Sunday 3 May 2020

Still Locked

The lockdown continues but spring is in full swing. I've been keeping body and soul together by focusing on my '2kmfromhome' list. In my last post I had reached 61. Happy to say that I'm now up to 76.
The last week has been especially good. On Friday 24th April whilst out looking for a reeling Grasshopper Warbler I came across this nice Green Sandpiper 'bobbing' away on West Earlham Marsh. It was still there until Saturday evening where I saw clear off high and to the north calling at around 8.30pm that evening. A great local bird.

Green Sandpiper, Bowthorpe Marsh, Norwich

Sunday was a fine day to sit in the back garden, a flock of five Swifts over were my earliest ever record of the species. A single Swallow bombed through heading north not long after.
On Sunday evening I had a Grasshopper reeling, albeit briefly, and on Monday evening the first Garden Warbler of the year was in song in the Hawthorn bushes between Bowthorpe and West Earlham marsh.
The weather this week has been wet, windy and generally pretty unsettled. I didn't venture out again until Thursday. The Grasshopper Warbler was reeling still and a little more often than last Sunday. A second Garden Warbler was in song not so far away.
Yesterday evening, tempted out by a rumour of a Cuckoo showing on the edge of the nearby Colney Gravel Pits, was a fine evening for birding. No Cuckoo, but a large flock of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins over one of the pits was a fine sight to behold. I picked out at least one Arctic Tern with the Common Terns which I was very pleased with. En route home I added Red-legged Partridge and Rook.
This morning I dragged myself out of bed at 4.45am and went back to see I could pick up this Cuckoo. No joy, but its a great time of the morning to up and about. There was so much bird song it was hard to seperate out what was singing. Blackcaps are everywhere it seems, Sedge Warblers were busy chattering away from the reeds, a Cetti's Warbler exploded into song from time to time, Whitethroats scolded me from various bramble patches and I'm getting my ear in on Garden Warbler and I came across three singing birds on my ramble. A Lapwing over the fields behind West Earlham marsh was species number 76 for my list and finally and best of all, the Grasshopper Warbler was reeling continuously at 6.20am and in full view (althought 40 meters away) on West Earlham. Furthermore, it has since been confirmed that there are in fact two Grasshopper Warblers in this area - great news!

Grasshopper Warbler - reeling from the grassy area between the sheep and the trees.

After next Tuesday '2kmfromhome' becomes '5kmfromhome' opening up some possibilities for me such as Firecrest and Black Redstart. Thanks Leo Varadkar!

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