Birding on a Bike Blog

 

A Long overdue update !

I really should try harder (a throw back to my school report days !) regarding blog posts! I have been out and about though when time allows, and a trip out to make a return visit to my local privately owned nature reserve, revealed the hoped for Little Owl perched in its seemingly favourite spot in the exposed roots at the base of an Oak tree.

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I continued my journey in the direction of Kings Lynn with Roydon Common in sights as my target. Arriving at the Common I headed out to the small pools in search of Dragon and Damselflies. No success as yet with my hoped for target species, but several approachable Keeled Skimmers more than made up for that, allowing me some nice views. Bird wise Woodlarks were still vocal, with one choosing to sing from a small raised hump some 20 yards in front of me, one of my favourite songsters and a sound I’ll never tire of !

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A pleasant Sunday morning.

This morning I decided to head south from the village and visit some areas that have been long overdue a trip. After exiting the village and heading on towards Castle Acre the first bird of note was a Marsh Harrier being harassed by corvids as it flew over the nearby fields.

My route took me down into West Acre where I crossed the River Nar and a fortuitous stop there revealed a singing Spotted Flycatcher in the barer branches of a nearby tree.

Spotted Flycatcher

Next stop was Narford Lake where the first birds noted were around fifty Mute Swans which were clearly non breeders. Several singing Reed Warblers were audible in the nearby reeds and a Cuckoo could be heard calling from the far bank. The ride back to join the main road produced a Red Kite over the nearby woodland edge and a singing Garden Warbler met me as I exited the site.

My ride back home took me back over the River Nar where Sedge Warbler was added to my day list and on arriving home I discovered I’d covered a total of 25 miles during my morning out.

A long mornings birding 

A circular route for me today visiting a small local reserve before heading onto Dersingham and finally the RSPB reserve at Snettisham, covering a total of 35 miles on bike and foot.

Grey Partridges and Tree Sparrows started the day with an adult Mediterranean Gull more of a surprise on a flooded field in the company of several Black-headed Gulls.

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Moving on towards the coast the next stop was  Dersingham though a short detour saw me adding my first Woodlark and a surprise in the form of a flyover calling Common Crossbill. Dersingham produced the expected range of species which included another Woodlark and several Stonechats. Less expected though was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler and a single skulking Tree Pipit was a pleasing and hoped for addition.

Arriving at Snettisham again the species were much as expected, though it always surprises me how long the Brent Geese wait before departing to their North-eastern breeding grounds, with around 600 birds still present.

Red Kite, Mediterranean Gull and Wheatear were all encountered, with breeding terns and gulls on the pits and distant waders noted on the low tide shoreline, with the Grey Plovers looking particularly smart even at a distance.

I finished the morning with a respectable 91 species, though this total did include two questionable Barnacle Geese at Snettisham!

 

A blowy local walk

I was met by a brisk, chilly northerly wind when stepping out this morning, so a route through the village and back through the neighbouring one, seemed a sensible move.

With birds largely keeping their heads down singing birds were a logical focus, with four species of Warbler heard during the walk, which included a single Lesser Whitethroat. Other noteworthy species heard included Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Goldcrest and Nuthatch. Single Red Kite and Kestrel were also seen.

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Several vocal Yellowhammers on the walk this morning