe at Carlton Marsh. Lets give that a go.
Well arrived to a car park full of cars. What the hell is going on here i thought. A large visitor center and big car park and then the dreaded kids playground, what were they thinking, kids playgrounds and nature reserves don't go. What a racket kids screaming parents shouting so much for enjoying the peace of the wild.... What really bugs me is the amount of hassle we get as dog owners and how were being pushed further away from nature yet the open space here especially is a free for all for kids and there toys with dogs being banned. So a kid can play football with dad n mum, but my collie cant play ball with dad and mum. Whats the difference, very little. SWT you need to take a hard look at yourself and think about the link between the younger generations education and playgrounds on a Nature reserve, they really don't mix well. Education center YES. Playground NO! Anyway thats off my chest.
One consolation luckily was once passed the awfulness of the VC the main reserve was quiet, such a relief. although still noisy families oblivious to the quite nature the reserve was made for.  Something SWT had got right was the main reserve, its looking excellent. Well done. 
Walked the old route luckily still with the dogs in tow for now, heard Grasshopper Warbler, Willow Warbler and the usual host of other warblers. Cuckoo distantly. Arrived to the new Octagon platform which was very good, 3 Wood Sandpiper showing well and 2 Blue Headed Wagtails. Settings were all mucked up on my camera so pics were poor. 

Great white egret was hidden away in the reeds, 2 Ruff flew over and a nice Wheatear feeding in the field.

Walked the circular and looked over Petos marsh, that was looking good. 3 Little Ringed Plovers, another Wood Sand and 2 Common Sand was the best. 
Hoopoe was being seen on and off so nipped to go see that, dropped Dogs off back at the car as it was the part where i was being discriminated against again! ;-). Nosiest part of the reserve but no dogs allowed, the icing on the cake was whilst reading the notice about the dogs i looked up to see scopes and bins looking my way, the Hoopoe had just flown past me and i didn't notice......... I had some lunch from the VC in the noisy picnic area hoping the Hoopoe would return, unfortunately it didn't, so that was the day done. 

A reserve that wont be top of my list to visit again and my membership cancelled.