I heard a Kingfishers shriek shrill the other day. As far as I could make out it came from a bush. The bush was over a small pool of water so I searched the complexity of branches and eventually found a female sat tight in among ‘a cage’ of branches. Trying to get a photo was one of those occasions when you have to almost bend light to get a clear view. Always lovely to see and what a splash of colour on a dull day.
There are two things when watching wildlife that always run true.
Firstly, the longer you stay in one place the more you will see and secondly, when searching for one thing you almost invariably find something else of interest; and so it was the other week.
We walked up a nettle covered track aside the River Nar to listen to a rendition erupting from a patch of phragmites. Nightingale, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Curlew were just some of the compendium voiced by the songster we went to see. Marsh Warblers are excellent mimics and this bird was no exception. Always tantalisingly just hidden from view we had to wait quite some time for it to show well; which it eventually did. However it was something else that stole the show.
Swinging in high above us was an avian delight. Here was a bird you don’t see all that often in Norfolk … for the time being anyway. The pale raptor hovering over the adjacent lake was an Osprey. Bearing a dark necklace it was a female. Again and again she returned to try her hand at fishing and on her third visit she managed to catch a fish. Her subsequent absence was our cue to move on.
Out across the marsh flew a wheeling flock of finches. I could see Goldfinch among them … and Linnet. By far the majority however were Twite. We estimated maybe 90 to 110 of these beautiful uplanders. It looks like Twite at last have had a good year as flocks on the coast are beginning to gain in number and size. I guess they could be from the Pennines (or maybe even Wales). At least one in the flock bore colour rings so we should be able to find out eventually.
As we drew up to a pair of Cranes last week they stopped feeding and looked at us. I stopped the engine and waited. They continued to feed. It doesn’t matter how much expose to humans they have these birds remain wary. I started the engine again and pulled away so we could park behind some bushes where we quietly got out of the car.
As we set up the scope to take a closer look, in the far distance I could hear something. It was so far away I couldn’t make out what it was … the Cranes could though. It was obviously more Cranes calling. They responded in unison before eventually taking flight to join them.