I managed to "tick" all the Lakenheath regulars on brilliant day yesterday, despite the gloomy and downright cold conditions:
Brilliant because the BEARDED TITS were showing so well, with tons of activity in front of the New Fen viewpoint. Their pinging is one of my favourite birding sounds. And I was able to film them.Brilliant too because in the first fifteen minutes at that viewpoint, there were no fewer than three BITTERN flights, including one from behind the viewpoint all the way over to just short of the far wood. Plenty of booming too, to cause the viewpoints to vibrate!MARSH HARRIERS were much in evidence, and I watched a male from the Joist Fen viewpoint eating away at some poor rodent. The GOLDEN ORIOLE did its usual opposite of Victorian children (heard but not seen), though I had seen one at Lakenheath the previous Sunday morning, so wasn't too concerned since the song is so beautiful anyway.The SEDGE, REED, GARDEN and CETTI'S WARBLERS were all in evidence, as were WHITETHROATS and BLACKCAPS. Wasn't really at the reserve at the right time to hear or see Nightingale or Grasshopper Warbler.I was also afforded glorious close-up views of a CUCKOO, no more than 10 feet away, while reasonable numbers of larger birds including MUTE SWANS, CORMORANTS and GREY HERONS showed well.
Walking along the dyke back towards the car park, a miserable HOBBY was perched on a low branch by the river, while COMMON TERNS continued to screech and dive into the water. REED BUNTINGS abounded, as did MALLARDS, COOTS and GREAT-CRESTED GREBES. There was a lot of GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER activity and noise in the woods, with DUNNOCKS and WRENS also chiming in on the edges. It was nice to see a pair of COMMON CRANES in the New Fen area too, looking very perky as MARSH HARRIERS circled.
I shouldn't neglect to mention the fabulous numbers of SWIFTS, SWALLOWS, HOUSE MARTINS and SAND MARTINS, particularly the swifts and house martins, which shot around and all over the place.
Doubtless there were other birds I missed or have forgotten to mention, but I felt that I had seen all that Lakenheath could be reasonably expected to offer, especially on such a poor day. Hoping to visit next weekend too.
What a great day, Lakenheath never fails to deliver,
no matter what time of year i go there, it's always got lots to see.
This time of year is brilliant, like you i love the Golden Orioles song, so beautiful.
I love it when the Dragon & Damsel flies are on the wing
after reading your report i must go again soon,
Sounds like you had a great day too, Matt. It was a gorgeous day today - I was soundly cursing work as I just wanted to get out there and see what a little extra warmth would bring out. I think an evening trip might be in order very soon!
Hello there. We are glad to heat you had such a good visit. Orioles definitely seem to fall into that stereotype1