Saturday, July 9, 2022

UK debt

I returned from a family visit to the UK quite a while ago, and since I have been super busy and couldn't find the time to post a little more about the birding I did there. This wasn't a birding trip per-se, but with my ongoing eBird checklist streak challenge, I went out birding every day, even in the quietest period for birding in the UK. My four years outside of the UK made me re-appreciate even some of the commonest urban birds, which was nice. We were based with friends in Poringland, on the outskirts of Norwich, so most of my birding was done in that area. Local walks around the village were nice, as expected didn't produce special, a singing Yellowhammer was of note as they are pretty scarce around Norwich:

Slightly further away in Norfolk, an early morning visit to RSPB Hickling Broad was good. High breeding activity of many birds including Crane with babies, my first documentation photos of Bearded Reedling (fantastic birds!) and a most probable pratincole sp. that flew away without documentation. eBird checklist here.

We travelled with friends to Somerset for a few night of camping. A glorious morning visit to the three adjacent RSPB reserves of Shapwick Heath, Ham Wall and Greylake produced a singing male Little Bittern, and many Great Egrets, among many other breeding birds.

Western Marsh-Harrier

En route we stopped at Stonehenge, everyone was admiring the rocks and I was admiring rooks, and high densities of Corn Bunting and Skylark; no Great Bustard seen.

I met up with Mike and we visited Dicklebburgh Moor OT NR, where we dipped on Turtle Dove (...) but were happy to find breeding Spotted Flycatcher in the nearby churchyard. So sad that this is the current state of the birds in the UK - and elsewhere, once common breeding birds are now something to write about.

On my final morning in the UK I visited RSPB Strumpshaw Fen, that was again bursting with breeding activity - so much bird song!

Till next time!

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