Trip reports

Saturday 4th June 2016 - Lakenheath and Weeting Heath

Saturday, 11 June 2016

On arrival at Lakenheath a female Cuckoo could be heard bubbling away as well as several calling males and a couple of Oystercatchers flew over. We set off along the railway side of the site picking up Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap and Garden Warbler along with many Reed Buntings and a few Marsh Harriers. The woods also held a few Song Thrushes and a Mistle Thrush.
At the first viewpoint several Bearded Tits were calling and occasionally showing as they flew across the water. A Kestrel kept flying over and hovering at the same spot and a couple of Common Terns were fishing over the pool. Coots, a single Shelduck, several Gadwall, Little Egret and Moorhen kept the list going. The best bird here, however, was a drake Garganey.
Moving on to Joist Fen where we were greeted with views of two Cranes in the long vegetation and there was at least one Bittern booming. I missed the flying Bitterns unfortunately. Over lunch I had distant views of a Hobby and a Buzzard as well as more Marsh Harriers.
And it wasn't just the birds here. Hairy dragonflies were fairly common and a banded demoiselle showed itself while were eating. A single chaser appeared to be an immature scarce chaser. There were many damselflies, of which azure and blue-tailed were identified. A mayfly was a bit of a surprise and a silver-y moth, cardinal beetle and drinker moth caterpillars added to the variety.

Later in the day we headed over to Weeting Heath where the view from the west hide included a pair of Stone Curlews that were mainly hunkered down, but did stand up a few times. The best way of pointing out their location was by reference to the Mistle Thrushes in the same area. There was also a Red-legged Partridge. Outside the hide a pair of Spotted Flycatchers proved to be elusive at times. Walking over to and round the forest walk we had another pair of Stone Curlews on the other side of the road. At least four Goldcrests were singing and a Tree Pipit was heard. Garden Warblers, Treecreeper and Coal Tit were added before Roy found a Woodlark in one of the fields. Carrying on a Yellowhammer, Swallow and Linnets were all good finds. On the return leg a Hobby was giving good views perched on a tree and a Buzzard flew over.
Again, non-avian species were of interest with several small heath butterflies and best of all my first ever green hairstreaks.

My personal list didn't end here as there was a Collared Dove in Hockwold village and House Martins by Lakenheath station on the way home.