Sightings at Pensthorpe – 8th April 2024

Here’s the latest update from WVBS following their visit to Pensthorpe on 8th April 2024.

It was relatively quiet at Pensthorpe this morning, possibly due to the sharp wind that kept the temperature down until lunchtime (when the sun came out, as we were leaving….). So, evidence of Spring migrants was in short supply, apart from singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, that were everywhere! It was lovely to watch a male and female Blackcap following each other through the branches of a tree. There were some early signs of Spring in the park though:-

  • Bluebells just starting to come into flower, and Marsh Marigold, Cuckooflower and Cowslips all in full bloom.
  • We saw 2 broods of newly-hatched Mallard ducklings – great for the children on holiday to see those.
  • Lots of pairing, nesting and mating activity amongst the Black-headed Gulls, and we watched a Jackdaw carrying a beak full of feathers into the split tree trunk at the Woodland hide.

We enjoyed watching a young male Marsh Harrier patrolling the Wensum Wetland, and a group of 6 Buzzards plus 1 Red Kite kettling near the Wader Scarpe. The water in the latter is still too high to accommodate much more than a large flock of very noisy Black-headed Gulls, and, in fact, the only waders listed were 2 Snipe and a single Lapwing! The Farmland Hide was quiet, with no birds visible in the Hedge of Dreams, as was the Woodland Hide, where there were no Marsh Tits seen, but their favoured feeder had been removed. 2 Marsh Tits were recorded, however, from the Garden Hide (one with a red ring on each leg, the other with none).

So, a really enjoyable if unspectacular morning – at least it didn’t rain!

Alan Hughes and Lorraine Taylor


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