Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Three Marshes in three days
Mon 18 April early evening at Oulton Marshes it was immediately apparent that trees have been cut down by the side of the entrance hill and bordering the path leading south immediately left at the bottom of the hill. The evening was a really dull overcast one and a Male Blackcap seen but a tree by the dyke plus Willow Warbler & 3 Sedge Warbler all heard, one really close Barn Owl flying around the perimeter of N&S Rede Marsh was a delight, but a pity I didn't have the camera. A Mute Swan on the nest by the overflow marsh, by the river plus a distant Grasshopper Warbler heard , whilst 2 Sand Martin flying distantly in the sky looking south and male Stonechat on vegetation bordering a dyke on the "SE Owl fields". On Tues 19th April early evening at Carlton Marshes, a Sedge Warbler heard, up 7 Grasshopper Warblers heard some very close to the path, but typically not seen. On the scrape, I briefly saw Rob & Erin & also 2 elongated, Little Ringed Plovers with yellow eye-ring and pale legs and no white wing bar noted whilst flying, a lone Greenshank was feeding on the far side, When I walked over to the far side the Greenshank was a little closer but 2 flying Grey Herons put it to flight and spooked it over to the middle of the marsh. Redshank seen too & 5 summer plumaged Black- tailed Godwits (tall waders with orange- based bills, longer tibia, barred on the breast, the orange on the underparts disappearing on the mid breast, also had long straight bills) seen too by the northern edge of the scrape, whilst 4 Swallow flew overhead and a Little Egret fished in a nearby pool. 3 Chinese Water Deers and 11 Linnet who flew onto the overhead wires, 2 Willow Warblers were hopping around each other & seen in the bushes by Wed 20th May driving home from work by Barn Owl Lodge on the A12 I saw my first Swallow of the year perched on overhead wires. Early evening parking at North Cove staithe, by the woods a male Blackcap seen in bare bush briefly and along the bank I spotted Paul & Jane on the marsh. The fine summer plumaged Great White Egret was seen fishing in a dyke the walking left and the right. A larger bird than Little Egret, it had fine long white back scapular feathers hanging down its back was a real treat to see. It typically showed its long kinked neck as it walked around in full view hunting on the marsh for food. As it was in summer plumage the bill was black and it showed pinky legs. It was a reasonable distance from us and could easily disappear into a ditch for a few minutes or so with barely its head or upper neck visible. Finally it flew strongly north and settled in trees probably not far from Carlton Marshes. On the walk back one Sedge Warbler showed well briefly as it sang in reeds by the path, another 2 Grasshopper Warblers heard but again not seen. We also saw 2 Chinese Water Deer and a Hare all running together in a field and near the cross section paths looking north along the path, a Hare ran out and briefly paused on the path before disappearing into the woods. Another great evening out!