So, my blog hasn't been up date for some months, reflecting my complete lack of enthusiasm for anything birdy over the winter. I haven't twitched one bird (until today), and have only been birding once or twice since before Christmas. As it is now the Easter holidays, I thought it would be time to put that right.
First port of call today was the patch. Soon after getting out the car near the Old Wader Scrape pull-in, I heard a few excitable redpolls, but didn't manage to get on to them (I was a bit rusty first off). A scan of the skies produced a number of Sand Martins blogging about, before the redpolls began to distract me again. This time, I got on to a flock of about 10 making for the alder stands just west of ARC Pit, so headed over there to see if I could sniff out some better views.
Over the next hour or so, it became apparent that a good number of Lesser Redpolls were present (some 30+, with small flocks coming and going all the time), and a number of males were singing and generally getting a bit rowdy. However, the wind wasn't making things easy, and the birds were tending to bury themselves deep in bushes. Nevertheless, a female-type Mealy Redpoll was located:
Mealy Redpoll - BLGP seems to be a reliable site for this species in most winters, even in poor redpoll years.
As I watched the redpolls, a Willow Warbler burst into song providing a nice seasonal contrast - one of (if not equalling) my earliest dates for the species. There were a few other mildly interesting bits about, including two Little Ringed Plovers, a few Shelducks, 11 remaining Goldeneye and quite a few Common Gulls. Standard late March fayre really...
On arriving home it transpired the Alpine Swift was still at Hunstanton, so I set off that way. By the time I got near King's Lynn, petrol was running low. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to pick up my wallet (and so had no way of paying for petrol), resulting in a miserable drive home instead of continuing the extra 15 miles to Sunny Hunny. An excellent reintroduction to twitching then.