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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 15:48   #1
deboo
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Twas dull and mizzling...but..

I don't usually do this....

01/05/04.

Had a most enjoyable morning birding on the Cambs/Norfolk border..
I started early...I went to Stonea Camp, hoping for Ring Ouzel...well it's the only place local that I consider suitable passage territory!...No doubt I'll be shot down in flames...but the area is extremely quiet, sheep grazed and does have a drinking pond too....
Guess what??.... I did'nt see any Ouzels!!
BUT....I have been on the lookout for Corn Buntings all year..and have dipped succesfully..until now..I reckon the total Cambs population had decided to sit on Telephone wires all along my route!
They were singing their little hearts out...and I was so appreciative...also spotted a male Wheatear sitting on a hay bale..pondering his next move....

Onto the Ouse Washes, RSPB reserve..
I had a definate spring in my step as I tiptoed through the puddles to the 'Halfway hide'...It's name has changed, to something I will struggle to recall, but who cares...it's only a shed with windows in!
What a shed though!....Straight away, I saw 3 Garganey...followed by an Imm. female Peregrine that frightened all the birds on the reserve...she bombed through so quick..I struggled to keep me bins on her!
Then....I saw a Marsh Tit...but it was'nt...
It did'nt give out the telltale 'pitchoo' or 'chickadeedeedee' calls...instead it said...'eez eez eez'....
Zoinks!!!!..i'd better take a closer look and yes....it was a Willow Tit!...

Dave was v.happy now!.....

But wait till I tell you what I saw at Welney!!!!
As the narrator said in 'Tales from the Riverbank'....
"That is another story"
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 16:22   #2
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Very good David. Still aint had Garganey this year. Cambs seems to be Garganey HQ.

You also got 3 more year ticks on me that I know about from your jaunt over the border. But that will come in your second installment I'd imagine...
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 16:27   #3
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Hi lads,
Still need Garganey for the year:a few friends had arranged to head to Wexford today,and they got 2,with a Marsh Harrier and they even found a female Monty's(an Irish rarity,though nearly annual.A male was found there later!),but they had arranged this trip a few days back and had no room left.
Anyway,news broke of a Tawny Pipit locally,so I thumbed down(had missed a lift from the only birder heading down from the city!) and saw it well: Cork tick and year tick,having seen a juv/1st-w last autumn at Hook Head.Gorgeous bird!
Got a few Whitethroats for the year also at Knockadoon(there were none there last Wed),with Wheatears and House Martins having arrived in good numbers and a reeling Gropper heard there.
Not a bad day's birding....
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 16:54   #4
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Should be Tawny Pipits over here any day now.
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 17:50   #5
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My lawn is the top tip Tom! Whooooo aliteration!
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 19:43   #6
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So...onto Welney.

Got there for 10:00..and it was just starting to rain!...
Well at least I could spend an hour in the main hide..and count ducks!
But no..there were Waders on the large pool ...lots of waders too!
In amongst the Avocets and Redshank were 4 Greenshank, 2 almost summer plumage Spotted Redshanks and a summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper attempting to hide in a bunch of Dunlin!
The whole wash area was teeming with Swifts,Swallows, House and Sand Martins...
I was loving this...and there was only 5 people in the hide..to appreciate it all!..
The ringed and little ringed plovers were nesting...and 1 nest was right in front of the hide and I had my first ever views of a LRP nest with eggs in it!...3 in total...quite small yet beautifully formed!
I spent some time taking in all the sights and sounds....Yellow Wagtails..lovely!...
Anne, 1 of the very helpful volunteers, said there were Garganey and Bar Tailed Godwits on the reserve...So off I went to have a gander!
I visited all the hides in turn...but drew a blank with Garganey...I managed to see 1 Bar tailed- a sub adult and not in breeding plumage! Also saw a pair of Ruddy Ducks...are these getting rare?! .....Rarer by the day methinks!
I was going to go back to the car...but thought I'd better tell the folk in the main hide where I'd seen the Barwit....
How glad i did!!!!.......Got into the hide and they said "you've nearly missed all of the fun"...
There were 2 Black Terns floating around as they strangely do!
2 Whimbrel...were preening...behind 3 full summer plumage Barwits!...behind these was a lovely Wood Sandpiper...I did'nt know what to look at first!!!!....2 summer plumaged Knot had apparently just left!...but the Spotshanks and the Curlew Sand were still there!!!!
I had such fantastic views of Summer Plum. birds.....
I had the biggest smile in England....well not as big as the person who had found the Beeeater in Devon....but not far behind!!!
Roll on another dank and miserable day tomorrow!!!....hahahaha.

Dave.
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 20:24   #7
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Cracking Dave... summer plumage waders are HOT!!! It's donkeys years since I've been to Welney, so nice to read about.
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 21:21   #8
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nice one Dave. Good luck om Monday unfortunately I won't be able to join you, having to force myself to go to Minsmere.
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Old Saturday 1st May 2004, 21:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deboo
They were singing their little hearts out...
Lovely to read that, Dave - it shows a deal of affection felt by yourself, too, and that's what makes this such a great hobby.
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2004, 06:52   #10
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Thanx for all the replies folks!

So...Monday...In Breckland

What, do you reckon, are the chances for these????

Golden Oriole
Stone Curlew
Woodlark
Tree Pipit
Hobby
Grey Partridge
Lesser Whitethroat
Golden Pheasant
Goshawk

That would take me over 200 for the year....I reckon I will see most of the above!!!!..

Ever the optimist Dave.
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2004, 08:40   #11
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Three doubtfuls, there, for me - have never tried for oriole in the UK, and goshawk and golden pheasant are never going to be easy.
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2004, 10:39   #12
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Steve,

Mr Mckinney sent me a message saying there was a male Oriole singing at Hockwold yesterday...So if I can get there early enough..I should hear him at least!
As for the other 2....
I've never seen a Golden Pheasant in the wild...and the last time I saw a Goshawk was over 20 years ago!...So no problems heh?!!

Dave...198 then!
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2004, 15:33   #13
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Wendy and I were walking through some woodland near Weeting Heath, thoroughly disappointed with the place, when a golden pheasant ran across the pathway in front of us. It was a fine sight, but I can't say it's a bird I would go out of my way for as it's so clearly exotic.

I saw my one and only golden oriole very briefly many years back while on a business trip to Malta while watching a peregrine twist and dive to miss some shooters shot (six shots and it survived!).

Goshawk - so far, all attempts have failed, excepting one with jessies flying over a local reservoir. I hope you have better luck!
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Old Monday 17th May 2004, 01:17   #14
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Ah David your an intrepid lad you'll tick them all
get busy Ni
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Old Monday 17th May 2004, 19:57   #15
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Best of luck Dave.took me about 10 years to get Golden Pheasant,finally managed it in the snow,in Norfolk,in February this year.
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Old Monday 17th May 2004, 20:17   #16
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Goshawk and Golden Pheasant will be very tough a this time of year - the others should be a cinch - drop me a PM if there are any you`ll struggle to find and i`ll give you some sites.
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