3rd May 2014 – Surprising how they add up

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Today was all about finding spring migrants, focusing on exploring the area within a short drive from Cley. Again, the day started with a cold NE wind, but we found some sheltered spots and conditions improved significantly as the day progressed. By the end, we were blessed with sun and blue skies!

We started at Stiffkey Fen, which produced Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plovers and a fly-over Greenshank, and a look over the harbour gave us terns and a good selection of winter waders still lingering. A drive around just inland, via the Heaths, produced a singing Nightingale (always a delight to hear) and lots of warblers, including the resident Dartford Warblers, and we even managed to find ourselves a rather flighty female Ring Ouzel. Back to the coast in the afternoon and we turned up a female Whinchat and several Wheatears.

So we found some spring migrants, but it didn’t feel like we had seen a large number of different species (we certainly had not gone actively looking for them). Comparisons were drawn with the impressive total from yesterday. With that in mind, it was interesting to add them all up at the end of the day – our total was 89 species. Where could we have got to if we had tried (there were plenty of glaring omissions)? Surprising how they add up!Whinchat fem Kelling 2014-04_1

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