First may I say thank you to everyone who has donated money by feeding Ricky the Robin on the front of my bike over the last 11 days.
Many thanks to :-
Anne Richard Gareth Ian Jess Chris
Daisy-May Phil & Linda Fiona Ian
Steve & Jannette Pat & Geof Geoff & Trudy
Robert John & Chris and finally Graham.
Thanks so much.
Also thanks to Graham who has promised to pay £100 to my chosen charities if I break the European Green Record.
4th April Weldrake to Tophill Low
Early morning mist walk around the flooded reserve east of York was followed by a long ride along mostly small country lanes. A male blackcap was the first of the year, 194 heard and seen whilst cycling. Tophill Low nature reserve – a walk with a brilliant birder and warden, Martin. Little-ringed plovers,willow warblers and garganey added to the list, ---- 197.
5th April A day off with a visit to Beverley Minster and the town's library
6th April Cycle ride from Beverley to just south of Horncastle. 63 miles.
7th April An afternoon at Frampton RSPB reserve.
Meeting RSPB staff and volunteers is always a pleasure so thanks to Toby, Sarah, Chris (Andrews!) and others.
Explored every pathway and hide, walking out along to the mouth of the River Wytham in the evening as high tide approached. I ended up falling asleep in a WW2 pillbox as a heavy thunderstorm passed by.
Corn bunting, yellow wagtails and wheatears added to the year list ----- 200.
8th April Morning at Frampton RSPB reserve, cycle to Kings Lynn in the afternoon to the 'pancake' hotel.
Early morning little owl took the list to 201.
9th April Laptop bought, Castle Rising church explored and off to Dersingham/Wolferton.
An afternoon at Dersingham Bog gave woodlark for the year list (202) with the evening spent in the splendid company of Trevor Girling, a superb Norfolk birder. He heard woodcock over the traffic noise. I didn't.
10th April Early morning Golden Pheasant Snettisham wader roost and then to Titchwell
Up at 5.00am to listen for the lone male golden pheasant (the plastic pheasant!). It called about twice every minute for half an hour or so around 6.00am and then stopped. At around 7 it started calling from somewhere 100 yards away. Didn't see a feather! Bird number 203.
To Snettisham RSPB reserve and with a high tide, views of tens of thousands of mostly knot packed together on a gravel bank.
News of a wood sandpiper had me heading towards Cley but updated news as I approached Titchwell RSPB reserve had turned it into a green sandpiper.
Rest of day spent at Titchwell.
11th April Titchwell and Holme
Over 70 species of bird seen during the day with sedge warbler and a cracking male redstart at Titchwell and a rather tame male pied flycatcher at Holme NWT. Accidentally deleted the amazing sunrise photos and those of the birds mentioned. Twit!
12th April Holme and Titchwell
Hoopoe! Had arrived at Holme and was searching for a male redstart at a spot next to the last house before the reserve entrance when a hoopoe came out of some pines and immediately disappeared over the sea bank to the north. I ran around to get to the path there but the bird couldn't be found. I texted Phil Andrews who put the news out on RBA – rare bird alert. Other birders arrived but still no sign of it. Frustrating, one always wants to share such a bird with others.
13th April Titchwell, Burnham Overy Dunes and Holkham Freshwater Marsh
To the beach and a passing male eider is added to the list. House martin is amongst some sand martins and once again over 70 species seen. Not a bad reserve.
By the cafe was suddenly amazed to see two birding heroes; Mark Thomas and Tim Jones.
Off to Burnham Overy, a cuckoo flies past; bird number 209. Three ring ouzels were on the landward side of the dunes.
Great white egret was at Holkham.
14th April Holkham
Early morning rain, spoonbills and more of the usual birds before retiring in the afternoon to the nearby Wells Next to the Sea youth Hostel.