19th May 2014 – Birds & Butterflies

Morning only tour today, from Burnham Overy to Holkham. Another beautifully hot and sunny day, a pleasure to be out.

The Spoonbills performed very well, with birds flying over, perched out in the harbour, and loafing around the trees and pools, and a Bittern boomed from the reedbed. One Common Sandpiper flushed from one of the pools in the grazing marsh and later a second flew west over the seawall. A pair of Mediterranean Gulls, one an adult with white ting tips and one a 2nd summer still with black markings, circled over calling.

The dunes themselves were fairly quiet for birds, although at least three Willow Warblers in the bushes on the way out to Gun Hill were most likely migrants. Out at the Little Tern colony, there was lots of activity – with birds flying back and forth, and sitting around on the beach. Several Ringed Plovers were doing their best to hide among the stones on the beach, and a small group of Sanderling had been pushed up by the tide, a mixture of grey winter-plumaged and much darker summer-plumaged birds. However, there were lots of butterflies (and moths), with several Common Blues now out, as well as the usual Brown Argus, Small Coppers, Small Heaths, Cinnabar Moths and other regular species. All too quickly we ran out of time and had to get back.

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After such a hot day today, it felt like it might be worth looking for Nightjars this evening. At least three churring males, and great, close flight views. Also, several roding Woodcock. Feels like summer is really here!

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