Saturday, 3 May 2014

Fowlmere and Lynford in Early Spring

17th April 2014

An early spring visit to Lakenheath although probably a little too early for some migrants and particularly one of their specialist birds, the Hobby. However, imagine our elation when as we stepped out of Stuart's new car as we were treated  to a flyover eagle. WOW!!! Well actually it was not of the Golden or White-tailed variety, but an F15 Eagle of the United States Air Force based at RAF Lakenheath just down the road. Following my career in air defence I must say it sent shivers up my spine.

As we walked up the river bank a Kestrel was working its way along, frequently hovering to try its luck. A bit further along what I assumed was the same bird was once again out over The Wash, but I thought I would check it out just in case. Just as well that I did as it was a Hobby, which turned out was the first record of the season for Lakenheath and possibly for Suffolk. Unfortunately, it was a fly-through and slightly too far away for a decent shot, but without this record shot it would not have been accepted!!

We then reached the bus shelter at New Fen when it soon became obvious that a pair of Marsh Harriers were building a nest in the middle of the reed bed. No opportunities there, but it was noticeable that they were collecting most of the nest material from the other side of the river and were commuting from one side to the other, So the obvious place to stand was on the river back so they would have to fly past to get to the nest. Unfortunately, at that time, only the female was on duty but still a magnificent bird.

As we were in the area we decided to finish off the day with a visit to Lynford Arboretum. The main attraction here at the moment is the Crossbills that are coming down to drink from a puddle in the yard. First up was a smart male Siskin which alighted quite close to where we were standing, but then a female Crossbill also came down for a drink. Unfortunately by this time the light was poor and so it looks as if it will require another visit for some decent shots.

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