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Monday, 27 May 2013

Male Red- footed Falcon at Lakenheath & other Brecks Goodies

Sunday 26th May, I picked up John H & we drove to Lakenheath arriving there a creditable hour and a half later. Sadly, on the journey there road, the roads were littered with several Fox & Muntjac Deer carcasses (4 of each) but I was fortunate to see a live Roe Deer near the first Thetford wood. The car park at Lakenheath was absolutely bursting and we just managed to squeeze in and ambled down the track joining the crowds overlooking New Fen, where incredibly the male Red- footed Falcon was hawking for insects right over out heads! A really smart bird with a dark smokey- grey plumage with the vent and legs coverts a wonderful russet- brown. It was flying low over the patch of reeds bordering the path. It was flying up and down and flying up in the air, obviously catching insects and was later was joined by up to 3 Hobbies flying over the Mere. A calling Cuckoo revealed one flying left. A male Marsh Harrier also quartered the reeds. walking back another Cuckoo flew left. At Weeting Heath from the west hide 2 Stone Curlew seen both were initially standing with the closer bird moving and then settling down. Whilst just outside first one Spotted Flycatcher seen by the trunk of ivy clad tree close to the path, it flew in whilst further away another bird flew high up into the trees. These are my first sightings of this species for this year, yet another species which has declined rapidly in recent years. A walk at the reserve over the road revealed several calling Willow Warblers one calling from the top of a bush just by the path and then on the edge of a wood, we heard a delightful Tree Pipit singing, we then saw it it perched high in a deduduous not Pine tree and then another 2 Tree Pipits seen and heard later on. At East Wretham Heath, walking to a wood by a clearing just past a hide and looking across at a dead tree stump we heard the male Redstart singing and John picked it out perched near the top of a large bush (just left of the stump) before flew over to the tree stump, a resplendent male bird. It was seen a couple of times after this also. No luck at Beighton and we failed to see or hear any purring Turtle Doves, sadly.

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