Monday, 13 October 2014

Back on the road

Had a chat with Colin on Friday night and he was up for a trip. It would have been a gentle ramble round the Norfolk coast, though there would have to be one or two rest stops. However, the long staying Hoopoe just up the road at Willington was tempting, and when it was discovered that the Grey Shrike at Biggleswade on Friday evening was Lesser and not Greater well that sealed it.
In view of the need to take it easy we did not get to Willington until 0900-there had been no news from Biggleswade. it was a bit damp and drizzly but fairly mild. Unfortunately people on site since first light gave us the bad news that the Hoopoe had gone-the farm residents had been round a few times and could not locate it. We stayed for a bit. Colin picked up a large Golden Plover over the Cardington Airship Sheds which circled a few times. Apparently there is a large flock in the fields, but we also noted several flights going west in the hour we were there.
With no news from Biggleswade we headed up to  Graffham Water where a Black Necked Grebe was showing well from Mander car park.


This was taken through the scope with the RX100 at close to maximum zoom. The home-made adapter is working reasonably well but images are not as sharp and as clear as I would like.
We carried n north up to Thrapston and Titchmarsh reserve where a Great White Egret has been for a while.  Did not know exactly where it would be as I was working from memory but after finding a derelict hide on the north west side we made our way to the north east corner and a raised hide. Unfortunately the sign on the door said hornets nesting inside! I had a lokk and yes there was a small nest above the door but decided to take a risk and sat down. Scanned both islands picking up the usual assortment of wildfowl, gulls herons and Cormorants but no Egret. One or two Cetti's Warblers and a Water Rail called from the reeds. The Egret appeared on the small muddy island in the north west corner in the early evening.
With nothing much else we headed south and called in at the Lodge for an hour or so. There was still a faint hope that the Shrike would be relocated. Birds were fairly elusive, one Nuthatch was heard, plus a few tits. Several Goldcrests were heard and one seemed a bit different, more Firecrest like but I could not locate the bird. Although it had been a dry September one or two fungi were out, and the gardens were looking quite nice as well.