Alkborough Flats - Day 2

After a successful first day in terms of birds of prey, we were hoping for good things on the second day. The main area has always been abundant, and we were hoping for some good sightings of Alkborough's waders. We took a route that would lead us past the main reeds and lead to the main hide.

As we walked, we spotted a distant marsh harrier and a kestrel. We didn't see much more until we reached the hide itself, except for an egret or two. When we stepped in, we saw what was on the flats. There were about 1,000 Golden Plover, 10 Shelduck, 12 Shoveler, 15 Teal, and numerous other waders. There were also 3 Marsh Harriers over the back of the scrape. 

Birds on the scrape
Golden Plover with hide in background
Then, all of a sudden, all of the birds in the area darted up and flew. Over 1,000 birds all flying at the same time. It was incredible. You could hear the beating of their wings as they flew in front of the hide. There was a Peregrine in the area! Unfortunately, the falcon didn't show itself.

Golden Plovers scattering
Whilst we had been distracted by the sudden scattering of the waders, we didn't realise that the Marsh Harriers had gotten closer. They were now three of them, and not very far away at all. They were interacting with each other, and it was a wonderful sight. We decided that would be a good place to end, and so we left the hide.

Two Marsh Harriers
Marsh Harrier
On our way back from the hide, we were stopped by an unknown sound in the reeds around us. Suddenly, a small bird fluttered out of the reeds and flew over our heads. We watched it with our binoculars, and we saw two black patches on it's face. It also had an orange and grey body. A Bearded Tit! Although it was just a fleeting glance, it was a sighting nonetheless, and it was enough for us.

Overall, we had had a brilliant two trips to the flats, and it continued to show us how rich this area is.

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