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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Winterton Woodchat

On the evening of Wednesday 30 May, I saw a medium sized Common Frog by the bean patch in the garden and Jenny had seen a large Frog in the wildlife pond on the same day. We caught the former and released it by the pond. By Thursday night 31 May, he, the Common Frog, was back by the bean patch! Leaving the Woodchat til mid- afternoon on Saturday 2nd June, following a trip to Beccles. I walked along the North Dunes at Winterton Dunes to the fence 3/4 mile north, no sign of it there but there were people in the distance gathered together watching something, always a good sign. I walked over to them and we looking onto the Dunes and we could see the bird which looked like an excellent first summer female Woodchat Shrike perched on top of a very distant bush. The brown back and paler crown indicating it's a 1st summer female, ie 1 year old bird. Walking nearer I traversed around some of the now fenced off Toad Pools, where lino had been put down, but only 1 pool held water. I and 2 others, walked around one fenced off area and the bird was perched in a bush not too far away. I managed to get slightly closer to the bird which remained perched in a bush and I sat down and watched it suddenly waken from its slumbers when the sun came up, it hopped up to the top of the bush and after a few minutes flew down caught a beetle and flew back to the bush. The bird then flew over to the fencing around one of the toad pools, where she promptly flew down caught another beetle and ate that too. I later saw Norwich Pete who enjoyed watching the bird and I retraced my steps looked in the toad pool with water and saw lots of tadpoles around the edge, were these tiny Natterjacks? Later on at Breydon Water south shore wall, I saw Paul & Jane and later a small flock of around 30 waders flew north over the water, most were Dunlin but 2 smaller birds looked interesting but not identifiable at that range. 3 Black- tailed Godwit in summer plumage probed the mud nearby were the only close birds seen.

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