Sunday 16 May 2010

Of Woodchat, Windmill and Wheatear

(and Corn Bunting, Temminck’s Stint and Oriental Pratincole… but they’re less alliterative!)

Just back from a very relaxed and enjoyable weekend at my parents’ place in east Norfolk. After a rare weekend lie-in on Saturday, I headed the short distance down the road to Winterton South Dunes, where the 1st-summer male Woodchat Shrike showed quite well.

woodchat1 The bird alternated between perching in full view and then periods when it was much more elusive. However, it eventually gave itself up in a lone bush on the east side of the valley, for all to enjoy. I also checked out Hickling Rush Hills scrape, but without much success – just a couple of Greenshank and a Little Gull.

That afternoon, Dad and I took a walk out to an RSPB reserve without hordes of Tilley hatted robin-strokers: Berney Marshes, on the west side of Breydon Water. We didn’t find anything amazing, though a smart male Wheatear, three late Golden Plover and a selection of Yellow Wagtails kept us interested. [Photo credits to my Dad – I took my scope instead!]

wheatear berney_mill Today started in more twitchy fashion with a trip across to Frampton Marsh, a new RSPB reserve. Although it was rather crowded due to a certain Glareola, we were very impressed – the carefully landscaped scrapes look superb, and there’s bound to be more good waders found here in the next few years given the location adjacent to The Wash.

A mere 17 years after seeing the long-staying Gimingham individual, our main target was an Oriental Pratincole. It was initially skulking around on an island, keeping out of the wind, but then perked up a little before showing distantly in flight. No photos from me, but there’s some crackers elsewhere – Graham Catley’s selection are superb.Supporting cast included Wood Sandpiper and Temminck’s Stint amongst the commoner waders, but the best photo opportunity came from a singing Corn Bunting… sadly all too rare a sight these days. Comedy moment of the day goes to a typical Sunday twitcher who suggested that one of the Western Pal’s leading listers had mistaken displaying Little Ringed Plover for the pratincole…


And finally, here’s another mystery mammal photo for you, taken near Potter Heigham church.

ears Whose ears are these?


swopticsphoto said...

Come on Dave - name names !

Jonathan Lethbridge said...


Hawky said...

Mickey Mouse?

Shaun harvey said...

Mine are not that colour so its not me