Sightings at Pensthorpe – 25th March 2024

Latest report from The Wensum Valley Birdwatching Society, who regularly visit Pensthorpe and record their bird sightings.

The walk around the car park area started our day off well, with Reed Buntings, Yellowhammers, Marsh Harriers and Mistle Thrushes seen.

Once in the reserve we soon saw 2 Goldcrests, then a migrant Sand Martin flying over the Wetlands for a short while. From the Farmland Hide we were treated to Skylarks and Linnets flying around the field, 2 displaying Sparrowhawks high up, then the sighting of the day, a group of 6 Cranes. They were flying NW, beyond the A1067, so were outside Pensthorpe’s boundaries, but we were able to watch them for a few minutes as they circled then continued W over Fakenham.
Little more from the Wetlands hide except a singing Little Grebe, but the muddy edge of Old Squaw Lake harboured a Pink-footed Goose and 2 Snipe. Between the Fisherman’s hut and the old railway line we looked up to see another Crane, this one flying high directly above us, heading SE down the Wensum Valley.
No surprises at the Woodland hide were followed by a lone Siskin on an unusual route to the Scrape hides, as the whole Wildflower Meadow and Eastern railway line areas were closed off. As we approached the hides there was much gull calling, telling us that there were now islands exposed. The gulls were busy pairing up, and included 2 pairs of adult Mediterranean Gulls, with one bird having a metal ring on a left leg with no foot. A Cetti’s Warbler was singing, and another nice migrant arrival, a Little Ringed Plover, was feeding at the island edges.
An increasing chilly breeze coming through the open viewing flaps eventually sent us off toward the café to end a good day.

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