Going through changes

It’s been quite a while since my last blog and quite a lot has changed in that time. The biggest change is that I no longer live in Hampton! As a result, this blog will be going through some changes. The first of which is likely to be a name change, though I’m also considering starting a new blog and leaving this one as an archive of sorts so as not to confuse things.

Either way, I have still been birding whilst I’ve been away, still in the Peterborough area. I had an OK year in 2019 but I feel rejuvenated in 2020 and would like to push my peterborough list to 160 and over. It should be pretty doable so long as I remain consistent and chase some of the harder species as the seasons progress. With that in mind, I made a dash for Thorney yesterday as soon as news broke of 10 Tundra Bean Geese in a field off the A47 just North of the town. When I arrived, the birds were easily picked out among the c.250 whooper swans in the same field. Given the great season these birds have been having in Norfolk so far, it wasn’t much of a surprise that we ended up with some stragglers.

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7 of the 10 Tundra Bean Geese present just off the A47 North of Thorney.

The optimists among us would have hoped that the wandering Lesser White-fronted Goose which has been roaming around Norfolk for months would end up somewhere around  here though no luck thus far, despite being reported just the other side of Wisbech about a week ago. Who knows where it will end up next!

After getting the geese successfully, I pushed on to Deeping High Bank on my way back to Deeping (my new base). There hadn’t been anything reported here for some time other than the regular Goosander but a colder snap overnight meant that there could be something interesting on the river. I stopped in a layby for some lunch and was scanning the Crowland ‘wash’ for anything of interest.

There were a number of Lapwing tucked in close to the bank on the East side of the river. As luck would have it, the birds ended up lifting off the field and crossing the river to the West. As they did, I picked out a smaller wader among the flock, Turnstone. Presumably the same bird Josh Jones had found a couple of weeks prior, I looked for it back then and had no luck despite much easier viewing conditions. It had obviously hung around and continued to fly back and forth across the river, often on it’s own. Mike and Will managed to pick up the bird shortly after I relocated it. Turnstone can be tricky in this part of the country so far from the coast, usually more of a summer visitor for us, it’s nice to have this bird in the bag already.

Not much else of note on the high bank though Yellowhammer was new for the year and it was nice to see a Barn Owl hunting up close. I didn’t see a single barn owl from the DHB in 2019, let’s hope for a better year in 2020.

There are a few long-staying scarcities I need to pick up before too long at March Farmers. Most notably the group of 5 Scaup and the Red-necked Grebe.

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