Sculthorpe Moor – 01 May 2016

It was about 11 months ago when we last came to Sculthorpe Moor, which is operated by the Hawk & Owl Trust. That day was damp and a bit gloomy. Today was a much nicer day for Helen and me, with loads of birds around. One of the first birdcalls we heard was that of a cuckoo somewhere in the distance!

We started down the boardwalk path towards Frank Jarvis Hide, which is in a woodland area. Here we saw a great range of birds including: Blackcap, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long Tailed Tit and a troupe of Mallard ducklings. That alone  was a good ‘haul’ of birds from the first hide of the day.

Blackcap

A male Blackcap skulking in the undergrowth!

Next we visited Whitley Hide which is an elevated hide facing up a long stretch of water. Here we viewed no fewer than three raptors: a Sparrowhawk, a Hobby and a Kestrel, all flying overhead. We also saw some Bullfinches and a couple of warblers in the trees. A Little Grebe was ducking and diving under the water just in front of the hide in the lovely sunshine.

The next hide we visited is the newest one on the reserve, the tree-top Volunteers’s Hide. This hide provides a panoramic view over a large part of the reserve. One side faces into the woodland and a number of small birds were showing very well on bird feeders which had been positioned high in the trees by a system of pulleys! As we approached the hide, Helen spotted a Treecreeper on one of the trees; our list of birds seen this week had by now grown to 82 birds!

We completed our walk to the farthest part of the reserve by visiting Victor’s Hide. However, we didn’t stay here long as closing time for the reserve was fast approaching, and besides, all we saw here was a lone Coot dabling in the water by the reeds.

As we walked back towards the car park we observed another Nuthatch scaling a tree, with a mouthful of insects. Another Marsh Tit and a Coal Tit were by the feeders as we left the reserve trail.

Sculthorpe did us proud today. It’s another super Norfolk nature reserve.

About Alan Gordon

I am a retired teacher and former RAF Musician. I live near Sheffield and enjoy taking photographs of wild birds throughout the UK.
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