Saturday, 14 May 2011

East Anglia 2011

Our annual pilgrimage to the east of England started at 04:30 on friday 6th may When i was picked up by fellow photographer Tim Taylor. Minsmere was our first port of call & we duly arrived around 09:30. A Red kite was spotted near Reading on the way & the other party in the other car also had a Rose-ringed Parakeet near Heathrow. We had been told about a month previous that a Bittern was showing well in front of the island mere hide. No luck there, so we moved to the Bittern hide. Marsh harriers were very much in view most of the time we were there, but did not come very close. We did however strike lucky with a Bittern right in front of the hide! Now, did we get the hides wrong, I dont believe so. I think it was just our day. This particular bird was very obliging for a Bittern, occasionally coming out into full view. We witnessed it catching Sticklebacks & small invertebrates & on several occasions catching large dragonflies, even plucking them from the air. The rest of the day was abit of an anti-climax after that, so we moved on to North Norfolk. There was a few hours of daylight left so we decided to go "huntin wabbits". Choseley barns is a great area for hares & migrants. A pair of Yellow wagtails afforded close views, Yellowhammers called all around & a couple of Corn buntings were seen. There was very little spilt grain in the barns area so was relitivley devoid of the usual flocks of seed eaters.
Hares though were in most of the surrounding fields along with Partridges & Pheasant.
The following day started at again in the barns area, where we struck lucky with a pair of Grey partridge (only the second time i have seen them in England, though i have seen plenty in Scotland).
Then after breakfast, on to Titchwell & the brand new Parrinder hide. Now this really is a hide that you want to visit. Large fully opening windows, separate stools (some bolted down, others moveable) & mud banks just 25m away. Avocet, Redshank, Ruff, Ringed plover, Little-ringed plover, Dunlin, Little & Temminks stint, Grey plover & Common sandpiper were all present. A visit to the beach produced both Common Scoter & Eider. The afternoon was spent at Cley where we managed to find & photograph a party of 5 Shore lark on the shingle bank at the end of the east bank (a lifer for me). On the way back a pair of Greenshank on a small pool & 3 Whinchat allowed some record shots.
 Back to Cley on sunday morning to try & connect with a Citrine Wagtail on the West bank. This we & the dozen or so others present  failed at, but a Sedge warbler at spitting distance kept us entertained. A drive nearer the beach produced a pair of summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwits on a small splash. These were more than happy to totally ignore us as we snapped away. Then back to Titchwell for a hour to mop up before moving on to Weeting Heath. A Stone curlew was seen in flight briefly, but as usual, miles away. A walk around the woodland walk failed to produce Tree pipit & Woodlark although they had been seen there earlier in the day.
The other 4 on the trip were just birding & managed a respectable total around 125 species for the weekend.

Photos below in no particular order:

Summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit at Cley 

Bittern from Bittern hide, Minsmere. 

Greylag, Island mere hide, Minsmere  

Grey Partridge, Choseley area. 

 Brown hare, Choseley area.
The usual pose.......... 
 Thats better, getting used to me.......
 Then totally ignoring me!
 But sometimes they just pop out right in front of you.

Little-ringed plover, Parrinder hide, Titchwell 

 Record shot of Little Stint & Dunlin, Parrinder hide, Titchwell.

Dozing Red-legged Partridge, Choseley area. 

Redshank, Titchwell.

Redshank, Minsmere 

Shorelark, Cley, East bank. 

Ruff, Parrinder hide, Titchwell. 

Sedge Warbler, West bank, Cley. 

Yellow wagtail, Choseley barns.

Greenshank, Cley, East bank.

Water rail (& Bittern!), Minsmere, Bittern hide.

Garden warbler, Titchwell

No comments:

Post a Comment