This website is best viewed using Firefox v.3

Thanks for taking time to visit the 2008 Happisburgh Bird Diary, we hope you enjoyed reading it. To find out what Ossie and I see this year please visit the Happisburgh Parish Bird List 2009 ...

11th – 17th May

Each day saw the wind between north and east and light in strength. With the exception of Sunday 11th, which was sunny and very warm, it remained rather cool and cloudy with only occasional periods of sunshine. Some light rain on 16th was followed by a heavy morning shower on 17th.

Making the most of the glorious conditions of the Sunday morning, I took Oswald over to the track that leads to the Coast Watch and we spent an hour or so walking the circuit to the clifftop, the church and back to the cricket ground. A party of 6 Oystercatchers flew east and looking down onto the beach I could see that a couple walking a dog had triggered a defensive display from one of a pair of Ringed Plover there. If ‘danger’ approaches too close to the nest, Ringed Plovers try to lure the perpetrator away by feigning a broken wing, calling plaintively; an ‘injured’ bird would surely make an irresistible target for a hungry predator. When sufficient distance has opened up between the plover’s precious eggs and the marauder, the bird takes flight and loops back landing in the general area of its nest. I’m sure the dog and his friends meant no harm but the threat of danger was very real to the plover. Hopefully the beach will remain quiet enough along this stretch for them to breed successfully. Arriving home a Turtle Dove eating grit outside the garden was a welcome sight and Swift numbers had increased to 8 birds wheeling around the houses, the screaming and rapid chasing flight indicative of their intention to breed.

Ringed Plovers find sandy beaches to their liking and thankfully Norfolk has plenty of well managed coastal reserves where they can nest in relative safety from the threat of human disturbance © Arthur Grosset

The rest of the week passed rather quietly and the only sightings of note were a Siskin calling in flight over the lane near Lessingham Church on the 14th and a female Marsh Harrier which headed northwards low over the grass fields opposite our house the following morning. A Turtle Dove that has taken to singing from the wires near the paddocks near here was probably the same as the one I saw on Sunday and I’ve got my fingers crossed for him in his quest for a mate…

No comments: