Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 18 July 2016

Hottest day of year so far (Waders on the move).

Before the predicted heat of the day I decided to take Toby for an early morning in the relative cool.  I drove out to Little Cressingham to check the Watton Brook valley for early signs of migrants.  A mist hung over the valley, however, the rising sun quickly burnt this off.
Arriving at 0500 close to 'The Arms' I walked along the Great Cressingham Road to Watton Brook where I was greeted by two singing Whitethroats, presumably these birds are now tending second broods.  Also seen was a pair of Yellowhammers, the female was carrying nesting material.
It is at this time of year when I am conscious of passage wader species and with low levels of water in the Brook, any exposed patch of mud could attract a Green Sandpiper.
Walking back towards my start point at 0550 and with temperatures already rising, two Greenshanks passed overhead giving their highly distinctive "tyew-tyew-tyew" flight call, a wonderful call of a cracking wader species.  

Every year I like to take my wife Pam to Wells where we act tourist like for a while before I leave her on the shove-halfpenny machines to walk along the harbour and its channels.  We arrived at 1030 with temperatures at 29 degrees Celsius and rising.
Wells-next-the-Sea 18/07/16. The distant trees is East Hills, a migrant trap only accessible at low tide. 
A very hot walk along the coast road this morning with few birds seen.  Black-headed and Herring Gulls were loafing on exposed sandbars along with Redshank and Oystercatcher, and along the channel pictured here a couple of Little Egrets stealthily hunted for prey in the shallows.
A single Reed Warbler was heard singing and a few House Sparrows frequented Sea Blite (Sueda) close to the town.
The most abundant species over the town was several screaming parties of Swifts, a quintessential sight and sound in summer over this beautiful North Norfolk town.
The drive home saw temperatures of 29 degrees with a promise tomorrow of 32, 33, or possibly 34 degrees Celsius.

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