Sunday, 17 May 2015

Patching

Still running a few times a week and as im running around I still manage to see some birds. The first Swifts on the patch for the year, a Common Buzzard and a nice Painted Lady Butterfly.
A 1st Summer Med Gull off COSW along with a House Martin, A Reed Warbler singing from Corton Dis Railtrack. The Terns and Kittiwakes have started with many going south but at distance.
4 Little Tern showed closely.
Now to this weekend, checking the moth trap and this very nice moth was in the trap. Sulphur Tubic.


Whilst in the garden a Spoonbill flew north past Lowestoft and probably flew past Corton but I missed it as I raced to the coast. An Osprey followed shortly after but im pretty sure that didn't come through. I ended up spending the rest of the day on patch to very little reward. There was a steady passage of swallows all morning, including at sea. 6 house Martin and 2 sand martin. 1 full sum plum grey plover 2 Tufties, and a Wigeon. A Diver Sp landed on the water.
Swift numbers built up today with a flock of 16 moving north then 8 lingering in the area for the rest of the day. Last bird of the day was a nice Hobby.
Today was another very frustrating day bird wise. At COSW I looked out to see and spotted a bright white bird it was always distant and the sun was very bright but it was clearly a large white winged gull. My conclusion was a 3rd summer or Adult Glaucous Gull it looked large, larger than nearby herring gulls although honestly at that distance and light there no way I could rule out something like a Viking gull or something...So this put me in a bad mood, a good bird on patch and I couldn't id it sufficiently and had to give it up.
There was still a smaller movement of Swallows and Swifts.


I reached the Dis Railtrack and started looking through the butterflies and insects, finding my very first patch Green Hairstreak.


Other bits were Green longhorn Moth.


A couple of Damselfies Azure and Large Red.



Then I decided to id all the Blue Butterflies id seen today and all week and found they were actually Holly Blue, a lifer for me.


I then took some pics of the young Moorhens just cos there was nowt else to see.


 
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So what can I say no rare birds but good vis mig all weekend.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Whinchat and Bee eater

Its been tough work again on the patch through the week mainly due to finding what I thought was a Wood Warbler in the pouring rain, putting news out as such and the it being a bloody Northern Willow Warbler. These birds from the north are extremely pale with a very good super and first one id found.
So Next day I tentatively went out and did a short sea watch and pretty much the first 2 birds I saw were a Common Tern and a stunning adult Black Tern, not that anyone would believe me now without pictures lol. A Few Kittiwakes too.
Really quiet the rest of the time. Yesterday though Rach heard a Cuckoo from the garden so rushed out to listern to that for the next half hour. Garden tick.
Today I REALLY didn't have any motivation so birded from the garden for the morning Adding Mallard and black cap to the days little list. Typically a Male Whinchat was then found on my patch arghhhhh. So after lunch I went to look for the Whinchat, luckily it was still present along with 2 Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail




Bird of the year though was now a BEE EATER that flew past me whilst watching the Whinchat, it then landed on wires for 30 seconds before continuing south calling as it went. I had camera in hand but couldn't digiscope it through the vegetation when it landed and camera point and shoot as it flew past so im afraid the pics are the best ever of bee eater but you can just about see the blurred colours if you click on the pics below. So this bird has saved my year.



I was going to go see the Citril Finch at Burnham Overy too but decided I couldn't be bothered, really glad I stayed on patch now. :-) see if finch hangs about till next weekend.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Norfolk

Rach n I headed once again for North Norfolk, packing the tent just incase there was room at Kelling Heath.
Firstly we spent the morning at Hickling broad and we covered part of the Weavers way. A nice selection of birds including the Cranes, 9 Whimbrel, Ringed Plover 22 Dunlin, Reed warbler, Sedge Warbler and my first Gropper of the year. Lesser Whitethroat and another year tick Garden Warbler. Bittern was heard booming and a Hobby showed very nicely. Lastly a few Avocets and 2 Common Tern.
We then proceeded to Salthouse and Cley but it was rather quiet so finished off at Kelling Heath where luckily there were a few free pitches.

 
It was then a case of nip of for something to eat then back to relax.
Next morning it was out very early but the weather was really poor with rain constantly so it wasn't looking good for spotting anything really, but a short break in the weather had me spotting Woodlark, Dartford Warbler and 3 Turtle Dove. I did get the camera out for the dove briefly but gave up as everything was getting wet.




The heavens really had opened now so got back changed into some dry clothes and headed for Chosley Barns where a few Dotterel had been seen, Id hoped the weather would have got better by now but how wrong was I it had only got worse so I sat in the van for 10 min being lazy whilst I let some other birders try to find the Dotterel. They didn't find them so I had to get full waterproofs on and  go sort em out and managed to find 6 of them distantly but goodish scope views.
Back at the van I scoped a single Corn Bunting, another year tick.
As birding was slow we did some touristy stuff for the remainder of the day until the sun came out late afternoon and made everything warm up but still very few birds at any of the sites we visited. Best was a Little Tern at Burnham Overy, 1st Summer Shag at Wells, 5 Yellow Wagtails and a Swift with Swallows at Salthouse.
This morning I awoke to the sound of the Woodlark displaying and the weather was much more appealing and birds easier to see including the Dartfords again. The heath was looking stunning.


 
However birding was slow still so took some pics of Thomas and chums at Weybourn station :-).





We sat outside for lunch at Kelling heath and had flight views of Common Crossbill, Siskin and Redpolls all nice additions to the list before dipping on Wood Sandpipers Nightingale and Wood Warbler at Salthouse, did see a Green Hairstreak however.
All in all a very nice bank holiday weekend away.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Raven

A great evening on the patch tonight, I made my way to radar lodge seeing very little initially except for 5 Linnet and a couple of Whitethroat.

 
So decided to do a sea watch. Started with a close Sandwich Tern, my first of the year. Then a Fulmar, 18 Common Scoter sat on the water. Terns then started to move but at a great distance with 40 feeding and then sat on the Yellow Bouy. 78 More in one big group went south as well as smaller numbers. I think they were Sandwich Tern but not 100% 2 Gannets added to the list.
I was just about to pack up when I picked up a large dark bird very very distant, firstly thinking cormorant but the flight was totally wrong. It was heading straight at me but I felt it was a Corvid and the closer it got the more detail I got with long wings large shape and then eventually just before it got to land turning showing the big size and diamond tail of the RAVEN, which I suspected all along ;-). It continued north and seemed to make land at Hopton. What a bird and my best find for the year so far.  Whilst making sure It was a Raven 2 Whimbrel flew south calling but I didn't want to take my eyes of the corvid.
A few more distant terns went south and a couple of Swallows came in off but that was it, so started heading back. I heard the distinctive call of the Common Sandpiper and found it feeding on the Groynes opposite the Caravan park, another year tick and finished the patching off just nicely.




Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hotting up.

Started on the patch and immediately heard Yellow Wagtail somewhere, Some were actually flying over but 2 were on the deck.


Continued on to the ponds where the Lesser Whitethroat was singing away merrily. Showed intermittently too.


Got around to the old Sewage works listening to many more Yellow Wagtails flying over then 2 Whimbrel feeding in the field. James had these birds on the next field at Broadlands Caravan Park.



James also had a Bar tailed Godwit on the Caravan Park, I scoped it from where I was and could see it had no fear of people or dogs so nipped up for a better look and some pictures.





Whilst watching the Godwit a few Sand Martins rested on the wires, there were a lot more than there had been, seemed like up to a hundred, with smaller numbers of Swallow.



Headed home and picked up the 2 Whimbrel on the beach this time but very little else after.

Headed for Oulton Marsh where a pair of Garganey and 2 Mandarin Ducks had been found. It wsnt nice weather wise but I did finally find the Garganeys but the Mandarin's moved to Carlton Marsh so missed em.


 
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More Yellow Wagtails here, my first Cuckoo of the year, Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Cettis, Willow Warblers and a Whimbrel were other additions to the morning.
Warming up nicely now though.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Horsey

After the morning on the patch Rach n I decided to head to Horsey and Winterton for an afternoon walk. We started at Winterton and the north dunes where I checked all the bushes but just 2 Wheatear were seen. We reached my usual viewpoint on top of one of the Dunes by the Natajack pools and immediately saw 2 male Ring Ouzel but very distantly, so moved a little closer and then found 6 together. Good scope views if not a little distant for photos.





We then headed for Horsey mill for a drink and an ice cream and wow it was so good here with 4 Common Tern, 2 distant flyby Cranes, 30+ Swallow and 2 flyover Avocets a showy Great Crested Grebe and a 1st Summer Med Gull.




On the way back 3 Kingfisher together in the ditch.



We just love the Horsey area, although I hope they replace the sails on the poor mill soon.


We then drove slightly up the road to Horsey Gap where I spotted a Short eared owl being mobbed by a crow then a second, one of the birds disappeared but the other sat on a post for a few pics, what a stunning bird.











Time was moving on so we had a slow drive past the windmill again and Rach spotted two Cranes in the fields, they stayed long enough for a few pics, slight displaying was going on, we felt very privileged.







Turned into a very very good afternoon.