Sunday 9 June 2013

Once more into Brecks

I took off today for a few hours to East Wretham Heath. After a late one last night I was a bit slow getting out of the blocks and it was lunchtime before I arrived there. I wasn't expecting that much, the weather was a bit breezy, slightly cold and overcast, if I was to have any chance of seeing something I needed to be there much earlier in the day but that was never going to happen.
From the car park I headed around the path in the opposite direction and went first to the spot where I had a male Redstart in late April. Nothing there sadly, just a singing Willow Warbler (unseen) and a couple of Mistle Thrushes. For the next hour and a half I walked around the reserve slowly, looking and listening. Plenty of singing Blackcaps (including one buried in a hawthorn in subsong that had me thinking Garden Warbler for a few minutes, until it raised it black head), a Yellowhammer pair, a few Green and GS Woodpeckers, Coal Tits, Great Tits and Robins. No sign of the Whinchat reported on Birdguides from Friday either. I decided to check the Wood Warbler spot, I know its been weeks since it was reported but on the off chance it was still in area. I was strolling along with my mind on greater things (like work next week), when a snatch of song broke my train of thought, I glanced to the top of a Hawthorn and saw a lovely male Common Redstart singing away. I'm not too familiar with their song, in fact it may even be the first time I've heard one sing. I've heard them call many times but not sing. Its quite an unobtrusive song and you could easily overlook it. Anyway, I quickly forgot what it was I had been thinking about and set about trying to get some shots. Without too much success. There was a female present also so I kept to the main path and let them get on with things. The good news is that in the time I spent in that area I would say there was at least two if not three males and at least one female. I managed one 'okayish' record shot of a male but otherwise had to be content to just look and listen. Superb birds as always and hope that they breed sucessfully.

Male Common Redstart, East Wretham Heath, Norfolk - 9th June 2013

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