The weekend gone really felt like Spring, after some torrid weather the sun shone and temperatures finally rose. On the 30th I embarked on a walk that took in Claxton Marshes, the track to the Beauchamp Arms and back home along the Langley road. Hirundines were hawking in some numbers now, and my first Whitethroats (5) of the year were recorded. A single Lesser Whitethroat rattled from a hedge bordering a grazing meadow, a welcome return to the patch list after absence last year. Sedge Warbler sang from quite literally every bush anywhere near a dyke or reedbed and allowed smashing views.
That evening, Debs and I did the circuit at Church Marsh. I was lucky to observe a single Grasshopper Warbler reeling, and at least 2 Bearded Tit were hanging on and hopefully will breed successfully.
May 1st heralded the return of the Swifts, and in our new location we now have at least 2 pairs hunting for insects over the houses, often watched from the window. This is always such a highlight for me and that screech reminds me of long, hot summer days.
On the 2nd, I chanced Langley marshes in the hope of a Wagtail or Wader amongst the cattle. I was thrilled to observe 7 Whimbrel feeding in the grassy tufts of said cattle field, my third record of a group on the patch but a new record in terms of number: 2,2 and now 7 the high. I watched them for a while until they flew north towards Cantley marshes.
After some late night Owling earlier in the week (Barn, Little and Tawny heard) we continued the nocturnal theme with a few drinks at Coldham Hall followed by a walk along the marsh at dusk. This was a great call, for we had booming Bittern, singing Gropper and another new for the year, a Cuckoo.
The weekend looks promising, and I hope to see a good turn out for the South Yare Wildlife Group walk at Church Marsh, bright and early at 5.30am on Sunday. I can't promise a Red-footed Falcon, but I can guarantee a good breakfast at The Ferry Inn afterwards!