Tuesday 24th April
Well this evening was one of those summer-feel evenings...still, bright and warm, and as a very good friend of mine was busy getting wet with a jet-spray I figured a few hours on the patch would be a suitable distraction. Surely by now there's be stuff dropping in??? Umm, yeah... there was. Read on.
The other day I'd had a Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the Snipe Fields and so figured I'd drive that way to my usual parking spot near the black and yellow gate and see if it was still there and if any more had arrive. It wasn't. All quiet on the Snipe Fields save for a Common Whitethroat... and 18 Sand Martins over Triangle Field... a sign at least that things were slowly getting to the patch. Parked up and sauntered back towards the little wooden bridge by the White House. This was nice...lovely golden glow over everything... and then I heard it... a whitethroaty-esque short scratchy warble...only this sounded more like a whitethroaty-esque buzzy Sand Martin. Hmmm. Odd. Well, the bird was on one of the wires buzzing away and it looked kinda Whitethroat, but it was silhoutted and sounded wierd. Eventually though, the song changed...transformed bit by bit into the classic Whitethroat short scratchy warbler. A new arrival it would seem, simply needing to warm it's little syrinx up. Aaaw...bless.
Well that was kinda cool, but not half as cool as the CUCKOO that piped up...somewhere at the back of the 3rd Snipe Field. Happy days. Well, a Grasshopper Warbler started up on the Phrag Field too and a few more Sand Martins went over and so I figured I'd take a stroll to Norton Marsh.Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch...Lapwings on the WH Big Field. Nice stuff. Plan was to hit the hide and maybe sit awhile, listen out for Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel. That was to change. Why? Because there, floating over the far side of Tree Sparrow Field was a Short-eared Owl in the sunlight. Bloody marvellous... and what's that I hear? Sedge Warbler chunnering away. Cool beans :) So, txt up a couple of fellow patchers (Gary and Mully) to share the good news and watched as the owl flipped over the north hedge into Long Field and so I decided to follow. No cattle in there today, but f**k me it was wet! My poor old red Converse got drenched...however...there again was the owl... perched on a hummock. Great views...and then...AN THEYNNNN... another! In the air over the field...and a fox... another Sedge Warbler (still no Reed) and 2 Common Snipe.That's more like the patch I know and love. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.
Well I did catch two more views of the proverbial monkey-owls on Norton Marsh from the hide a little later and another Grasshopper Warbler... in Daisy Field... so they DO still like it there (see previous blog). Live and learn Mark. Live and learn.