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Monday, 3 July 2017

Sightings at Sculthorpe Moor (1st July 2017)

Although not a great day for bird sightings, Sculthorpe Moor did produce a range of butterfly species across the reserve. The following was seen throughout the day:

Red Admiral
Comma
Small Tortoiseshell
Small Skipper
Small White
Large White
Ringlet
Meadow Brown 

A single White Admiral had also been seen close to the Woodland Hide, but despite our best efforts we were unable to find it. 

However, my 4 year-old-son was really excited to see a Stoat for the very first time. It was running towards us on the boardwalk, close to the Water Vole Bridge, before disappearing into the undergrowth.

It did appear to have at least 2-3 young close-by, considering the sounds emanating from the bushes, but there was no clear sighting.

The following was seen since 8.00am:
Reed Warbler x 8
Bullfinch x 6
Chaffinch x 8
Swift x 2
Swallow x 1
Sand Martin x 4
Nuthatch x 1 - It was seen using the feeders close to the entrance of the reserve.
Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1 - Seen feeding on the ground directly opposite the Woodland Hide.
Wren x 3
Buzzard x 1
Reed Bunting x 7
Pied Wagtail x 1
Goldfinch x 1
Kingfisher x 1
Kestrel x 1
Jay x 1 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Sightings at Cley Marshes (25th June 2017)

After a prolonged absence I finally returned to Cley Marshes on the Sunday. The weather was considerably more comfortable than it had been in recent weeks, with temperatures staying constant at around 20°C.

The following was seen throughout the morning since 9.00am:
Kestrel x 1 - Hovering alongside the Coast Road when we arrived.
Little Egret x 5
Spoonbill x 1 - Seen at a distance, from the East Bank, flying across Pat's Pool.
Sandwich Tern x 41 - All seen directly opposite Richardson's Lookout on Arnold's Marsh.
Common Tern x 9 - They were seen at the same location on Arnold's Marsh.
Oystercatcher x 11
Avocet x 19
Reed Warbler x 1
Grey Heron x 1
Skylark x 2 - They were seen not far from the Beach Car park, alongside the coastal path.
Sedge Warbler x 1

Also seen along the East Bank were large numbers of Cinnabar caterpillars.

Cinnabar Caterpillars (East Bank)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Sightings at Sculthorpe Moor (10th June 2017)

Another humid and uncomfortable day at Sculthorpe Moor, with temperatures rising to around 22°C. Despite the warm weather, only a limited number of species were seen throughout the day.

The following was seen on the reserve from around 8.00am:
Marsh Tit x 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker x 4 - This included a juvenile seen on the southern edge of oak fen.
Bullfinch x 4
Reed Bunting x 5
Sedge Warbler x 2
Reed Warbler x 2
Kestrel x 1 - A single bird seen hovering at the back of the scrape.
Chaffinch x 5
Little Grebe x 2
Buzzard x 4
Nuthatch x 1
Swallow x 1

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Sightings at Sculthorpe Moor (28th May 2017)

It continued to be yet another exceedingly hot day, with temperatures easily rising above 20°C. The cloud cover in the morning helped to temporarily avert the worst of the heat until the afternoon, but high humidity made walking around the reserve particularly uncomfortable.

Throughout the morning it was pleasing to see the female Marsh Harrier continually patrolling the scrape and reed beds. At one point see appeared to have caught a small bird, possibly a warbler, and she would occasionally dive into the reeds just in front of the tower hide.

The following was seen since 8.00am:
Nuthatch x 2
Cuckoo x 1 - At least one was heard throughout the morning, then seen briefly near the River Viewing Platform.
Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1
Marsh Harrier x 1 - As previously mentioned, the single female was seen patrolling the scrape throughout the morning.
Buzzard x 2
Linnet x 2 - A pair were seen briefly, on the ground, alongside Victor's Hide.
Lapwing x 2
Sand Martin x 6
Swallow x 1
Blackcap x 1
Reed Warbler x 4
Sedge Warbler x 1
Reed Bunting x 6
Sparrowhawk x 1
Bullfinch x 3
Chaffinch x 8
Jay x 2
Blue Tit x 3
Blackbird x 3
Dunnock x 2
Great Tit x 2
Treecreeper x 1 - It was seen at the bottom of the ramp leading up to the Tower Hide.
Song Thrush x 1
Little Grebe x 1
Kestrel x 1
Greenfinch x 3

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sightings at Sparham Pools (21st May 2017)

I arrived at 8.00am to find that the weather was surprisingly warm and with such a little amount of cloud cover the temperatures remained constant at around 17-18°C.

It was well worth the visit because at 8.30am I had an excellent view of a pair of Cuckoo who continued to call to one another as they flew across the water and then headed in a westerly direction, towards Lyng. They continued to call throughout the morning but this was my only sighting. 

However, the best was yet to come because at around 8.40am, I witnessed a pair of Cranes as they flew across the field on the northern edge of the reserve. The pair continued to call quite loudly as they too flew in a westward direction, towards the River Wensum.

The following were seen between 8.00am and 10.30am:
Blackbird x 5
Long-tailed Tit x 3
Blue Tit x 6
Canada Goose x 3
Tufted Duck x 3
Black-headed Gull x 93 - Similar numbers to those that were counted during the previous WeBS count on the 14th May.
Coot x 9
Great Crested Grebe x 3
Cuckoo x 2 - As mentioned previously, a pair were seen calling to one another then headed west.
Common Tern x 2 - The pair remained on the island, alongside the gulls, throughout most of the morning.
Reed Warbler x 2 - Several were heard throughout the morning, with several Sedge Warblers, but these were the only the pair that were seen.
Crane x 2 - They were calling loudly as they flew across the field on the northern edge of the reserve.
Kestrel x 1
Cormorant x 1
Mute Swan x 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1
Great Tit x 2
Mallard x 3
Swift x 7

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Sightings at Sculthorpe Moor (13th May 2017)

It was another quiet afternoon at Sculthorpe Moor, after I began my warden duties at around 1.00pm. The weather was very changeable, but temperatures eventually reached 16°C-17°C.

There was plenty of Sand Martin activity over the scrape throughout the afternoon and there were further reports of them using the artificial sand bank by Victor's Hide.

Bullfinch x 2
Blackcap x 1 - A single male seen close to the Frank Jarvis hide.
Greenfinch x 3
Jay x 1
Reed Bunting x 2
Sedge Warbler x 1
Tufted Duck x 2 - A pair were seen opposite Whitley Hide, at the end of the channel of water.
Swallow x 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1 - A single female seen on the southern edge of Oak Fen, near the feeders.
Sand Martin x 8 - As mentioned before, they were seen continually flying above the scrape.
Canada Goose x 2
Nuthatch x 1
Little Grebe x 3
Little Egret x 2 - The pair were seen together as they flew over the scrape in a westerly direction.
Marsh Tit x 1

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Sightings at Sculthorpe Moor (7th May 2017)

The weather continued to be cold and drizzly throughout the day. Therefore, it was unsurprising that the temperatures never exceeded 10°C, and this ultimately had an impact on the wildlife we managed to see.

On a more positive note it was excellent to see at least two Sand Martins entering the artificial nesting chambers, next to Victor's Hide. It was especially surprising since the Sand Martin Bank was only completed in the last three weeks and there was little expectation that it would be visited so soon.

Anyway, the following was seen since our arrival at 9.30am:

Little Grebe x 2 
Canada Goose x 3
Bullfinch x 3
Grey Heron x 1
Kingfisher x 1 - It was seen hovering in front of Whitley Hide for nearly a minute. It then headed towards the scrape.
Marsh Harrier x 1 - A single female gliding low over the reed bed in front of the Whitey Hide.
Reed Bunting x 3
Sedge Warbler x 1
Swallow x 1 - It was gliding over the surface of the water outside Victor's Hide, possibly drinking.
Nuthatch x 3
Whitethroat x 1 - It was seen just beyond the gate to private land, halfway down the track from the Visitor Centre.
Buzzard x 1
Green Woodpecker x 1 - It was heard calling to begin with, followed by a clear sighting between the feeders and Water Vole bridge. 
Sand Martin x 2 - The pair were seen flying above Peter Johnson's hide.

Also seen once again was the Water Vole at the Dyke Viewing Platform. It seemed to be unconcerned by our presence and continued to feed for several minutes. 

The following was a short video I managed to capture at the time: