Abberton/Hollesley/Boyton, 30 April 2017

Another early start for a days birding with Jus and Andrew.
Our main aim for the day was to try for the Bonaparte's Gull at Abberton and then see how the day progressed from there.
Plan A failed after we spent a good while looking for the gull from the Lodge Lane viewpoint. While there we did clock up c10 Yellow Wagtails (nesting in arable along the track), Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, 3 Greenshank and c6 Swifts that just made it onto the yearlist in April.
Around the other side of the reservoir by the centre it was blowing a gale but nevertheless we managed to find an adult summer Little Gull, a pair of Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Black Terns, Hobby and Cuckoo. I don't think I've ever seen so many Common Terns either, there were literally hundreds!

We decided to head up the A12 to Hollesley Marshes for our 2nd port of call and sure enough we very quickly connected with the pair of Black-winged Stilts that had arrived there today. We even watched them copulating so fingers crossed! Also on the scrape was a nice Little Stint, c8 'tundra' Ringed Plovers, Little Egret and a pair of Pintail. 

On to nearby Boyton Marshes next where an additional single Black-winged Stilt was showing pretty well. While watching that the other 2 Black-winged Stilts we'd just been watching at Hollesley dropped in calling! 4 Black-tailed Godwits, loads of Avocets, Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard were also seen.

  Black-winged Stilts


Black-tailed Godwits

A quick drop into Iken just down the road and we quickly located the 2 Cattle Egrets with a herd of Lincoln Red cattle. One was in full breeding plumage but unfortunately they remained elusive in the long grass and ditches and were in the 2nd field back from the road.

Making our way back to Pulham across country we called into Winks Meadow where there we thousands of Green-winged Orchids out including an impressive variety of colour variations. Popping in to Weybread GPs when nearly home was a good call as 7 Black Terns were swooping about on Ocean Pit together with 3 Common Terns followed by a Common Sandpiper - a superb end to what had turned out to be another good day desite our dip early doors.

Black Terns

     Green-winged Orchids   


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