Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Cantley to Strumpshaw

A long walk zig-zagging across Cantley to Strumpshaw was on the agenda today. Salinities of the ditches have to be taken for obvious reasons and today it was Cantley, Buckenham and Strumpshaw meadows' turn. It was a great chance for me to explore the heart of the reserves which, apart from the perimeter paths, I have never walked. Birds were fairly minimal with the highlights being 1 Buzzard, 5 Hobby's, a few bearded tits and a pretty impressive 124 Snipe in front of the new hide at Buckenham. The ditches over at Cantley are pretty impressive, very species rich and packed with water soldier. If I had more time I would have spent a bit longer looking at the dragonflies in the area, nothing great seen but good to see a nice mixture of species still flying in numbers, especially large numbers of Migrant Hawkers paired up and on territories.
A nice day to be out and about and I'll be feeling the long walk through rough grass in the morning!
PS the Willow Emeralds were finally seen again at Strumpshaw today, glad to know that others have seen them too.

I managed a fairly decent seawatch at Sherringham on bank holiday Monday. I arrived at 6am to find the shelter pretty much full, slightly surprising but the weather did look good!
My totals for the morning (06.00-10.00)
63 Great Skua
32 Arctic Skua
1/2 Storm Petrel (possibly the same bird twice)
2 Sooty Shearwater
2 Manx Shearwater
10+ Arctic Tern
Red Throated Diver 1
Fairly large movements of winter duck with Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and Common Scoter all in reasonable numbers

I saw one of the 'long tailed skuas' although was far from convinced it wasn't a slightly pale Arctic, shapewise I didn't think it fitted LTS, so not on my list for the day. A good start to the seawatch season though, especially the Stormie, showed quite well considering the swell too and a pretty good Norfolk bird, just my second sighting in the county.

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