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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Wood Warbler at Sutton Who?

An early morning trip today to Westleton Heath wasn't very successful, 2 Shelducks stood on the grass just the other side of the car park and were photogenic. Later I saw 3 Shelduck on the heath. Also by the car park, I saw a Dartford Warbler (a good start though) dart into a nearby bush, it never came out! No sign or sound of any hoped for Wood Larks, a Cuckoo called and walking over the road, I saw 2 further Dartford warbler, one after the other fly out of nearby heather into a gorse bush nearby. I spied from the Lesser kestrel look out point, the fields revealing around 40 Red Deer, little else. About 7 of Small Heath butterflies seen and 5 Small Copper butterflies but they all eluded the camera. I could have spent more time on the Heath, but the lure of a photogenic Wood Warbler down south was getting stronger! I couldn't resist the temptation of the Wood Warbler at Sutton Heath woods any longer and I drove down to Sutton Heath car park on the same road as Sutton Hoo, (sorry couldn't resist the Sutton Who/ Hoo pun for the title of this blog entry!)just half a mile further down and parking on the left. What a fabulous place Sutton Heath is! The habitat looks absolutely perfect for both heathland and woodland species. Just on the edge of the car park were 2 Yellow Wagtails, a close female and more distant and wary male. Walking down the track, I saw Tony B, and we also saw a male Yellow Wagtail on the grass here too. Tony said I had to walk down the track some 300 yards to an obvious crossroads/ paths and then take the path to the right for a further 300 yards then take the second track left into the wood and follow the trilling song on the Wood warbler. I did just that following another birdeer walking in and I could clearly hear the trilling and the "peuu peuu peuu peuu" of the excellent Wood Warbler from the main path. It sang constantly during the 90 minutes of observation. It favoured an area near a large Oak and would fly into it regularly and into the vegetation and branches of trees nearby. It initially showed well at lower level but as the sun got stronger and higher it favoured the tree tops more. It would trill perched on a branch/ foliage but also it would trill in mid air as it hopped and flew to its next perch. The Wood Warbler was seen to catch a fly/gnat and promptly devour it. The bird was at times confiding, flying to nearby perched and even flying directly overhead and perched in overhead branches too. It also had a silver ring on it's right leg. When a Sparrowhawk flew over the wood, it spooked 2 rattling Mistle Thrushes flying overhead.

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