Or, more accurately, on the sand and mud of Breckland again. It was our first training walk for Dovestep 3, and we were keen to kick things off to a good start. We’d done this walk before, Jonny and myself. It’s a superb tour through all that’s good about the Brecks -grass heath, river valley, pine plantation and open fields. It was also a chance to gauge our own walking performance against previous occasions, as well as a great opportunity to tell Jonny all about my recent trip to Colombia.
Walking first up through Bury St Edmunds and Jonny’s #patchbirding site along the River Lark, we scored a flyover pair of redshank and four female pochard which Jonny was deliriously pleased with, shouting “Beat Nick!!” several times. I don’t know why. At Culford I was busy relating my tales of Colombia while Jonny looked hard for Chiloë Wigeon, pretending not to listen.
After a great pit stop at West Stow CP, we headed north into the King’s Forest. Great walking, on a pleasant,cold but still day. The day was notable for the soaring buzzards, and we saw at least 30. We skirted Berners Heath and descended south via Deadman’s Grave along the public byway, while I regaled Jonny with more Colombian adventures.
The final stop took us to SWT Lackford, and a welcome cup of tea and 3 red-crested pochards. Nice. These birds look nothing like common potoos.