Monday, 10 March 2014

Cranes, Whoopers and Bearded Tits at Lakenheath

With the weather forecast looking perfect for some Goshawk action, we headed off in the direction of a couple of regular sites.
Arriving in the area around 7am, we made our way towards Lakenheath. The front gate having recently been locked in the evenings and not opened until 8.30am had now been left open allowing early morning access again.
Reaching the entrance gate we were greeted with the sight of two Cranes flying directly overhead following the path of the River Little Ouse which provides a border between Suffolk and Norfolk.
We decided to take the river path and on the walk out towards Joist Fen were rewarded with sightings of Kingfisher, Cetti's Warber, and Marsh Harrier. Cetti's Warblers seemed to be calling from every corner of the reserve.
A brief stop at Joist Fen produced sightings of several Marsh Harriers along with Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, Bearded Tits were heard "pinging" but were proving more difficult to see.
A walk along the river path and a scan across the adjacent farmland proved a good move, with two Cranes found feeding in one of the fields (probably the two birds seen at the entrance earlier) and close by double figures of Whooper Swans were found for another year tick.
The footpath leading back towards the reserve centre takes you passed the new hide (Mere Hide) Two Bearded Tits drop in as I take a seat.
At the entrance path to the hide four Bearded Tits are seen feeding relatively close by. The camera comes out for a few shots.










 At the reserve centre the feeders were attracting Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch and Blue and Great Tits.
While watching these a Water Rail emerged from the edge of the reeds and continued to appear and disappear at regular intervals.

Water Rail




Arriving back at the car the first Brimstones of the year were seen floating around the car park.


We arrived at the Goshawk site later than planned, the first bird heard was a Woodlark. But it took a little longer to actually get a sighting of one. Then a single bird was picked out in a nearby field.
Despite the weather conditions looking and feeling spot on for Goshawks our search proved in vain today, with only Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawks seen in the air.
A stop at a water hole produced another year tick when three Common Crossbills flew overhead, while watching Redpoll, Siskin, Goldfinch and Coal Tits coming down to drink.

Siskin


Goldfinch

Although the target bird was not seen today, it was just nice to actually be out birding in sunshine!
Lets hope that continues.



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