Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Benacre migrants but no Wryneck
Tuesday 14th April this evening was really sunny travelling back from work, I saw a Buzzard fly up from some trees by the farm building just west of the A12 by the Hopton roundabout. I had also seen a male Sparrowhawk fly west over the solar farm at the back of the JPUH Hospital at 8.55am this morning. Immediately after work, I was keen to twitch the Wryneck which had been seen in the donkey paddock (which had been seen by all who'd been down, would my unlucky streak end this evening??), so I went straight there. It was a hard slog down the long road to Benacre Beach farm and sadly there was no sign of the Wryneck, so my Spring dipping sequence continues. The only birds in the paddock were Pied Wagtail, male Chaffinch & Robin. However, I decided to check the Pit to see if the Wryneck was there and hopefully also bump into Rouzels or Wheatear. On the stoney ground just north of the Pit a fine male Wheatear perched on the bank by the path face on, and its creamy white belly really stood out like a pale beacon in the evening sunshine. As I was walking up to it, the Wheatear stayed quite content to stay there, until the camera came out and inevitably it then flew over the path.I also saw a female White Wagtail just in front of that it showed quite well in front of me. It walked across from right to left feeding and was a hive of activity. Abuptly, as I turned around to walk back and facing west, I saw a small falcon, dashing low over the ground, like a mini Peregrine with grey back short grey tail with black basal tip, Mistle Thrush sized, with a dumpy belly and pointed grey wings appearing darker at the tip, I watched for around 30 seconds it was a fine male Merlin, it flew right around the Common and then eventually disappeared behind some bushes behind the Pits. Only my third Merlin ever seen in Suffolk (the others were one seen flying in off the sea at Lowestoft harbour and one dashing over the reed bed just west of the west hide at Minsmere), but I have seen many Merlins on Scilly and several in Norfolk too.