Monday, 2 May 2016

Stone Curlew

So here I am trying to start the Extramadura trip report but the patch keeps drawing me onto it.
I did have a lie in this morning as I need to catch up with some sleep from the full on trip to Spain.
So I left the house about 930 and stumbled upon my first Lesser Whitethroat of the year singing from the front garden of a neighbours tree.
I got to COSW and could hear a distant Cuckoo, a couple of Common Whitethroats and a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. I moved onto Radar lodge to look for yesterdays Ring Ouzel but there was no sign, it must have moved on. Swallow numbers had now built up and my first House Martins of the year were going through in small numbers.
In the Compound of Radar were a couple more Common Whitethroats and a Greenland Wheatear.
Walking to the north of Radar lodge the grass cutter flushed 4 Yellow Wagtails from the field they flew over very low and at least 1 was a Blue Headed Wagtail, semi patch tick.
I then looked down the field to a strange bird heading towards me, a chap was down there too so my initial thought was he had a captive raptor flying. The closer the bird came the more I realised that it was only a beautiful STONE CURLEW, a very rare bird to lizard land but my 3rd in the 3 years I've been here. This time I managed a record shot as the bird flew past and south along the cliffs.



Returning home via COSW, more Yellow Wagtails over, House martins, Swallows and Whitethroats but nothing to top the Stone Curlew.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Ring Ouzel

Got back from Extremadura today after a massive trip with Keith, a mate from Cumbria.
So I have to find some time to sift through the thousands of pictures I took to pick out a few of the best ones. In the meantime it was back on the patch where this beautiful male Ring Ouzel was showing, showing nicely in the warm sunshine too. A few Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail too.



My first Lesser Whitethroat of the year was singing from a service station rough patch on my way home from the airport.

Now to start piecing together my Extremadura report.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Cromer and Sherringham.

Started on the patch but it was still very quiet. A Whimbrel was my first of the year and so was a Common Whitethroat both at the OSW.
The rest of the patch was quiet James had a Willow Warbler at the NSW but when I got there they had already passed through. 3 Wheatear still in the NSW compound.

Come late afternoon we were really bored so took a trip up to North Norfolk heading for Cley stopping at Salthouse where I had a distant probable Blue Headed Wagtail but it didn't show outside the long grass.
We moved onto Cley beach carpark where I immediately spotted this cracking Blue headed Wagtail.





Then another year tick was 2 very nice Little Ringed Plover.




Whilst watching the Plovers it was great to hear flocks of Sandwich Terns heading towards the point.
It was amazing to see 30-40 Wheatears all along the coast from Salthouse to Cley.



Cley windmill looked great as ever. Digiscoped from the beach carpark.




We then headed to Sherringham for a cracking evening on the sea front watching the sun go down as we ate our fish n chips.





Then we finished the day with a Beer and an ice cream on Cromer pier, just love it awesome evening.









Oh how good it is to just be an hours drive from our favourite locations.
Back home the moon was stunning.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Local

Started early on the patch and it was flaming still raining, when will it ever stop. I did a bit of a Seawatch but it was very quiet until 2 Fulmar flew North together. otherwise bugger all.
I reached Radar lodge and still had saw nothing and I stood hoping something would drop in for ages. The rain stopped and the sun shone briefly and that's when the birds started. Small flocks of Goldfinch and Linnets. I then started back towards Corton when a Male Wheatear dropped out the sky onto the fence and then flew to the Gun turret base and then onto the golf coarse.



 A Swallow then flew over and a few Sandmartins started flying around.
Back at COSW 50+ Sandmartins was the pick of nothing still.

The railtrack hosted bugger all so did the pond. James had found some Wheatear and a Black red by the entrance to the NSW, so ended my day there still pouring with but there were 8 Wheatear and the Black Redstart still to save the day.







I'm due something proper soon its far too quiet and it becoming very frustrating.
I did take a quick pic of a Kestrel.



Just hope tomorrows better.


Sunday, 10 April 2016

More Local Stuff.

White Stork on the way to work again, one of the Thrigby free flying birds probably.
Back on patch Saturday was very quiet in the rain, a Colour ringed Greater Black Backed Gull Black JC003 I think from South Norway. There were still a few Redwings around.
 
 
Sunday the weather has been superb so it was nice to catch up with a few nice year ticks, 11 Swallows, 75 Sandmartins to lunchtime, 3 Sandwich Tern and 2 cracking Yellow Wagtails. First thing I  had a short tailed lark that could only have been a Woodlark, unfortunately it didn't call as it flew south so could 100% nail the id..Other birds moving were Meadow Pipits and Linnets. A Drake Shoveler was a bit of a surprise sat out at sea. Fulmar made an eye level pass along Corton Cliffs. 3 Sparrowhawks were displaying distantly.
 I then spent the afternoon in the garden taking a few pics of the common stuff and hoping for a flyover something but it didn't really happen.
 
 
 




Sunday, 3 April 2016

Trickle of Migrants

I got very frustrated during the week, being stuck at work and missing a few good bits, 1 was a White Stork, although without seeing rings they will never be accepted as wild whilst we have the Thrigby free flying birds about. On the same day I also missed a Glaucous Gull, Ive had a white winged gull on the patch in the past but it was out at sea and too far to tell for sure, although it was probably a Glauc.
So after work I did manage to find a couple of Firecrests, one in Furse wood again and another that was fly catching by the bridge at Corton Dis railtrack. Then I spotted a very pale headed bird on the ground, I could see it was a Buzzard and for a while I was hoping for a Rough legged Buzzard, unfortunately when it did fly it turned into a normal Buzzard.....ohh bugger ...
I did have a very good Saturday mind, I left the house and walked up the road to hear a Ring Ouzel on the local green the bird flew into the trees and over the houses, unfortunately it was into the sun so I couldn't gleam any other details but I'm  happy from the call it was an Ouzel. Moving onto
the Corton cliffs and upto Radar lodge I managed 15 Sand Martins and my first Wheatear of the year.


 
The White Wagtails are finally moving now with half a dozen seen.
 
 
A Stock Dove was on the Church roof and I found a Black Redstart back on the rocks on the cliffs. 11 more Sand Martins, 2 Brent Geese and a Fulmar on the Corton Prom.


I moved onto the Dis Railtrack where it was alive with bird song, Firecrest, Chiffchaffs loads, Tree Creeper a nice Blackcap and a male Bullfinch.
Over at the NSW more Chiffchaffs and the pair of Egyptian Goose and Red Legged Partridge were still in the fields.

 

 
This took the morning and my afternoon was going to be spent finishing the pond. The liner had arrived so it was time to put that in and finish the wildlife areas. I'm really looking forward to seeing it by the summer.





I then chopped up all the wood from the fallen tree.


Sunday I over slept a little but still nipped out at 8, but it was very quiet, just a White Wag.
So Rach n I had a visit to Strumpshaw and had a really nice morning.


We had our first Willow Warbler of the year and also our first Sedge Warbler. We also got to SEE a couple of showy Cettis Warblers. A nice Peacock Butterfly was sunning itself on the path. We could hear Cranes but distantly.


We did have a quick look for the Penduline Tits but we were never in the right place at the right time.
The Great Crested Grebes were displaying nicely.






 
 
Around at the fen hide a Kingfisher put in a brief appearance and the Marsh Harriers were displaying fantastically.
 
 





 
Practiced Digiscoping on a Greylag outside the hide.
 

 
We finished back at the visitor centre when a Blackcap was singing in the same bush as a very showy Firecrest.
After tea it was back out on the patch for the last daylight hours but all the birds were very quiet until the a gulls got up and mobbed a pair of very close Buzzards that seem to go to roost in Furse Wood.
That was it really.