Friday, 8 July 2011

May selection

May started off at Holme Norfolk, with seven Wood Sandpipers giving excellent views, feeding close to the footpath on Redwell Marsh. My first Norfolk Wood Warbler, feeding in the Poplar and Sycamore trees, alongside the entrance track at the back of the marsh, became somewhat overshadowed, when I returned to the site at 15:30 and discovered Norfolks 4th Collared Flycatcher in the very same trees just 20 minutes later. The bird performed well to its group of admires all afternoon, but had departed by the following morning. A pair of Garganey sat on the sea off of the main Golf course track made for an unusual sight. For an full write up on the days events see Connor Rands excellent write up at Further rarity highlights were provided by the Northamptonshire Black Stork, which showed well in the fields surrounding the village of Weedon Beck, before giving excellent flights views at close range, whilst a Norfolk Marsh Warbler eventually gave itself up for viewing, following some initial brief appearances, and short bursts of song (Skylark, Whitehroat, and Bee Eater included!)

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers provided some local interest, nesting in the low branch of a large Sweet Chestnut tree just a few minutes from home, in a small stand of mature woodland opposite the nearby Tescos. The nest was constructed mainly from the flowers stems of the Sweet Chestnut, which the adults were seen collecting and bringing to the nest. Three young were seen in the nest, with at least one bird seen outside the nest being fed by the parents, after the young had cleared out.

The last day of May, finally saw the addition of perhaps the most obvious gap in my Snettisham list, with an unexpected seawatch producing a total of 21 Manx Shearwater (a single bird followed by groups of 5, 8, and 7) moving south into The Wash. Having neglected the sea, in favour of Holme, during productive seawatching conditions, I am awaiting the autumn with much interest, and am keen to find out just how productive Snettisham can be, when the right conditions force seabirds into The Wash. The same morning produced an unusually high total of 52 Auk sp moving North, as well as 74 Gannet South.

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