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Saturday, 3 May 2014

Great White Egret at Carlton Marshes

An early morning tweet and up with the Lark, or rather the Yellow Wagtail, as no sooner had I set foot outside at 7.10am, when the familiar "sheeep" call of a Yellow wagtail and I saw a Yellow Wagtail flying low over the drive and north. At Carlton Marshes, Cuckoo was heard on the walk up and the fine Great White Egret was seen near the back of the scrape. I joined Carl B, a rarely seen James B actually staying around, Paul & Jane. We are very grateful to Jane for the free breakfast bars. We saw a Cuckoo flying left and then later a Hobby flew left and over Peto's Marsh. The GW Egret was wandering around the margins of the water and hunting with its long yellow bill. A view from the Ridge then led to a walk around to the other side revealed the bird a little closer. It would occasionally fly a short distance barely 10 yards then again walk along the edge of the water course hunting for food. Occasionally the GW Egret was stabbing the water feeding on various prey items. On the walk back, several c5 singing Sedge Warblers were seen. On the drive over Mutford Lock Bridge at Oulton Broad, I could see the regular immature Shag standing on the end of the jetty. Next stop Breydon Water and looking from the south wall, Paul Jane & I saw up to 5 Whimbrel amongst the Curlews and Avocet. A walk to Burgh Castle revealed from the view point up to 16 Whimbrels with around 8 Curlew resting on the stones plus 3 Spotted Redshank, 1 in fsp and the other 2 in partial summer plumage, up to 3 Greenshank were seen too. Suddenly Paul said what this? flying over Burgh Castle it was a fine Spoonbill flying north it then dropped and eluded us until I saw it flying over the trees in the distance and appeared to drop down by the RSPB Strumpshaw Fen/ Buckenham Marshes area. Meanwhile I checked in the garden and was delighted to see the tell tale shots, leaves of 2 Southern Marsh Orchids had broken the surface and hopefully ready for flower in June.

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