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Post Info TOPIC: Lakenheath


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RE: Lakenheath


Thanks for that John, I may pick your brains nearer the time.



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Nice report Tony. I've been to Titchwell, well worth the visit and easily accessible via The Coast hopper bus, three separate routes all interlinked between King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth. It's definitely a recommendation to stay along the route and use the bus as a way to visit Titchwell and possibly the other reserves, but equally, if you drive.... Trouble is, faffing with parking and barriers. Cheers

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Keep calm and carry on birding....


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12/20th June 2021

We left at daft o'clock to arrive at the RSPB reserve for just before 09.00. After three hours or so our highlights were three super Bittern flyovers, numerous Cuckoo calling with one good sighting lots of Reed and Sedge Warbler showing well and at least five Hobby hunting over Joist Fen.

We headed off to set our trailer tent up just over the border in Cambridgeshire. As we were on farmland it was no surprise that the first bird we saw was a fabulous Yellowhammer singing away on a telegraph wire.

Sunday saw us have an easy day but we still managed to walk around the farmland and find a fine singing Corn Bunting plus lots of shy Red-legged Partridge. The farm we camped out leaves up to 3% of its field edges wild in total along with other farms in the area this amounts to over 350 hectares for wildlife to thrive in.

Monday saw us heading through roadworks outside Norwich to Strumpshaw Fen our trip target today was not a bird on this occasion.

Parking was difficult but a safe spot was found and off we strolled to sign/scan in at reception.

We choose to sit and eat our butties first on the bench by reception and a nice little raised flower bed. We had just about started chomping and a shout went up for "Swallowtail" we didn't need binoculars as the beauty flitted over our heads for thirty seconds or more. I would like to go on and say we walked and saw plenty more but sadly not, three fruitless hours passed and we headed off. Our mission was accomplished though.

On Tuesday we drove over to Welney WWT, in the car park we were on to the feeding Tree Sparrow straight away. We knew that a Glossy Ibis was about but it moved around a lot, well it would because it has wings! A warden said it had been in front of the main observatory but had not been seen for an hour. We sat down and had great views of Avocet and Redshank after a short while I got off my backside to have a look down the left hand side and there was the Glossy Ibis close to the line of the reed bed, I made the others aware of its presence and got several thank yous which is always nice.

Wednesday we headed off to Weeting to try and pick up the Stone Curlew, sadly we dipped. We were a little disappointed here as we paid our fee at 15.30 only to learn that the car park was being locked up at 16.30 on previous visits the car park was never locked up.

We went to have our tea, watched some football then headed off in the search for Nightjars to our usual spot. We waited well in to dark for yet another dip for the day, nothing is guaranteed with birds.

Thursday and another visit to RSPB Lakenheath a Spotted Flycatcher had been seen near the disabled car park so we spent a little time looking for it but again dipping. Plenty of pinging was being heard but just fleeting climpses between channels of the Bearded Reedlings. A pair of Marsh Harrier were busy overhead no Common Crane were seen by us.

One reason we visit the reserve is that Golden Oriole are very occasionally recorded and one bird was around several weeks ago however it was not clear if the bird was seen or heard despite this we spent a lot of time looking in the area of the West Wood obviously to to avail. The birds last breed here in 2009. As part of our trip we headed off to a site were I had seen birds in 1995 if nothing else it was just for nostalgia. The thick Poplar wood was still there however some of the farmland had changed with more vehicle access evident.

Due to wet weather we had a day inside on Friday.

Saturday was set aside for Turtle Doves after being tipped off by a local. We parked up, started our walk to be greeted by another Yellowhammer, this was a good start however thirty minutes later and very few birds and certainly no Turtle Doves we were about to give up when we met a dog walker who kindly directed us towards a pair of Little Owls who showed really well. We then met a local birder who informed us the Owls were nesting in an old rabbit burrow, he also told us to listen out for Nightingale!

We continued our walk around the farmland/wood, whilst scanning a field I almost fell over as a Stone Curlew stood on a pile of manure in a stony field, this was a real bonus. As we walked back to the car we saw two birders looking at something which turned out to be a singing Nightingale sat out in the open on a branch, we had this view for ten minutes. It was a lifer for Cath and my first in nearly thirty years. The Turtle Doves did not show for us but we went away happy.

Just two other items to note, whilst fishing one night  Reed Warblers started their dawn chorus at 02.53 and a Barn Owl flew over me with prey in its talons at 04.10.

Next year we plan on a earlier trip further north so that we can take in Titchwell and other environs.

One last dip was the Rose-coloured Starling in Horwich whilst we were away.....can't win em all.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

   



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Lakenheath RSPB. 15th September 2019: 11:30 - 17:00 hrs.

Marsh Harrier x 5
Bearded Tit x 1 seen (and several heard 'pinging')
Hobby x 7
Peregrine x 1
Buzzard x 1
Crane x 1 (90 % sure one seen in flight over reedbed - from a viewpoint from the raised riverbank path about half a mile past Joist Fen viewpoint)
Great White Egret x 1
Little Egret x 5
Grey Heron x 2
Water Rail x 1
Kingfisher x 2 sightings
Snipe x 4
Jay x 2
Lapwing x 300
Cormorant x 3
Coal Tit x 1
Goldfinch x 1
Great Tit x 2
Blue Tit x 3
Coot x 1
Moorhen x 2
Magpie x 3
Mute Swan x 12
Greylag Geese x 400
Mallard x 30
Crow x 10

On way out spoke to a local birder who also spotted a Ruff.







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Monday 29th, Early morning visit in glorious sunshine, Highlights

3 Bittern seen in flight and 1 heard booming
5 Cuckoo seen in flight, And constant calling Male and Female from all corners of the reserve
5 Hobby feeding over various Reed beds
10+ Marsh Harrier
2 Egyptian Goose
Several family parties of Bearded Tit 20+ seen
10+ Cettis Warbler heard
Huge numbers of Blackcap, Sedge and Reed Warbler

And 1 very vocal and showy Marsh Warbler, Record Phonescoped image attached




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We visited Lakenheath earlier in the week. Lakenheath has got to be my favourite reserve as it always seems to throw up a surprise or two. The latest surprise sighting being a little bittern, which seemed to be attracting quite a crowd. We heard the little bittern barking almost continuously, although I am pretty sure nobody actually saw it while we were there. Golden oriole had been heard but unfortunately had moved on a week or so before we arrived. The hobby count had reduced in numbers, there had been counts of 45 earlier in May, but there did seem to be around a dozen or so at least still hunting high above the reedbeds. Other birds of prey included common buzzard, marsh harrier, sparrowhawk and kestrel.
There were good numbers of cuckoo around the reserve, we saw at least 8. We also saw bittern, little egret, 2 cranes, 1 great white egret, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker (heard), bearded tit, sedge warbler, reed warbler, whitethroat, reed bunting, 1 spotted flycatcher, common tern and 2 kingfishers as well as the usual suspects.
I'm sure I've missed one or two species, and like I said earlier RSPB Lakenheath has got to be my favourite reserve, especially in May. As pleasing on the ears as it is on the eye. Well worth a visit.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 31st of May 2015 05:34:40 PM

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Thursday 30/05/2013.

Decided to take the long drive down to RSPB Lakenheath to hopefully connect with the reported Savi's Warbler.

This was a bird I was particularly keen to see as I had previously either "dipped" or "heard only" the species including at other sites.

I arrived at 7.30pm and made the long walk down to West Wood and then onto the area of reeds where the bird has been seen.

Already hearing it's Grasshopper Warbler-like but very distinct reeling from along the path as I got nearer, I waited in hope with the other birders present whilst it called constantly and finally at 8.50pm to my joy and relief, the Savi's Warbler climbed the reeds, reeling away happily and giving good views for 20 minutes or so.

After stopping the night, I couldn't resist a second helping of the bird so made the long walk again at 6.30am where again it reeled away giving some great views, with the long and rounded dark tail in particular being a noticeable feature as well as it's generally larger size.

Also present:

1 Tawny Owl
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Golden Oriole (heard only)
1 Marsh Harrier
2 Grasshopper Warblers
2 Cetti's Warblers
2 Hobbies



-- Edited by Phil Owen on Saturday 1st of June 2013 08:41:08 AM

-- Edited by Phil Owen on Saturday 1st of June 2013 08:43:11 AM

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Just spent the day in the area on Saturday and what a fantastic place. Started off early morning at Paxton pits where I had at least 3 singing Nightingale and a fly over Hobby. Then moved on to Weeting Heath where after much searching eventually had 3 Stone Curlew. Amazing how a brown bird can be so camouflaged in a green field.
The Plan was then to try and get to Lakenheath around 11, but all plans went out the window after the Black-winged stilt was relocated at near by Wicken fen. Any thoughts of just walking in to the visitor centre to be directed to the bird then make a sharp exit were soon dashed. Turned out the little beggar was on the furthest most corner of the reserve staying low. So after a near 2 1/2 hour search and hike I was heading back to the car having had good views of the stilt, knackered! At least 3 Cuckoo calling here and at least 4 singing Cetti's on my mammoth hike.
Eventually made it to Lakenheath around 2.30 but what a place and well worth the wait. Fantastic views of at least 6 Hobby in the air with the cracking male Red-footed Falcon. Again no shortage of Cuckoo calling and Cetti's singing and lots of Sedge and Reed warbler around also. Probably at least 4 booming Bittern but non seen unfortunately and plenty of Marsh harrier around with up to 4 in the air at any one time. Had one Common Crane feeding in nearby fields and even took to the air at one point.
Disappointingly no sign of any Orioles despite people hearing them throughout the day. Met one lad from the Manchester area who had it singing in the morning for 40 minutes and still couldn't see it
cry
But all in all a fantastic day and I urge anyone to make the trip. These southerners just don't realise how lucky they are.biggrin

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Yep, I believe it was heard the day after we came home no. Was talking to a birder who remembers counts of 17!

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Off there on Sunday, I think the first Golden Oriole was reported today although there have been some false alarms....

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 18th of May 2013 12:15:41 AM

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Rob


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Just returned from a few days in Norfolk, the main objective being this fantastic site. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very cooperative and the reserve was pretty quiet compared with previous years, however we did see around 25 Hobby, with a Red footed falcon mixed in with them being the star attraction. Around 4 booming bitterns could be heard and occasionally seen in flight, also we saw 3 cranes in flight which was an impressive sight. No Golden orioles have been sighted so far this year but are expected at any time. Cuckoos could be heard regularly, but not in as greater numbers as previous years. Hopefully more birds will return as the weather/winds change.

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First visit to this reserve 2 days ago:

No Golden Oriole, but heard the Cranes, saw Cetti's Warbler, had fantastic views of Hobby and at least seven Marsh Harriers. Cuckoo still calling loudly and there's a Whooper Swan in residence (apparently unable to fly).

Well worth a visit.

Steve

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As part of a long weekend in East Anglia, Riggers, Karen Foulkes, Mike Ausberger and I visited here on the evening of May 25th.

After a fairly long wait (enlivened by aerobatic Hobbys, calling Cranes and Cuckoos and booming Bitterns) we had some of the best U.K. views I've had of the male Golden Oriole. An added bonus was the Osprey Riggers spotted as we walked back along the embankment

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Was down at Lakenheath last week for a few days. Saw good Hobby numbers, hard to pinpoint an exact number, but would very often see up to 10 up at once with the naked eye. Good numbers of Marsh Harrier at Joist Fen viewpoint. My record was 7 up simultaneously. The male Golden Oriole returned while we were there and could be seen calling from inside the woods. Plenty of cuckoos, the place seemed to echo with them, good numbers of Whitethroat and booming Bitterns. Also spotted deep within the reed beds were a pair of Cranes. A Green Woodpecker was a welcome visitor to the garden at the cottage we stayed at. Overall a good few days.

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Monday 31st May

Half day after seeing the stone curlew pair at Weeting

Dipped on the orieles which apparently weren't showing at all on that day, even at dawn.
However, I still managed:

At least 1 hobby
At least 3 marsh harriers
Kingfisher
Good views if cetti's warblersmile.gif
Bittern flew over the reedsbiggrin.gif
Cuckoo singing but not seen





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I would say you stand a better chance of seeing a Golden Oriole in June.

Luckily I managed to see a male on last years visit in May after hearing them calling all afternoon. It didn't half take some finding though, they are so elusive at the best of times.

A wonderful reserve and certainly one of my favourites, looking forward to visiting again soon. smile.gif



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Called in last Sunday (May 22nd) however it was quite windy and the Orioles weren't showing very much, so dipped out like most other people. Did get Hobby, Marsh Harrier and Black Tern and the reserve looked an excellent place to cover over a longer period. Very good area, with Welney WWT and Weeting Heath nearby.

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Just back from a few very enjoyable days birding at Lakenheath. Highlights were the Golden Oriole 2m 1f, Bittern, Crane, Little Egret, Cuckoos everywhere, numerous Marsh Harrier, Cettis Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and of course the primary reason for my visit, the Hobby, although most of the 70 odd reported a few weeks ago seem to have dispersed, still about 10 knocking about though. Stayed at a cracking B&B called Magdalen House which was reccomended to me by the RSPB. www.magdalenhouse.co.uk

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