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Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Hickling NWT Reserve all to myself!

With Norman 'locked in' and Brian marooned in Costa Rica, I decided on a solo run out this morning (Controlling T2 diabetes by diet and exercise means having to walk at least 10K steps every day!) As I approached Acle, a Red Kite circled low over the car: not Monday's, because it was missing a primary.

I thought it was about time I photographed a Bittern this year, so I headed to the normally-reliable Hickling reserve, arriving at around 07.30.  The centre was closed (as I expected) so I just walked the circuit, stopping at Cadbury Hide first. Here a Great (White) Egret was fishing in front of the hide: no longer rare, but still a thrill to watch. Moving on, I heard (but didn't see) lots of Cetti's Warblers and Chiffchaffs: Common Cranes were bugling almost continuously and I eventually saw ten or so in various small groups. There were numerous displaying Marsh Harriers and a few Buzzards too.

When I reached Bittern Hide I found it was locked. A warden came along and opened up for me, confirming that he would be securing it again when I left. Apparently the paths will remain open, but not the Reserve Centre nor hides. As I walked back to the car a second Great Egret flew from the direction of Stubb's Mill and dropped into the reeds. Last thing: the field just before the reserve held three delightful pairs of Brown Hares...


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