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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Carlton Marshes poor weather but good variety of birds

On Wednesday May 3rd a dull and cloudy evening, a trip to Carlton Marshes yielded instant dividends when the excellent Little Owl was perched on top of the old dilapidated building opposite the SWT centre. I stopped the car by the barrier crept out and took a few pics of this great little bird and my first sighting of this species this year. Walking to the south side of the scrape, several Sedge warblers were heard singing and 1 seen. On the scrape itself, a bright female Yellow Wagtail and a duller one, which called and flew over the eastern field where the cattle were. Later on 1 Yellow Wagtail seen by the close edge of the scrape. Also 2 fine White Wagtails were seen on the left side of the scrape too. One Wood Sandpiper also fed along the close edge of the water walking right. A Little Ringed Plover was also seen on the mid scrape with 1 very fine full summer plumaged Bar- tailed Godwit. Brick red plumage contrasting with its silvery wings. Whilst at the back left of the scrape a resplendent male Garganey shuffled off an island and swam right but promptly disappeared. Scanning right on the grassy area I saw an old Rabbit feeding on the far western side of the scrape. Bumping into the power walker chap he said he'd seen a large Owl flying along the mound walk bordering the river skirting pets Marsh and sure enough scanning, I saw the fine Short- eared Owl flying above and below the mound line. I heard a calling Whitethroat by a bush and briefly saw a movement here. Scanning the Scrape from the northern side, I could see 2 Ringed Plovers and had a brief glimpse of a full summer plumaged Spotted Redshank that promptly hid in the grass. Walking back to the car park, I saw a Barn Owl perched on a horizontal branch by the trees along the walk, it then flew across the field. My third Owl species of the evening. 1 heard and saw a Whitethroat calling and singing briefly by the bushes bordering the car park. Around 4 Grasshopper warblers heard too. A fine trip with murky weather but the birds showed quite well.

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