Wednesday 3 June 2009

Bank holiday. Three days of birds. Day 3

As it turned out, having no breakfast at the B&B in Brandon was fortuitous because I'm an early riser and I was able to get to Weeting Heath by 05.50! I know!...., but it was only a few minutes away by car and I wasn't quite the first one there. Someone else had gone to the other hide!

I set up very gingerly and only then opened the flap. Very soon I saw three stone curlews quite a long way off but very active. Magnificent. They are such striking birds with their huge looking eyes. I took many photos from a distance. Heat haze was not a problem at that time of day and visibility was excellent. The birds were quite along way away though.
Stone curlew, Weeting Heath.
At one point a lapwing started to mob one of the curlews. It reacted by fanning its tail and opening its wings. Lovely. Here's the sequence:

In the woods by the car park I saw and heard a willow tit.

I went back to Lakenheath where I saw the common cranes and their chicks but only from a great distance. They were unmistakable. I also got a few more pics of the orioles but not better than the day before.

I went on to to Titchwell. I saw nothing new but I did take some lovely views of some turnstones on the beach.

Turnstone, Titchwell Beach.

I was now on 188, one behind David. I knew that a squacco heron had been seen at Wicken Fen. I had seen a great grey shrike there last year so I knew the reserve. I started driving home and made a slight detour to Wicken. It was early evening. Would it still be there? Would it be a long way in? Wicken Fen is quite a large place. I met someone in the carpark who told me where it was. Still there! He said it was very close to the hide so I decided to take my small lens. I raced to the spot. One returning birdwatcher said: "You should have been here ten minutes ago", and shook his head!! He was only joking. This bird was a lifer and brought me level with David. Sent him a text to grip him off. Notice how small the squacco heron is compared to the coot behind.

Squacco heron, Wicken Fen.

On the M25 I got blocked in the services when the motorway was closed for an hour and a half because some cattle escaped from a lorry which had overturned.

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