Had a long weekend.
Went for a walk around Aston End and along the river Beane Friday morning. Despite the recent winds, some of the trees and hedges look quite nice, but hard to find any berries-as mentioned a while back, a lot of hedges have been badly cut this year. Tried desperately to get some good images, but could not get a good composition with my available lenses.
Wildlife seemed a bit scarce at times, as the ploughed fields are greening up. Surprised to see a Red Kite drift down river-first I've ever seen here. Big flock of Grey Partridge in the horse paddocks, and a few small groups of thrushes as well. Around 25 Yellowhammer is big for this area too.
Saturdays plan was to go to the Norfolk coast via Welney and try and get a few extra year ticks especially as there were a few good photogenic subjects around.
I woke up in the early hours feeling a bit rough, Colin arrived 20 minutes late thanks to extra diversions on the way, and some way into our journey he realised he had left his jacket behind. Kind of went downhill after that.
Arrived at Welney around 0830 to find the Glossy Ibis was no where to be seen. Couple of people had been here since daybreak. Gave it a couple of hours, and had a lot of flyby dabbling ducks, some Bewick's, and a distant Marsh Harrier putting everything up on the reserve scrapes a mile to the north. Big flocks of Lapwing held a lot of Golden Plover. Eventually decided the bird may have gone courtesy of the rain and cold night, so headed off to the Cattle Egret at Guyhirn.
Arrived, having found big herds of Bewick's in a number of fields to be told that the Egret had been seen briefly when the farmer had been in the field, but had dropped into ditch. With a lot of the ground hidden from view, it did not look good, but after a long wait, and the constant blast of car horns the cattle decided to start moving. Thought this might bring the Egret into view but no such luck. Worse still, the Ibis was back on the road side pool, so we went back for it.
When we got there everyone was back by the bridge. Apparently it had flown in from a long way north, settled by the pool and was feeding. Bunch of birders then descended and made so much noise it flew again. Stuck it out for another couple of hours, and apart from a large black bird flying into a reedy hollow a good half mile to our north we saw nothing. Early afternoon both Colin and I were starting to feel a bit rough so decided to give up and come home. Had not gone far when we got the message that the Ibis had been seen again. No idea if it was a distant speck or if it had come back to the roadside as we had no further messages.
Sunday morning spent three hours at Amwell. Got rather cold. Strange to see that a lot of the ducks had gone as had all the geese. Small numbers of Wigeon, a few Teal and the lone rather grotty Pintail remained. Some Siskin flew over, as did some Redwing. May have had other thrushes too, but most were distant.
Barry Reed arrived, having come back from the Irish Northern Harrier twitch. Not sure what he would have made of the later messages of a probable in Norfolk for the last couple of weeks. Went for a walk with William to try and warm up and went to visit the Red Crested Pochards-down to three now, as per last winter. Still no Goldeneye, but we do have a Bittern now.