Sunday, April 10, 2005

A more serious workout & two more serious species

A more ambitious ride todayto Hickling Broad, I left home at 0730 and covered the 28 miles in an hour and half, (its funny how you never realise the wind was behind you until you cycle back with it straight in your face!). I knew this ride would be a good test for my knee which seemed to have almost recovered.

The target species was Red-Crested Pochard, with a careful examination of the area for Common Crane, and the hope of maybe Common Tern and a few other migrants.

On arriving at Stubb Mill I was delighted as within minutes Common Crane was on the list; a single and a pair were visible on the ground and far easier than I had anticipated. Jacky joined me and we took the NWT boat trip (“ran by an electric battery, which is charged via green energy from the local wind turbines” I was assured by the staff, and on this basis I felt within the rules – Simon?). Within 5 minutes I had located a pair of Red-Crested Pochard, that did actually behave like real wild birds, moving off with Tuftys and Pochard as soon as we headed towards them.

We saw lots of other nice stuff & stacks of Marsh Harriers, probably 20 individuals, but new migrants were still thin on the ground. En route home we tried the Greyhound Pub at Hickling, a pint of Adnams hit the spot, along with excellent food served within 15 minutes of ordering. This turned out to be more worthwhile than a speculative stop at Barton Broad, can anyone tell me if there is a decent viewing area for this Broad?

On arrival home the muscles were aching, but my knee was still okay – just a little stiffness, which was to be expected with 60 miles (97KM) on the clock, but the list moves on to 166.


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