Friday, July 07, 2006

Monty's Return Part 4

Sunday was our last day, and the birding was to be near our route home, in the Brecklands. We were diverted off the Norwich bypass due to an accident, and approached Thetford from the Diss direction. This proved lucky, as a Tawny Owl flew over the road in front of us. At Weeting Heath, the Stone Curlews (and 2 chicks) showed well. A Spotted Flycatcher flitted around outside the hide, and I glimpsed a distant flying Woodlark. On to Hockwold, more in hope than expectation. We walked along the edge of the plantation nearest the railway until we found a slight clearing, with a narrow water channel in it. A chap from Doncaster assured us that if we waited there long enough, we would see a Golden Oriole. So we sat down to eat our lunch, and begin our vigil. Even though I'm a fast eater, I hadn't finished my first sandwich before he calmly invited me to look through his scope, and sure enough there was a stunning male Golden Oriole. Gill got decent views in her bins before it disappeared. We waited a while longer, then decided that we had used our luck up, and headed home. An uneventful journey home was brightened by a Red Kite over the A14 near Kettering, but then was back to the bird desert of Cardiff in June. A lovely break, and I'm sure a longer stay could have brought more memorable sights.