Sunday, 8 March 2015

Fens and Brecks

Yesterday I went out on a trip with Colin, touring the fens and Brecks. There were a few winter birds still around, and with the promise of Spring sunshine it was nice to get out.
We first went to Holme Fen, where the Rough Legged Buzzard was still in residence. Encountered a lot of Red Kites in the area, and it was nice to see that (most) of the road had recently been resurfaced, though some bits were still very rough. We scanned from several points, picking up a few Skylarks, Linnets, several Kestrels and Reed Buntings before stopping at a pull in close to the woods, directly south of the hide. The wind was pretty bad, but after a short period two Buzzards were seen over the fen in front of the hide (quite a way off) and one banked nicely to reveal it's white tail. Unfortunately the bird kept low and soon dropped down below the bank. Not the best Rough Legged views and way too far for the camera.
Next stop was Eldernell on the Nene Washes. Seems to be a lot of work on the banks at the moment so quite a bit fenced off. We headed west into a strong wind to the large wash about half a mile away. Several Marsh Harriers, and more Kestrels were seen, all of the swans were Mute, and there were still lots of wildfowl-mainly Wigeon Shoveller and Teal, with a few Shelduck and Pintail as well. 

Almost got back to the car when to our relief three Cranes flew along the far bank, heading east before dropping down into the reeds.
We left the fens and headed down into the Brecks aiming for Lyndford. Drove down the Oxborough to Lyndford road stopping off at a likely spot where I saw two distant Goshawks displaying, with one lingering for some time. Yet again more Red Kites were seen here.
Lyndford was packed-not unexpected as the feeding area was pulling in quite a selection of species. Nuthatch, Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin, Blackbird, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Robin, Brambling, and the stars a pair of Hawfinch. Spent some time trying to digiscope the more distant male bird, always in the shade deep in the leaf litter. Got one I'm happy with. Also had my first Brimstone in the car park.

We then went back to searching for Goshawk at one of the better known locations, and although we saw one or two distant birds, the wind was really getting up. This meant that we were not able to see or hear Woodlark in the area, so we headed off to Santon Downham and drove around for a bit, but was not successful here either.

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