Sunday 26th April
Nice early start to meet Brian, and we are rewarded with a Barn Owl sitting on a roadside post before we pull into the Lakenheath car park at first light.
The usual route was taken, so up to the wash and a walk along the bank and river Little Ouse seperating Suffolk from Norfolk. Before reaching the steps I hear my first Cuckoo of the year. As I reach the top step it's seen flying across the tree tops in the distance.
Good numbers of Reed and Sedge Warblers are heard calling as we round the bend and make our way along the bank. While listening to these the distinctive sound of a Grashopper Warbler starts up. This proved more difficult to pin down than the Reed and Sedge Warblers.
Approaching the Joist Fen viewpoint a Bittern is heard booming and several Whitethroat and Cetti's are calling.
At the viewpoint Brain gets a fleeting glimpse of two Cranes before they drop down into the reeds, and several Marsh harriers are on show.
During the previous week varying numbers of Dotterel had been reported at Choseley drying barns in Norfolk, so we decided to drop in hoping that one or two may still be present.
On route we had another encounter with a Barn Owl. Our third of the morning. This individual was hunting a roadside field.
On arrival our luck was in, when three were seen distantly feeding in the ploughed field next to the drying barns. Good scope views but no chance of any photos at this distance.
The surrounding fields held large numbers of Yellowhammers, Linnets and Stock Doves with smaller numbers of Corn Buntings in the surrounding bushes.
Red-legged partridge were feeding close to the road and plenty of hares were seen. A Marsh harrier drifted across and a Red Kite was seen being harassed by Rooks and a single male Wheatear was also seen.
News came through that two Ring Ouzels were present on a sports field at Thornham, being only a mile away we dropped in for a look.
On arrival a guy was inflating a giant bouncy castle on the field, Luckily we located the birds at the far end of the field feeding close to the cricket covers and field hedges.
We dropped in at Titchwell for a quick visit, to find it surprisingly quiet. We managed to find a Spotted Redshank for another year tick and Brian bagged an extra year tick with a Little Ringed Plover, that I had already seen at Broom GP's in Bedfordshire.