Saturday 17th March 2012

Here we go blogging again,wish I could type with more than one finger.Had a drive over to Cut end near Boston,not been to this car park for ages,I have been going to Freiston or Frampton and walking to the witham mouth from there,but it is a bit of a shorter walk from the car park here,approached from Fishtoft.

I was’nt full of expectation for today,but was in for a surprisingly good morning’s birding.It was peeing it down on the way over,easing a little as I got nearer the coast.About one field short of the car park a LITTLE OWL flew from a telegraph pole onto a ploughed field,no doubt finding plenty of worms and stuff following the showers.We eyeblled each other before he flew further away.A lovely start and better was to come,I’d only walked a couple of hundred metres along the sea wall when I spotted a SHORT EARED OWL,it was hunting the fields and edges close to the north sea camp prison.I bet those inmates would attain a cracking bird list if they were that way inclined,a good way of doing time I would have thought. Some demented OYSTERCATCHERS and REDSHANKS broke the silence as I neared the Cut end bird hide.A stonking male HEN HARRIER appeared from the Freiston direction,drifting towards the prison where I lost sight of it.

Things went a bit quieter for a while,hardly anything was on the sea,apart from a few EIDERS,and at least 18 GT CRESTED GREBES.Scanning the saltmarsh revealed a male MERLIN,soon to be joined by a female on the post next to it.The rain had stopped completely now and I enjoyed watching this pair for almost an hour,preening and on the lookout.Occasional scans of the sea on the incoming tide didn’t give alot more apart from  4  RED BREASTED MERGANSERS and a few distant sea ducks too far to i.d.A few  TWITE were on the saltmarsh,a couple of them came very close.

Out on the mud were the usual hoardes of waders,including a few AVOCETS and a great flock of over 300 BLACK TAILED GODWITS.

Early afternoon my tummy was rumbling so decided to stroll back to the car,a longer walk than planned,owing ,thankfully to birding distractions.The SHORT EARED OWL was still on veiw,showing really well,you never get fed up with those beauties do you?Next up on the owl list was a BARN OWL,which performed superbly,perching and hunting at close range.Tucking into my sarnies and contemplating what a good morning i’d had,I was treated to some more barn owl action.He had just dropped down to the dyke and came up with a vole,when a male KESTREL made a bee-line for the owl,a very sqeaky mid-air fight ensued,but there was only one winner,the kestrel flying off with his snack.I felt priveledged to have witnessed this,an event I’ve seen a few times before.I carried on eating my sandwiches,safe in the knowledge that no other species would come and nick them off me.Must be tough being a bird.

Driving away from the car park I watched the SEO again and picked up a PEREGRINE sitting on the same field the little owl was in earlier.

I never saw another birdwatcher all day.Crackin’.



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