Walberswick Bird Song Walk 2017 – A Tribute to Tony Lancaster
I thought you might like to know how the Bird Song Walk went. It was an extremely cold morning but I was warmed and honoured to have had so many friends come along to support me. A bit daunting at first but realising the affection everyone had for Tony, made it very worthwhile. Pat Lancaster.
6th May 2017: With full cloud cover and a biting cold north-easterly wind, the weather did not live up to my expectations. However in excess of 50 souls braved the elements – I only wished that the weather had been kinder. I was, and Tony would have been, very honoured at the turnout including people from Reydon (our youngest participant Sonny), Halesworth and Wickham Market – all of whom had to get up earlier than most.
On the way to Hoist Covert, a bat – possibly the common pipistrelle - gave a brief flypast before most of us heard the first Nightingale. East Hill gave us the first Whitethroat and Cetti’s Warbler. The first Swift (for me) was very pleasing to see. Marsh Harriers gave a very good account of themselves but sadly no Bitterns were heard on this walk. Bearded Tits gave their “ping” calls before dashing bullet-like across the top of the reeds and the squeal of a water rail was briefly heard above the wind. Some shivering 48 species were seen or heard - not as many as the best of years but better than some. In addition, 3 Red Deer were seen disappearing into the marsh and the Manx Langtans, (a rare breed of sheep from the Isle of Man) dashed past. We were not alone in our frustration as sadly the RSPB Minsmere walk did not fare any better, starting in silence and missing some of their expected star species.
A hearty breakfast in The Anchor warmed the assembled group and then the sun came out….
I would like to thank everyone for making the morning very special for me and a very generous “goodly” sum was raised towards to “Tony’s Hide” for which I am extremely grateful. Thank you all.