Monday, 21 April 2014

Off Patch Birding, Red-Rumped Swallow, Hooded Crow and the Cathedral Peregrine

5th April I went to Waxham and Horsey, Stopping at Waxham to see the Hooded Crow

Also saw the Hybrid Crow

Was fairly quiet at Horsey although the 600+ Seals were interesting to see. This Wheatear was sadly the highlight

On the 9th April i walked up to the Cathedral to see the Peregrines the male was preening almost on the top of the spire.

On the 12th April I nipped to Felbrigg to see the Red-rumped Swallow, saw Mandarin also.

Moths of March

I ran the trap a total of 4 times during March it was on the 9th, 28th, 30th and 31st. Only one new moth for the list and that was a Clouded Drab.

But as per last year I will give you the totals so here they are (this is all four trappings added together) and of course pictures of the new and interesting moths

Cabbage Moth 1
Clouded Drab 3 (New Moth)
Common Quaker 15
Double-striped Pug 1
Early Thorn 2
Hebrew Character 1
Small Quaker 4


Common Flat Body 1
Common Plume 6
Light Brown Apple Moth 1
March Tubic 2 (Both Pics are March Tubic as far as I'm aware, but show the large variation)

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Patchwork Challenge March Review 7 PWC Year Ticks, 3 PWC new birds, 2 Patch Lifers

I know its late coming but I will end-ever to catch up March was a good month but so far April has been banging.

Every trip for March was at Trimingham and the morning of 2nd March was the first, It started with the usual Skylarks singing and seeing Red-throated Divers over the sea.

Then 12 Brent Geese flew through which is unusual for Trimingham. Scanning the gulls on the Beach I spotted a Snow Bunting hopping along the beach being my first PWC year tick and a new bird for the PWC.

I walked the cliff top flushing up Meadow Pipits along the way I then heard a familiar call but one I would normally recognise in the Brecks as a Patch lifer Woodlark flew over.

On the walk back I saw this Fulmar which almost appeared to be looking for an nest site.

The final bird of the day was an Red Kite flying between Trimingham and Northrepps my third PWC year tick.

The next day out was 9th March another early start. 

The usual birds were about but 4 Crossbill flew over, an obvious movement of Meadow Pipit moving along the coast as many birds were on the cliff top and heading west. 

I then saw two Pipits that were clearly not Meadow, they were in fact Water Pipit. Although the picture is not clear to point to Water Pipit they clear had white tail feathers as they flew.

The Water Pipit was my second patch lifer for the month. I ended the morning see two Red Kite over the south side of Trimingham.

Due to Birthdays and other happenings my next trip out was on 23rd March.

Spring had truly sprung during the last two weeks with many spring flowers now in bloom.

The birds were showing signs also, my first Chiffchaff of the year were singing in the wood. A handful of Siskin flew over. 12 Common Scoter were on the sea and 2 Shelduck flew through, the Chiffchaff and Shelduck being PWC year ticks.

The seventh PWC year tick was a Rock Pipit that was along the cliff.

I ended the day watching these Mad March Hares.

Other birding highlights for the month was seeing the Black Redstart at Cart Gap.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Patchwork Challenge February catch up with PWC Lifer.

I only made a few trips out in Feb, and at the start of the month a walk around Ebridge got me to see some fly over Crossbill. Also some flyover Pink-footed Geese.

Some of the Pink-footed Geese over Ebridge

Ebridge in the morning

I also popped through Gimingham seeing more Goosander on the patch and a red head Smew, also added Egyptian Goose for the patch year list.

A walk through Witton mid month proved fruitless see only a handful of Siskin.

At the end of the month (23rd Feb) I spent the morning out and about, a great start to the day seeing two Waxwing early doors in a roadside tree between Swafield and Trunch. I Then walked around the cliff top at Trimingham.

I spotted a small group of duck, well 15 flying past over the sea, and getting the scope on them you could clearly see that they were Scoter and one of them a Velvet a new bird for the PWC life list. Further scanning of the sea added Mediterranean Gull to the year list, as well as seeing Guillemot, Gannet and Red-throated Diver.

I then looked up and spotted in the corner of my eye another flock of 15 birds although these were much bigger as a small group of Swans flew past Bewick's 13 and 2 Whooper.

A bit more seawatching and I added Fulmar and Wigeon to the PWC year list before going to Pigney's Wood.

Pigneys wood was very quiet did see Cetti's Warbler and Bullfinch which is always nice.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Yellow-rumped Warbler and an amazing Black Grouse

Adam and I headed to Durham on Saturday seeing the Yellow-rumped Warbler. It was all easy apart from the drive up in the 70mph winds having to dodge fallen trees in Norfolk.

We arrived at the bird at around 9am and were rewarded with great views as the bird done a circuit and at one point landed right above our heads.

No amazing pictures as the light was poor and the bird did not stop moving.

After this we went to Langdon Beck in the hope of Black Grouse, we drove from Langdon to St Johns Chapel seeing nothing on the way but on the way back a birders car stopped was looking at a Red Grouse.

Further down the road we found an additional 6 Red Grouse.

Then just at the end of the road we found some Black Grouse, 13 in fact in a distant field.

After some rather cold distant views in the snow we carried on. Then just around the corner Adam shouts there a Black Grouse in the tree. I laughed assuming he'd mistaken a bin bag or something, but reversed up any way and low and behold there was a Black Grouse in a tree right next to the road at eye level.

The Grouse was eating berries and looked rather soggy in the heavy snow that was then falling.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Scotland and back..

Having come down with a lifer syndrome after not being able to get to the Orphean Warbler nor the Brunnich’s Guillemot in recent times the American Coot although 550 miles away was very inviting.

It seemed to of settled and even after some really bad weather it remained.

So with positive news on Sunday Adam and I left Norfolk for a Scottish day trip. We set off at 10.30pm seeing only a Barn Owl on route, a brief stop for diesel at Aviemore (as we would of run out) and by 7.20am we were eating Breakfast at a Tescos in Inverness.

We left Tescos at around 7.50 and drove down to Loch Flemington arriving at around 8. The sun still wasn’t quiet up, but as pulled down to the Loch I spotted the American Coot straight away. To be honest it was so easy to spot it ruined the rarity factor. You almost expect to have to scan through 1000 birds or have to dice three miles down a muddy track. But with this you can point at it from the car window.

Mute Swan at Loch Flemington Sunrise

We parked the car and went and had a better look, a group of 20+ Bewick Swans took off from the Loch and a Great Northern Diver was also present on the Loch.

American Coot with Coot for comparison - Loch Flemington

American Coot - Loch Flemington

American Coot - Loch Flemington

American Coot - Loch Flemington

American Coot - Loch Flemington

American Coot - Loch Flemington

We took a back road to Lochindorb and apart from the views we got to see Dipper and Peregrine.

Dipper - Near Dulsie Bridge

The Dipper was down there - near Dulsie Bridge

Peregrine - near Dulsie Bridge

At Lochindorb I spotted a Red Grouse drop into the heather.

Red Grouse - Lochindorb

After this we went onto Loch Garten.

We had a quick look around Loch Mallachie but it was all very quiet, so we headed down towards the Loch Garten RSPB car park. 
At the car park a man had set up some bird feeders and was sat within metres of them.

The birds were completely fearless and a large group of Tits were around. Mostly Coal Tits but then a distinctive loud call appeared as three Crested Tits flew in. I have to say this was the highlight of my day, it was amazing to see them so close and in a fabulous cast of Treecreeper, Coal Tits and Blue Tits.

Crested Tit - Loch Garten

Crested Tits - Loch Garten

Treecreeper - Loch Garten

Crested Tit - Loch Garten

Coal Tit - Loch Garten

Blue Tit - Loch Garten

Chaffinch - Loch Garten

Here is a video of them all, happily feeding.

The final stop was Cairngorm, Up here it was rough, really rough. gusts of winds up to 100mph, a -12 deg c wind chill. It was so windy it kept blow the boot lid shut that we were using for shelter.

But never the less we saw what we went for, Ptarmigan. Although distant which was a shame still a nice bird to see. The 20+ Snow Buntings were also good to see.

Snow Bunting - Cairngorm

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Glossy Ibis, Black-thorated Diver and Rough-legged Buzzard

On Sunday 19th January although the mornings weather was pretty awful I decided to have faith in the weather man and head to Cley knowing the rain was meant to stop. 

I arrived and you could see some brightness in the distance although it was still raining, I started to scan the meadows between Wiveton and Cley. Saw a quite a few Curlew around. Then a message on the pager suggest the bird I was looking for was just up the road near the Three Swallows pub.

I head up and sure enough there was the Glossy Ibis, it was distant and first but eventually got closer giving wonderful views and even the sun came out for a short while allowing the bird to show off its gloss.

Glossy Ibis Cley 19/01/2014

After this I headed for Stifkey. This is where I got views of 4 Great Northern and 4 Black-throated Divers, a very rare occurrence with these sort of numbers in Blakeney Harbour. Also saw two Red-breasted Merganser and a tour guide that was there had found the Black Brant on the Saltmarsh looking towards Wells.

Next stop was Burnham where a Rough-legged Buzzard had been seen earlier in the morning around Gun Hill. I pulled in at the layby and scanned the marsh. I was straight onto Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards, a Peregrine flew through causing a stir amongst the many Golden Plover, Lapwing and Pink-footed Geese.

A couple on their bi-annual holiday to Norfolk then stopped and scanned also. They soon spotted and interesting looking Buzzard which disappeared over the dunes and Gun Hill, we then waited to see if it would fly back over.

During the wait a Short-eared Owl flew along the dune edge and landed in one of the furthest fields out of sight.

About 30mins had past from the original sighting of the interesting Buzzard when I spotted it coming back over the dunes from the same spot it went over. This was clearly a Rough-legged Buzzard, it looked larger than the Common Buzzards as it flew across the marshes, its White rump was clearly visible and flew flat winged. I would say it was a near adult male with a dark head and incredibly pale underneath. It landed on a post where is sat preening for 30mins before flying into the flied and out of site.

I stayed on hoping to see the Rough-legged again adding Merlin, Sparrowhawk , Kestrel and Hen Harrier completing a good number list of birds of prey seen. I then found a Barnacle Goose in amongst the Pink-footed Geese some else found and additional 6 later on.

I got one more view of the Rough-legged before I left, which was when a group of birders all had the Rough-legged Buzzard and were admiring it only to find they were looking at three different birds and all of them were Common.

I popped to Wells after this and saw the Shag in the harbour it didnt seem to like me though as it kept swimming the other end of where I was, so I took this picture of a Redshank instead.

Redshank Wells Harbour 19/01/2014

I had time to pop into Sheringham on the way home and got to see two Purple Sandpipers although they were distant as so many people were on the beach but never mind, heres some I filmed earlier.

Purple Sandpiper Sheringham 12/02/2012