Brenda was travelling up to Scotland by train for a short and well-deserved post-Easter break. I drove her to Peterborough station and she spent most of the day on one train or other, and a friend of ours picked her up from Insch and drove her the three and a bit miles to our Scottish house.
I headed back from Peterborough to King’s Lynn, in heavy rain, and visited Brenda’s Mum in hospital, then went back to Wells and cleaned our static caravan as we had a guest changeover. I then went home and did a few household chores and a bit of admin work before some friends came over to visit. By that time the weather had improved and so we went over to Lady Anne’s Drive for a short walk. Leaving the house we saw a pretty good rainbow.
…and once at Holkham there were some ominous storm clouds.
There was one interesting thing on our walk: Chiffchaffs and willow warblers are very hard to tell apart in the field…..except by their distinctive calls. The chiffchaff goes “chiff” and “chaff” (as has been previously discussed – see here), whereas the willow warbler has a melodious descending call. But we learned, a couple of years ago, that the chiffchaff has a second call, a short upward whistle. I heard this second call – and saw the bird – by one of the paths at Holkham, and wanting to show my friends the Merlin bird app in use I set it for sound identification and pointed it at the bird. It immediately came up with an identification…..willow warbler! So at home I did some research and found that willow warblers also have a second call, very like that of the chiffchaff, but more disyllabic and slightly slower. Every day is a school day!
And so I had one new species for the day!
Just at the end of our walk we got caught in a torrential downpour, which was partly hailstones, so we headed home to dry off!
New species for April 10th:
Birds: willow warbler
TOTALS TO DATE:
Birds = 155
Moths = 17
Wildflowers = 40