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Sunday, 25 April 2010

Yet more Spring Migrants

On the North Denes Oval, looking in from the eastern end wall, I was pleasantly surprised to see a Whimbrel, plus a Pied Wagtail and there were 2 male Yellow Wagtails feeding close to the eastern wall and I fired off a few test shots with my new Canon EOS 7D camera.A barking dog flushed up into a Pine tree before it flew off. Seeing Andrew E also taking shots, I decided to walk along the sea wall and over to Gunton Warren where nothing was seen except some young lads who had flattened half of the Japanese Knotweed and unfortunately the area near the spring water pool which had been the domain of a Water Rail, they'd also started a fire on the beach but fortunately a rain shower had dowsed that too. Walking back along the North Denes, I was fortunate enough to see 6 Wheatear (3 males & 3 females) all perched around the remains of a wall. The inevitable dogs flushed them again (but not before I got a shot of 3 together) and they flew slightly west right in front of Don & Gwen M. Oh, a new record of number of dogs seen walked by 1 walker on the North Denes, the previous record was 8, the new record (with drum roll) is........11 Yes, eleven!!!

A text from Rob W stating that he had seen 2 close Short- eared Owls on Oulton Marshes diverted me away from Carlton Marshes my intended destination and I made a detour to Oulton Marshes instead. Taking the path right from the bottom of the hill, having crossed the railway track, I noticed Andrew E & Rob W on the river bank looking in my direction. Apparently there was a Short- eared Owl on the deck in the field somewhere between me and them. I soon spotted it sat in grass on the left hand end of a big green tussock (which was reasonably close to where I was standing) bordering a scattered line of reeds bordering a dyke behind it. The Short-eared Owl was looking in my direction and I could see its alert yellow eyes and small "ear tufts." A few trains going past didn't flush it, neither did the brief attentions of a Meadow Pipit and a male Reed Bunting. Several Swallows flew by also and finally walking back I heard a Cuckoo calling nearby but I failed to spot it. In a field to the north a Chinese Water Deer ran across the field.

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