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Hatfield Moor. 2020
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We did go to Lincolnshire but we went to Hatfield Moors first. There was a long staying Great Grey Shrike, it had been reported near the Polish War Memorial by many. We arrived at first light and to our astonishment there was a building in the car park. Was it really that long since we had been?

The new building is the
Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve  I have tried to get definitive information about the building, its purpose and who can use it without success. When I get better information I will put it on here. The facility looks impressive and one chap told me "it wasn't for the public" only schools can use it. This I take with a pinch of salt as in this day and age education is for all and I really do not believe anyone would limit a market like that.

Back to the Shrike, we never found it, we did see a Peregrine at great distance and we left having had a great walk with great views. The Shrike was reported again within a hour of us leaving this wonderful site. Just marvellous!!!

I went to the dark side, Lincolnshire!

We left Hatfield Moor and headed for Alkborough Flats, The site on the dark side, Lincolnshire that is, Alkborough has all that you need for a great days birding. And within moments of arrival we were treated to a display by two Marsh Harriers, these unmistakable raptors were just flying and interacting with each other, probably a female and first year.

Within a few minutes a third Harrier was present and almost certainly this was the male. We watched these for about 30 minutes until they went out of sight. We walked up the main path towards the river but we were stopped by flood water. There were hundreds of geese and Golden plover in the fields around.
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You always live in hope don't you! Will I, won't I, that's the question. We were walking back in the direction of the car and out of the blue we heard the unmistakable ting ting of the Bearded Reedling or Bearded Tit as most like to call it. Even though you can hear them and you know you're close you can't always "get your eye in".

We eventually saw our birds first two, then three and four, all quite vocal as they usually are. The sun was shining and in my very humble opinion it does not get better than this. All the wows are now ebbing away as you look at this truly enigmatic of birds, feeding without a care in the world and they don't give a dam about your presence.
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Above: A passing Little Egret, once a rare sight but now quite common. It wasn't too long ago when a Little Egret would attract the attention of all, including the battle hardened twitcher.
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