Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Potter Heigham Marsh: Black-winged Stilts and Mediterranean Gulls.

Since Linda, Peter and Sue hadn't yet visited the Stilt family, we carpe-d the diem and took a pleasant evening walk out along Weavers' Way. We arrived at the scrapes just in time to see three Spoonbills going off to roost - the dark clouds were producing a premature dusk. However, the Sun broke through as we arrived at the Stilts' favoured pool and were treated to terrific (if distant) views of three adult Stilts and four well-grown fluff-ball chicks.

It was interesting to note the curious 'stretched' stance the adults took when guarding their offspring: at times they looked as if they were about to teeter forwards. Two other visiting birders added their eyes to a scan of the pool and one of these located a drake Garganey moulting into eclipse. While looking at this bird, I picked out the distinctive 'mew' of a Mediterranean Gull, which I quickly found peeping out among the nettles. As it took to flight it was joined by two others and then two more, until the count eventually reached ten individuals.

A great little session, which included a second Garganey, a Hobby, dozens of Little Egrets, a Brown Hare and a delightful Barn Owl quartering the grazing marshes.


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