Those of you with pagers doing Patchwork Challenge are probably expecting me to announce a 6-point bird with 2 Cranes at Thorpe Marshes, Haddiscoe being reported this afternoon. Unfortunately for me I wasn't the finder, it was in fact my husband and I was at work - damn it. It's less than a month that I posted how one day I would love to see Cranes stalking the marshes here and they have to go and do it when I'm not here!
Still I raced home from work (not for the Cranes, they were long gone) for my elder daughter's parent teacher evening. Walking in to the kitchen younger daughter announced that "Daddy was upstairs watching a bird". This had to be something good as we were supposed to be rushing out the door as soon as I got home. Tracking him down to her bedroom I found him photographing a Black Redstart sat on the roof of our outbuildings. This was a great consolation being a rarer bird here than Crane although scoring only 2 points on Patchwork Challenges score sheet. It was still here when we got back from school, sitting on the roof of our house catching insects attracted to the warmth of the clay tiles. Here are 2 photos of it taken by my husband, one in overcast conditions, the other in sunlight. Its amazing how its colour changes.
It was a beautiful still, warm evening so I took the dog for a walk along the New Cut in the vague but not unreasonable hope that maybe the Cranes had gone down on Haddiscoe Island. Haddiscoe Island was transformed from the bleak, barren, windswept landscape of the winter. For starters I didn't feel like Scott of the Antarctic and it was in fact more reminiscent of the plains of Africa with large grazing mammals (cattle in this case) scattered across the flat marshes in loose herds as far as the eye could see. Sedge Warblers were belting out their jumbled songs from the reeds in the soke dykes along the Cut and Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Lapwings were displaying noisily. There was no sign of the Cranes but it was still a pleasant way to while away an hour and the dog enjoyed it too.