Friday- The House Martins are back on the nests (at least 2 occupied of the 3 nests I have under the eaves of the house) at our house and the neighbours.
An early start this morning (Saturday) had me up at 5am and an hour later I was walking along the idyllic track at North Cove, noting singing Whitethroat where I parked the car by the space by the railway line.
A Chiff- Chaff called from the woods whilst walking past the dykes going past another wood on the right I heard the brief "purr" of my Turtle Dove of the year but sadly the bird wasn't seen.
Walking along the river bank towards Castle Marshes, a Cuckoo was heard and a Reed Warbler was seen singing and then a Sedge Warbler. Seeing Don & Gwen and Richard W ahead, I could them looking intently over the river onto the Aldeby Pools and I scanning I soon saw the excellent White Stork, striding right on the pools, a really impressive immaculate bird. A big bird with long neck, bill and legs pure white head, neck, back and wing coverts with black flight feathers; primaries, secondaries and tertials. The bird would stride around stabbing the water and catching the occasional prey item. The bird took to flight briefly but only to settle in the far eastern corner of the lagoon. Don was on fine form and it was almost like being at Saturday Night Live with the Comedians of the ilk of Michael MacIntyre and co than being out in the countryside!!
As we were watching the bird I had a call from regular correspondent Paul W who was watching the bird from across the river on the Norfolk side along with Jeremy
We also saw 2 male Pintail, 2 Common Sandpipers and 1 wp Grey Plover.
Just in front of us a medium sized brown Dragonfly (with chestnut brown and dark black wedge/ bell shaped markings extending up from the abdomen tip) flew and perched on the vegetation just in front of us and posed beautifully for the cameras. We initially thought (due to the time of year) it was 4- spot Chaser but Richard texted me later saying he thought they were Scarce Chasers and indeed they were. These were out at least 2 weeks early! Another female Scarce Chaser was seen further back in the vegetation also. We also saw the larvae/ caterpiller of a Drinker moth too. walking back, I heard the distinctive 5 note call of an excellent Whimbrel, fling left/ east over castle Marshes. Whilst on the path ahead a Green dragonfly flew off the path and down to a dyke, surely an Emerald? Also seen here was the Hornet Moth.
Walking back through the wood, a Garden Warbler sang and showed briefly and we also heard Willow Warbler singing plus we saw a Hairy Hawker and another 2 female Scarce Chasers!
Finally at Barnby by the houses near Barnby Swan, I notched up my first sighting of Swift this year, 2 Swifts flying just above the roof tops chasing each other!