Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Scope Accessory

For when you get really stuck on clinching the id of the bird hiding in the bush, this new accessory will collect the bird for you.

Monday, 21 March 2011

It must be Sprinter

On Satuday I thought I would venture out to the patch in search of Spring, the daffs are out the sun felt warm but the birds had a Winter feel giving the new season Sprinter.

Starting in the garden Brambling and Siskin gave me the Winter feel but Blackbirds collecting worms must mean there is something to feed.

Down on the patch a pair of Mistle Thrush's were a patch year tick.

The next birds were a small flock of 9 Fieldfares that fed for a while before flying north.

The rest of the wood seemed quiet apart from a few parachuting Blue Tits that I watched for about 20mins they were really fascinating. A Great Spotted Woodpecker called and gave a short drum.

The entire wood then went into warning mode as a Buzzard gained height over the tree tops, at the same time a Crossbill flew over which was nice to see.

I finished watching here and headed to Knapton and walked down Paston Way. At first it seemed very quiet but after a small deviation to the track I was walking under a singing Chiffchaff this was my first of at least 15 along my walk from Knapton to North Walsham.
Other highlights were many singing Bullfinch's and pairs of Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming it out from either side of the track.

I spotted this Muntjac but wasn't quite quick enough to get the picture before he ran off and left a blur.

The walk back from North Walsham to Knapton was also good adding two patch ticks on a small pond in the shape of Greylag and Teal. Arriving back to the spot the Great Spotted Woodpecker were drumming from I spotted this beauty in the trees.

Whilst in the area of Pigney's Wood I got to add to more patch ticks a singing Treecreeper and a Marsh Tit. The bird activity had gone to zero by the time I was back at the car so I headed home.

On Sunday I watched the birds in the Garden at least 3 Bramblings present and 4 Siskins seem to be collecting food so possibly nesting nearby? Took a few pictures below.

Today I was lucky enough to nearly run over a Black Redstart it was on the roadside near the Campsite/Caravan site just NE of Ebridge Mill.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

This Years Videos

Here are my videos for this year.

Iceland Gull and American Wigeon at Lowestoft and Cley

The Partial Eclipse at Winterton

The Great White Egret at Marlingford

The Lapland Bunting at Weyborne

And the Woodlarks

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

One of those days

Occasionally when birding you get one of them perfectly calm days and see lots of great birds and hardly anybody else and Saturday was one of them.

It started early heading up to Weyborne as the spectacle of 50+ Laplands was much to tempting to miss.

I parked in the beach car park and from here the wind was still and Reed Buntings were singing.

Taking the coastal footpath to check out the sea the only bird spotted in that direction was a Rock Pipit on the shore line. Walking along the track each step seem to spook up a Skylark, with many singing and chasing other Skylarks all the way along.

Arriving at the field with the bales I scanned seeing only Skylark and a single Snow Bunting, but after 10mins the ground seemed to come alive with Lapland Buntings many much closer than I had been scanning.

This male was also in song chatting up the three females nearby.

After around an hour of watching them I managed to count 23 but could not really see all of the field and never did see the Snow Bunting again whilst I was there. The walk back was much the same as the walk there but this time seeing a pair of Stonechats on some cliff top brambles.

The next destination was just as quiet in regards to people but the birds were singing loudly. Dunnocks and Yellowhammers were instantly noticeable and a flock of ten Siskins flew over.

This Yellowhammer was very approachable and never stopped singing not even when the Sparrowhawk passed nearby.

Walking around Green Woodpeckers were laughing from all around and I was lucky enough to see this one fly up into the tree and pose for me.

Then as I walked along Woodlarks flew from the ground near to my feet one flew into the sky singing strongly. After a few minutes of watching him sing his heart out in the sky he slowly returned to the ground from where he left. I then saw another two Woodlark on the same piece of ground showing really well.
This one watch a singing Skylark in the sky.

Whilst taking in the sight of the Woodlark a pair of Stonechat started chating, then the sun started creeping through the cloud and as it came out the distinctive call of a Dartford Warbler was heard as it sat up in a nearby bush.
The walk back let me see this rather smart Kestrel, and all of these birds were kept for myself as I hadn't seen another birder.

I then went for a look on the patch, no sign of the Raven at Trimingham but I did see a Common Buzzard, Pied Wagtail and again plenty of Skylark.
I returned home to meet Adam and we went to the Poachers for a sea watch. Seeing a Gannet straight away this was the first of about 40 moving through. Also seen were two Med Gulls, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Turnstone, Red-throated Diver and Pied Wagtail. But the undoubted highlight was a pub lifer in shape of a Fulmar close inshore.
We then headed for a bit of local birding and were lucky enough to see a winter Thrush flock that held 59 Fieldfare and 25 Redwing, and whilst scanning through for that returning Dusky or Black-throated Thrush I had to settle for a flyover Red Kite.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Bird Nursery

The Nursery is complete and thanks to Adam we have a wonderful scene.

Aren't they just fantastic, I done the backround then Adam put the birds on.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A Day Brding

I nice day birding around Norfolk on Sunday and as I hadn't been out in a while there was plenty to see, only problem being that we struggled to see it.

We walked around Norwich looking for Waxwing but only managed to see a man who saw them fly over the houses behind us.

We waited for about 45mins for the Great White Egret with no joy. But did enjoy watching the 4 Buzzards that circled nearby. In fact we saw a high number of Buzzards throughout the day. A Grey Wagtail called and flew over our heads but with Pied Wagtails and could not be picked out.

A look for Owls also proved fruitless at to sites.

At Roydon no sign of the Turtle Dove around the church, nor any Woodlarks on the common although I was sure I could hear one in the breeze. A Stonechat was present with a few more Buzzards around.

Golden Pheasants were hiding away whilst we had a drive through at Wolferton.

At Titchwell as usual birds everywhere with everything you'd expect on the feeders and pools.

The Brackish Marsh had the Twite flock on it and, the sea held 2 Red-necked Grebes with the Scoter flock and a high number of Red-breasted Mergansers. The freshmarsh had a close Water Pipit.

We then headed back via Chosley where around 80 Corn Buntings were singing. Another stop at Marlingford and the Great White Egret was finally showing although for only 5mins before heading into the river and out of site.

Friday, 4 March 2011

The End of An Era

The day finally came when, with the baby on the way, my car had to replaced. It has now been sold. It was my twitching beast rarely letting me down. Only braking down once whilst birding outside a nudist camp (we weren't birding outside the nudist camp thats where the exhaust came off).
Getting it in May 2006 the first rarity and lifer seen with it was the Wilson's Phalarope at Hillesden.

Through the years I have been to see some really great birds and clocked up around 60,000 birding miles.

My really true highlights in no particular order have to be seeing the Long-billed Murrelet, 5 Red-flanked Bluetails, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, Lesser Kestrel, Alder Flycatcher and my favourite the Black Lark.
I remember racing to the Black Lark around the sharp bends (travelling at a legal limit of course) and once we arrived the brakes were burning hot and were smoking slightly.

I loved that car but now have a new one and I will soon have my new family to take with me (well at least on the shorter journeys).
Below is my car in the summer of 2010 when me and James went to see a Norfolk lifer the Hooded Crow.

My 206 - Wilson's Phalarope to Rufous Turtle Dove

May 06 to Feb 11

60,000 (ish) Birding Miles

Total 348 Species Seen with it

Took me to 40 Lifers

Offical 400th

A trip to Oxford the week before last and I saw my offical 400th BOU bird the Rufous Turtle Dove. It was a straight forward trip there, peered over some hedges and bingo the bird sat nicely on the fence. I was surprised at how large the bird was I just didn't expect it to be anything different than a Turtle Dove.

It was also nice to see a large number of Bullfinches in and around the town and in the gardens on the feeders, this is a sight I had never seen before.

We then headed to Rainham and scanned the gulls I found a Lesser Backed look alike but we could not find the Slaty Backed Gull.