Friday 19 March 2010

Summer migrant-intastic

At last, a proper summer migrant! After a week of early mornings finally scored a solitary Little Ringed Plover on the scrape by the pump at Buckenham this morning. The water had gone up following the rain last night and the scrape was alive with 10 Dunlin, several Oystercatchers and Redshank, plus Shelduck, gulls etc.
2-3 Water Pipits seen feeding along the slubbings again, though no sign of the Rockit from yesterday. 14 Golden Plover flew east and two Avocet remaining out of the 14 last night. Far fewer Wigeon now, maybe only 500 or so. It will be quieter without these guys around, though the breeding waders and warblers will probably substitute the racket.


Scrapping Shelducks

Thursday 18 March 2010

A few bits

Went out early in the mist, but the sun soon came out. Avocets had more than doubled to 14 overnight. A mixed flock of pipits and wagtails were feeding on the slubbed out mud alongside one of the ditches. A grilling revealed three Water Pipits and more surprisingly a Rock Pipit. Presumably a Scandinavian littoralis with a fairly decent supercilium and white throat, though I realise they are difficult to distinguish from British petrosus. Apparently most, if not all, Rock Pipits in Norfolk are believed to be littoralis. There was also ten or so Mippits and c20 Pied Wags. Still no hirundines, though lots about in the county today.
Whitlingham at lunchtime was quiet, with most of the ducks having gone. The highlight was a female Goldeneye.

Water Pipit

Rock Pipit


Wednesday 17 March 2010

Mothers Day Birding/How to get in to the doghouse

A few shots taken on Sunday in the Broads...

Barn owl, Potter Heigham marshes

2 of the 3 Slavs, Ormesby Little Broad

Ad Crane, Broads

2 calendar year (?) Crane, Broads.

It is official. Spring is a month!

Two sunny early mornings at Buckenham have revealed a few new birds, with 6 Avocet and 4 Ruff this morning on the scrapes, plus 3 Little Egrets (an increase from the 1 overwintering bird). No hirundines, LRPs or Garganeys yet, sob! The Peregrines have been noticeable by their absence. Maybe they have headed off to their breeding grounds?

The weather has definitely got milder, and Spring finally feels like it is here. No sign of any blackthorn blossom, flowering daffs or singing Chiffs yet though. There have been a few migrants elsewhere, with Swallow at Whitlingham, Sand Martins and Black Reds in a few places and the odd Garganey. Still a bit slow though!

Saturday 13 March 2010

Footage of male Gos from the Brecks...

Bittern in a rainbow

Early morning walk with Chris at Buckenham revealed 12 White-fronted Geese, 3 Barn Owl, 3 Dunlin, 18 Curlew and 40 Golden Plover. No Cetti's Warblers heard.
Nearby at Strumpshaw, lots of muppets stringing Marsh Tits (which were even calling!) as the reported Willow Tit. Not a lot else, but it reminded me of the Bittern photos I got on 31 January that I hadn't yet downloaded. It flew through a rainbow, which was quite cool.

Thursday 11 March 2010


A milder morning. Quick visit before work revealed the Peregrine pair sitting on a gate. Nearby I found the fresh remains of a female Teal which may well have been their breakfast. Little else of note except the 4 neck-collared Greylags across the river. Fewer Wigeon today and the new eye-sore hide is nearly finished.

Monday 8 March 2010

Buckenham before work...

Greylag Geese! Wild ones. Well, they have been around for a while, but it has taken my ages to locate them. This morning, at least two of the four neck-collared birds were with the feral flock on the south side of the river from the windpump. It seems they are either from Yorkshire or Iceland. The two 2cy Bewick's Swans were still with the Mute flock nearby, whilst a male Peregrine caused chaos with the wildfowl. Best however was the three Otters seen fishing at close range in the cut near the fishermen's car park. I heard the cubs squeaking and then noticed the Coot were on the bank, a real give away. Sadly a birder arriving in a car spooked them, but luckily he managed to see them before they swam into the reeds. Other birds of note included 2 Water Pipits, 7 Oystercatchers, yesterday's 2 Dunlin still, one Curlew over.

Saturday 6 March 2010


Quick visit to Buckenham first thing revealed 3 Ringed Plovers on the scrape in front of the new hide (which is not yet open), plus 4 Pintail (3 drakes). A male Peregrine was flying around and a Curlew flew down river. Lots of displaying Lapwings on the marsh and still lots of Wigeon and Teal, with c12 Shoveler. One Dunlin was flying around, maybe the bird I saw the other day.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Buckenham comes alive

As the days lengthen it is now just about long enough to get an hour in at Buckenham before work. And boy was yesterday worth it, with a couple of good new patch yearticks (Pintail, Oyk, Dunlin) and several good birds including Peregrine, Taiga Bean Goose, Barn Owl, Pink-footed Goose (40 over west) etc. A nice way to start the day.

male Reed Bunt in song

Monday 1 March 2010

Bye bye swans

c200 Bewick's Swans went east high over Lingwood this morning at 7.55 in a crystal clear March sky.

Brecks Twitch

Well, it is that time of year when the big Accipters start doing their thing in the skies over the Brecks, so Reg and me headed down to our favourite site, in a gap between downpours on Saturday. A few Crossbills greeted us on arrival, with Siskins and Coal Tits singing from the spruces. On arrival at our favoured spot, Woodlarks sang from all around and after only five minutes Reg said "raptor" and we both then said "Goshawk" in unison, despite both looking at different birds. A pair had risen up out of the woods, the male heading off west whilst the giant female circled around on stiff, harrier-like wings displaying. Her undertail was puffed up like a snowball, almost encircling her closed tail as she glided around over the trees. Fantastic! For the next hour or so, we had several good views of the pair, with the male circling up high over the woods for about 10 minutes at one point (see photo below). Real bulky, keel-heavy birds. A curious Stoat made an appearance too.

We headed over to Lynford Hawfinchery where we immediately picked up several of these bulky finches in and around the paddock Hornbeams. It seemed they were feeding on the ground, presumably on fallen seed, with several Chaffinches. We counted 15 in all.