Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Wild Swan flock back in East Norfolk

The Catfield Swans are back in a mixed flock about 180 strong of Bewick's and Whoopers.

I was on the way to work so didn't have time to work out the whats what of numbers but here is a video and some pic's if any of you want to have a go.

They were in the same spot yesterday and are easily viewable (not good views but lots of white dots) from the A149.

This swan did catch my eye with a very small amount of yellow, not really small enough though. It is shown on the video also towards the end.


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Its my favorite bird and its on my patch.

Although last weeks ringtail Hen Harrier on the patch was awesome this male tops it all. A male Hen Harrier has to be one of my most favourite birds.

It was early Saturday morning I was detouring on the way to work when I spotted it being harassed by a Buzzard I had the camera ready and although the pictures were rubbish I got and ok video and pulled off these video grabs as it flew through.


And of course the video is here

Also here is my selection of random snow pictures.

After work I headed home to do more work but not after a quick sea watch off Walcott (lots of Red-throated Divers and some Guillemot)

I also made another detour, finding a huge flock of birds, mostly Linnets but Brambling were in good numbers and a few Corn Bunting were also within the flock that was 500 strong adding yet another bird to the Patchwork Challenge.

This sat nearby.

In the garden for the big bird watch on Saturday afternoon (inbetween working).

The Snow still clearly having its toll on the birds with high numbers coming into the garden including Rooks which is a bird that rare comes 'into' the garden.

The entire count is as followed. Rook 5, Jackdaw 4, Carrion Crow 2, Woodpigeon 12, Collared Dove 7, Chaffinch 14, Brambling 4, Greenfinch 8, House Sparrow 6, Goldfinch 4, Dunnock 2, Robin 1, Wren 1, Long-tailed Tit 9, Blue Tit 2, Great Tit 2, Coal Tit 2, Blackbird 7 and Black-headed Gull 1.

Today (Sunday 27th) I popped to Trimingham mainly for a sea watch, I found a small flock of ducks 4 Common Scoter and a Long-tailed Duck on the sea, these flew East when something from under the sea try to get them I have no idea what this was?

I then found the large Common Scoter raft that I had been told about with around 60 birds in it.

In the wood a Green Woodpecker was flying around.

I was with the family at Walcott in the afternoon and got this snap also.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Snowy Patch Visit

I set out early on Saturday with the hope of finding some clear water ways and maybe a bit of the Whitlingham magic would occur here. I arrived at Pigney's Wood and spooked a Woodcock from near the car park. All the larger bodies of water were frozen and only a few little streams were flowing. The Little Egret from last week was still about though.

The Barn Owl was about again also.

Also manged to get part of it Barn Owls foot print.

I manged to clock up a few more species for the patch work challenge seeing Reed Bunting, Buzzard and Skylark. Only other birds of note at Pigney's were 5 Bullfinch and the Siskin/Redpoll flock was up to about 150 birds though very mobile (so mobile I never actually saw them land).

After Pigney's I thought I'd try my luck with Ebridge Mill, not alot happening here apart from a Teal on the unfrozen part of the canal, and this Egyptian Goose on the Frozen part.

I went home had a cuppa then headed out again but this time to Trimingham. I got to the Cliff Top wood before seeing any birds. A Treecreeper was with a Long-tailed Tit flock and a I spooked my second Woodcock of the day. Upon leaving the wood for a sea watch I noticed a flock of birds that had just taken off, these were a Lapwing and Golden Plover mix that had been put up by a Peregrine.

Watch the sea was hard with a very strong and freezing cold Easterly, I didn't stick at it long maybe 40mins. But did see two Brent Goose, Gannet, Kittiwake and plenty of Red-throated Divers.

After the sea watch I headed for home via Trimingham Church where a flock of Thrushes were busy looking for food.

I arrive home to see I have Bramblings back in the Garden seeing at least four.

After another cuppa I went sledging back at Pigney's Wood where a Hen Harrier (ringtail) flew through.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Patch Lifer!!

I have had broadband troubles so my updates are a little behind but here goes.
On Thursday 17th Jan an appointment in Cromer meant I could drive through the patch in the morning to see if anything good had turned up.
I stopped at Gimingham Church and Pond where the ducks and Swans made the most of an open piece of water.

Further along I started getting some new year ticks for the patch, seeing Grey and Red-legged Partridge.

This Fieldfare was also and addition one of many seen along the coast even with some small flocks coming in off the sea to our warmer shores.

I got to see Mistle Thrush and Sparrowhawk before seeing this posing Pheasant

Before arriving at the cliff top wood Two Waxwings flew over my head and headed inland.

On the sea a Great Crested Grebe and Red-throated Diver were the highlights, but the best bird of the day was a Patch Lifer! It was on the Cliff for a few seconds before it spotted me and flew further along it was a Rock Pipit.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Patchwork Challenge first visit

Having been busy getting 'better' I had stayed 'in' and opted not to go to the patch, last weekend I was better and after spending Saturday getting pictures of that wonderful Dipper, I had a few hours spare early morning to do my first real patch visit.

The reason I say first real visit is that I had stopped very briefly with highlights of Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher on the 7th.

I have also decided to try and photograph as many scarce (and rare if it happens) birds for the patch as possible to document my findings.
I started Sunday before sunrise, slightly later than planned due to having to scrape the icey snow stuff off the car.
I went to Pigney's Wood and after the normal first Woodpigeon of the day, I saw a Wren, Dunnock, Chaffinch and I spooked a Song Thrush from the undergrowth.
A Blue Tit gave a warning call and alerted a small flock of Siskin that flew away as this Barn Owl flew through. The Owl was close but as I have a new camera I keep it safe in a case and by the time I got it out it was this far away.
I walked further along seeing Bullfinch and fly over Redwing and Greylag. Below is a picture of where a Cetti's Warbler sat as I pressed the shutter button.
The next highlight was this Little Egret that I spooked from a pool next to the path, it took off and flew through between two Ivy covered trees and in turn it the spooked a roosting Tawny Owl which flew off and into the trees. The Little Egret circled and landed in this tree.
A few Lapwing flew over and a Waterail swam across the river.
My second Kingfisher for the patch flew over the pools, and this small flock of Woodpigeons got disturbed by gun shot.
I added Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Redpoll, some Pink-footed Geese and a Pied Wagtail before heading home.
I went home via Witton and a flock of Chaffinchs/Yellowhammers held this Brambling.

 After taking the family shopping we all went for a walk around Witton Woods and I managed to see Goldcrest and two fly over Crossbill.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

The Norfolk Rare

Been lucky enough to be near places whilst between appointments, on monday I stopped at Salthouse and saw the Snow Bunting. I then stopped at Walcott and saw the Purple Sandpiper on the groynes and this Herring Gull.

I also got a chance to stop at the patch briefly and saw Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail at the mill.
On Tuesday I popped to Filby and saw the Smew on Ormesby Little Broad. Thursday I was near Haddiscoe at lunch time and timed the visit just right with the fog and got to see the Rough-legged Buzzard and Short-eared Owl.

On Friday I got to head back to Ormesby Little Broad with the camera and got this picture of one of the Smew.

Today my Dad, Phil and I went on a south Norfolk exhibition, we went via Taverham where 5 Waxwings were still present.

We also stopped at Marlingford where the American Wigeon was showing well although the light was not great.

 Next stop was Thetford where the Dipper was showing really well!


After the Dipper we headed for Lynford, where we heard a Firecrest but could not see it.

The is a huge flock of Siskin 200+ that held 8/9 Redpoll

This Nuthatch was coming down to seed that somebody had put down.

After a long wait for Hawfinch we did get to hear a single Crossbill that we could not see, then Phil spotted this bird in the distance in the bins it did look good for a Crossbill but as I got the scope on it we could see that it was in fact a Hawfinch. This pleased the other 30 or so birders that had been waiting all day top see one. This bird was later joined by another three.