Contrary to my last post highlighting the quiet birds around the village a trip to the Great Melton reservoir proved that some of our songsters are still in good voice. Perhaps the micro climate around the lake with its shady poplar plantation makes a difference but my last visit was positively noisy with families of moorhens calling as they crossed the water and paths. Wrens and Robins were battling it out vocally. It is a perfect place to sit and watch but still no sign of the local kingfisher.
Nearby elusive nuthatches were calling but again no sightings however the first crop of local blackberries was some compensation. The hedgerows are starting to heave with early fruit and make a good excuse to get families out spending quality time outdoors. The RSPB advice is only pick fruit up to head height and there will be plenty left over for our wildlife.
I have visited the Brecks a couple of times this week with visits to Brandon Country Park and Easy Wretham. Both have great birding. Brandon is one of the best places I have found to catch up with Woodlarks and Tree Pipits and the carpark at the visitors centre was full of calling nuthatches again they were invisible in the tops of the trees. Last year not to far from Brandon there was a long staying Short toed eagle which caused a stir in the birding community. I had several eagle sightings whilst at Brandon and I see no reason to suppress these particular sightings, as was the case last year. Plenty of close up views as per the photo below.
One of Brandon’s ‘Eagles‘ courtesy of the US Air Force
East Wretham was somewhat quieter than Brandon but held a variety of birds with families of green woodpeckers putting on a good show and redstarts calling but remaining hidden. The mere was full of wildfowl but no visiting waders just the resident lapwings.
An evening trip to Cantley rounds off my birding away from home this week and I had hoped to pick up maybe a Green or Wood sandpiper that I had failed to see at Titchwell at the beginning of the week as well as take a look at the host of swallows that are likely to be building before they begin their migration. On both counts I was to be disappointed with very few swallows present (unsure if numbers are down or if I picked a bad day maybe too late in the season?) A common sandpiper was my prize for walking through the industrial landscape that surrounds the sugar beet factory. In the surrounding Broadland fields a hunting barn owl added a perfect finish to the day.