Sunday, May 18, 2014
With high pressure, settled conditions and warm sunshine at this time of year, it has a distinct feeling of all or nothing - and it's been very much a case of the latter over recent days, despite plenty of time dedicated to sky-watching, in the hope of something tasty and broad-winged drifting over. Over eight hours in the last couple of days, to be precise - with a grand total of zero migrant raptors to show for it.
However, a buzz around Carr Naze yesterday morning to complete round two of a local Breeding Bird Survey instantly produced a cream-crown Marsh Harrier (of course), circling high and coming in off the sea against a clear blue sky (see below); just the inspiration needed to go and stand at my preferred watchpoint all afternoon (resulting in, of course, a completely blank notebook entry).
Another three-hour session today again produced nothing, and so, it being the Mrs' day off, we decided on a walk over to East Lea for a couple of hours away from the tourist multitudes. Crossing the railway line in the middle of town and with traffic lining the road next to us, a very promising, Osprey-shaped silhouette circling in the sun prompted a scramble for the bins and camera, and hey presto, so it was - the bird of the week drifting steadily north.
The moral? Don't waste your time patiently scanning a 360 degrees panorama for many hours in the pursuit of broad-winged bounty - hang around on railway tracks in the middle of a busy town instead. I'll be there tomorrow, dodging the caravans and automatic barriers and pointing the camera at Black Storks and plenty more.