Trip reports

Sparrows Nest Gardens and the North Denes, Lowestoft

Sparrows Nest Gardens and the North Denes, Lowestoft
Jane Bond

Thursday, 24 April 2014

It was an early start at 7.30 and the showers had passed us overnight. It was mild and muggy as 10 members assembled near the site of the old cinema. We made our way up the cliff beside the museum taking delight in the bluebells that had spread across the hillside. Squirrels skittered through the treetops as the birds sang a morning melody. A robin was the most vociferous and in the background chiffchaffs called. We made our way down the other side and into Arnolds Walk where blackbirds darted across the path and a jay was seen above us.
We carefully scanned the net posts at Whapload Road searching for a reported ring ouzel but to no avail. Starlings, a meadow pipit and some linnets were seen at the grassy area. We ascended the sea wall at the east cardinal and were treated to a flock of turnstones scouring the algae-covered remains of the old sea wall below us. Herring, lesser and greater black-backed gulls of varying ages posed on the groynes and followed a fishing boat up and down the coast. A seal popped his head above the water to peer at the strange creatures walking along his horizon and we peered back.
As we approached the North Denes dapper wheatears and pied wagtails were perched atop the sea wall and heralded our progress. Swallows and sand martins swooshed by us over the ness. At Links Hill we heard the thin calls of whimbrel which were spotted by Jan and Richard as 5 birds flew north over the sea. The little path behind Links Hill car park was fabulous for whitethroats and greenfinches. In fact all the way along the bottom of the cliffs towards the Oval, whitethroats sang all around joined by blackcaps, wrens, and dunnocks. Flycatcher Alley did not stand up to its name (either of them!) but Jane spied a green warbler lurking in the trees. Was it a willow warbler? No it was a chiffchaff. It was just after ten when we arrived back at Sparrows Nest gardens where six of us made a diversion into the coffee shop for a welcome drink and a chat. Thirty two species were seen and heard. Thank you all for coming along, I greatly enjoyed your company.

Birds seen: carrion crow, woodpigeon, blue tit, robin, blackbird, jay, starling, house sparrow, dunnock, collared dove, linnet, magpie, turnstone, herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, greater black-backed gull, meadow pipit, swallow, pied wagtail, wheatear, sand martin, whimbrel, greenfinch, whitethroat, blackcap, chiffchaff, goldfinch
Birds heard: great tit, chaffinch, wren, song thrush, oystercatcher

Julie Martin