Monday, 9 June 2014

Spectacled Warbler

After the rather damp Saturday, the Norfolk trip on Sunday was very different, getting rather hot at times.
We left reasonably early, calling in at Chosely Barns not long after 0800. We had hoped that the Turtle Doves would be present, but they weren't. One Stock Dove, a few Yellowhammers and two Grey Partridges were feeding on the spilt grain, along with the ever present Chaffinches and Wood Pigeons.
Titchwell was empty when we arrived and remained rather quiet all morning, not surprising as June is not the best month. Found the 1s Little Gull fairly quickly and had the drake Garganey pointed out. A family of Red Crested Pochard was a nice bonus and it is always enjoyable to see the Bearded Tits forage along the reed edges. We picked up a couple of Greenshanks, three Spoonbills and an increasing flock of Black tailed Godwits held some Bar Tails and a two Knot.
The sea was rather quiet, with a few Sandwich and Little terns feeding offshore. A huge very distant flock of Common Scoters was out near the wind farms and a few Gannets flew by.

Lots of Red Admirals here {and elsewhere}, some Wall Browns and a single Meadow Brown were the butterfly highlights and dragonflies included Emperor, Four Spotted Chasers, Azure and Blue Tail damsels. May have seen a Skimmer or two but they were very quick. The regular Chinese Water Deer put in an appearance.
Bumped into Ade who sent us round to the Fen Trail for Turtle Dove, but we didn't find one and no-one else we spoke to had seen or heard one. More dragonflies here including Red Eyes and a decent showing of Southern Marsh orchids.
I had hoped that by getting to Burnham Overy in the afternoon-actually just past noon, it would be a bit quieter and easier to park, but it was rather busy. Had a quick chat with Dave Holman just in case there had been any news of the two Montague's Harriers in the area but the last sighting was six hours earlier.
The trudge out to Gun Hill was long and hot, enlivened by our first Painted Ladies and a Little Tern feeding along one of the grazing marsh channels.
The Spectacled Warbler was hidden when we got to the end of the boardwalk, but the singing gave it away. After about ten minutes it popped up briefly before flying east dropping down right by the boardwalk. It proceeded to show fairly well on and off for the next half hour though it was always mobile.

We had seen the Landguard bird in 1997, feeding at the crowd's {around eight of us!} feet and though there have been one or two since-this is only the sixth, the singing and nest building made it rather special.

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