Monday 22 May 2017

Late May Birding

As you could imagine I was keen to get out for a day's birding following a full week cooped up in a hotel.
I thought of a second attempt to see the the Hickling Savi's Warbler (I only managed to hear it briefly a few weeks ago when the cold north wind chilled me to the bone) and perhaps I could tick two birds with one stone if the Caspian Tern would hang around. However, by Sunday morning the Tern had decided to move on so instead I devised plan B.
About eight days earlier I had made an on spec post-work call to East Wretham Heath and managed to find a pair of Common Redstarts. I think I just got lucky because the male wasn't singing. This was my sighting there since 2014 so good to know they haven't given up on the place completely.
I returned on Sunday but despite a two-hour circuit of the place I couldn't relocate the pair. Hopefully they are now nest-building or even incubating and therefore maintaining a very low profile.
A singing Cuckoo was the best otherwise.
From there I headed to Lakenheath, Suffolk to see if any Nightingale's are still in song. I'm not sure when they normally stop singing - I expect quite soon but on Sunday I was still able to locate three singing birds including one that was more than obliging.

Nightingale, Lakenheath, Suffolk - 21st May 2017
I don't think I will ever grow bored of Nightingales. Even in Mallorca where they were common they would stop me in my tracks each time they sang.
Unfortunately the wind was a little strong so I didn't bother to make a very long movie clip.

I still had a little time left to play with and with a report of a Marsh Warbler at nearby RSPB Lakenheath I headed over there to round the day off. However, it was beyond the Joist Fen hide and after a full day dragging my gear around I simply ran out of steam and never made it that far (I was also running out of time too and needed to be back home). Two Cuckoos and three Hobbies were ample compensation though.

Cuckoo - Lakenheath Fen, Suffolk - 21st May 2017
Meanwhile my local area around West Earlham and Bowthorpe is coming into its own with Common Whitethroats and Garden Warblers all present, a Hobby was chasing the local House Martins only fifty yards from home last weekend and a Lesser Whitethroat was happily singing away from some Hawthorn bushes this evening.

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