A beautiful, warm and sunny spring day, the temperature got up to 18C. As it was much more promising for raptor viewing we gave North Creake another go. Parked on the roadside pad, we watched distant Sparrowhawks, Kestrels and Marsh Harriers, adding a singing Lesser Whitethroat to the year list. We were the only birders there. After about an hour and a half, we decided to give Beacon Hill a go whilst having lunch. I'd just finished mine, lifted the bins to scan and there was a superb male Montagu's Harrier flying low against the trees in the valley below.We must have watched it gradually gaining height, whilst flying strongly north, for three or four minutes. It's distinctive, buoyant, tern-like flight made a good contrast with the heavy duty Marsh Harriers.
Coffee at Holme where I heard a Whimbrel whinny, not good enough to tick though, before moving on to Brancaster Staithe. One of our very favourite places looked lovely in the afternoon sun.
The tide was rising so the Morston Mussel men were busy at work, preparing the boats.
My attention was soon drawn to Black-headed Gulls, resplendent in their spring plumage, performing a courtship ceremony.
We continued our hunt for migrants, driving east along the coast with various stops . I spotted two flying raptors over Morston Hall, we were unable to stop there but took the first right turn after driving through the village. By now the two Red Kites were spiralling ever upwards and away, one of them very tatty, missing several feathers in the wings.
There was room to park at the Triangle which meant a shorter walk to the Daukes Hide trio. Our first singing Reed Warbler of the year in the reedbed just before the hides. Well spaced photographers filled the hide again! After scanning the pools for the reported Common Sandpiper (we never did see it, it must have gone), I photographed a very distant Little Ringed Plover whilst Pam took a good photo of feeding Avocets.
There were about 20 Black-tailed Godwits, a single white Ruff and all the expected Ducks and Geese to keep us interested. The Bittern's short boom sounded very grumpy, we all agreed.
Late home for supper but it was worth it, especially as Liverpool dropped 2 points only drawing with Arsenal at Anfield. They were lucky to do so, the equalising goal to make it 4-4 was scored deep into extra time. Arshavin scored all Arsenal's goals.We'd better win against Portsmouth to-night.