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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Mist & Fog equals few birds!

After the fog had slightly dispersed early afternoon today, I arrived at Lound and I didn't see any of Dickens' Bitterns today (I could prevaricate by stating I was thinking of Shakespeare's "A Winter's tale" but that would be untrue, thanks Paul for the correction, what was I thinking!!?), seeing Jane & Paul they had seen one showing just to the west of the causeway, but it had disappeared into the reeds by the time I arrived. A very poor show at Benacre (Bramblings honourably excepted) revealed 10 Chaffinches, and both male and female Reed Bunting by the maize (?) strip just past the bends and a Marsh Tit by the farm track. Best of all were 2 superb Bramblings perched in the bushes amongst 15 Chaffinches and a pair of Reed Buntings, bordering the southern edge of the Churchyard along the western edge, one a female and a smart winter male who perched in the middle of the bush for several minutes. He had a dark tipped yellow bill, grey and black notched head and nape, a rich orange on the breast and a white rump that showed well in flight when it eventually flew to the adjacent field to the west. Down at Benacre Broad, it was misty, but you could just about see to the back of the Broad, little seen, save for 2 male and 9 female Goldeneye and certainly none of the hoped for Beans seen. Walking back, it was somewhat disconcerting to see a dead Piglet slung on the sludge heap, whilst 4 Linnets were seen feeding on the clifftop path ahead. A walk down to Covehithe Broad, revealed in places at least 2 metres of the edge of the cliff and path had fallen into the sea since last autumn when I had been watching last November's Richard's Pipit, some parts where it had been feeding have now gone into the sea). Looking seawards there was nothing going past or even sat on the sea but the northern edge of the Broad, revealed a hunting female Marsh Harrier, 20 Tufted Duck and 2 Pochard. A check of some 60 Greylags on the fields on the way back did not reveal any of the hoped for Beans either. I didn't have the heart to call in at Sotterley later for my 29th consecutive dip there of Hawfinch, that will have to wait for another day!


Paul Woolnough said...

Blow the wind Sotterley
goes the words of the old song

I go to Sotterley and get buzzard and nuthatch on my year list for Suffolk as expected and see my first redwings of 2013 anywhere(!).

The lodge end of the dell is the best spot (if best is the word) for hawfinch these days. If birds (only one in 2013??) ain't there or hiding in the canopy you dip!

Notes checked.

For only the second time in the last seven calender years (2007 to 2013) I see hawfinch at Sotterley.

Record 10 sightings about 27 visits
(Was 8 in 16 or 50% in 2006!)

Peter Ransome said...

Well done on seeing the hawfinch, Paul. They are my big bogey bird at Sotterley having only seen a single bird in the Dell there a long time ago, despite many visits. I have seen Hawfinches at Waveney Forest- early 1980's, but seen everytime at Lynford Arboretum in Norfolk, I also saw a photogenic bird found by Peter C at Ormesby St Michael a few years ago.