Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Easter - Four Days, 9 Patch Year Ticks and Two More Patch Lifers

 Got down to Trimingham at 6am on Good Friday (18th April) it was very windy and very cold.

The sunrise looked nice over the sea.

The birds were quiet and elusive a passing shower didn't help but the end of the rainbow was towards the end of the patch so surely there would be gold or something as good.

A fair few Meadow Pipits were about.

An unusual flock of 17 Common Gulls sat on the sea as I walked along the cliff top. Then a distant Sandwich Tern flew through. A single Swallow and the local Fulmar were also on the cliff top.

Towards the end of the rainbow a Tree Pipit flew over head and this was the first lifer of the weekend.

On the walk back a Yellow Wagtail landed in the field and was promptly chased away by a pair of Skylark. I then headed home to warm up, just like these flies.

On the Saturday a text whilst eating my breakfast got me rushing out the door. A chance for a second Patch Lifer this time at Pigneys Wood.

I got out of the car and was straight onto a Whitethroat, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff and Blackcap were singing everywhere, spring had clearly arrived at Pigneys.

I walked straight to the pool I thought the bird had been seen on. I had no luck and thought I had miss read the directions so headed to the other pool.

I added Sedge Warbler to the list of spring arrivals before reaching the other pool. On the other pool was nothing so I headed back to the original spot for a closer inspection.

As I approached a flock of 7 Swans were trying to land this made the other birds a bit skittish. I walked up the steps and flushed the bird I wanted a male Mandarin.

I tried to relocate the bird but had no luck but did see a pair of Oystercatcher.

As I wondered back to the car I heard a call, that Fieldfare Blackbird cross, it was of course a Ring Ouzel, I hopped along the tree tops heading north and out of site.

Bonus of the morning was get this picture of an Orange Tip the first I have managed to photograph.

I also got some shots of an Holly Blue

I went back to Pigneys in the afternoon, the place was generally a lot quieter but a flock of 7 Bullfinch was lovely to see.

After that I popped to Ebridge this proved to be quiet also but its nice to know the Grey Wagtails are back again for the summer. This Muntjac was also around.

The end of the day finished with this wonderful sunset.

On the Sunday I went back to Pigneys extra early again the Warblers were singing everywhere including a Garden Warbler.

Saw this rather cool look Snail.

Also saw this very nice Fritillary

Seeing a Kingfisher was great but I soon gave up the morning hunt as the heavens opened and a Thunder Storm came right over head.

The Monday was more of the same started a Trimingham here was very quiet with the local Fulmar being the highlight.

I then went onto Pigneys were a Sand Martin made up for a quiet visit here also.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Patch Double Lifer

Still on the catch up but on Saturday the 12th April, a pager message alerting me to a Hooded Crow in the area of my patch got me going there as soon as I could.  I met a local birder who had originally found the bird but had not seen it for an hour or so.

I continued to look it for some of the afternoon but seeing a Swallow was the only bird highlight. Although I took a few pictures of some local tail.

But I got good views of this Hare

Just before I left for home i also saw this super Emperor Moth sorry the pics aren't sharp he was very mobile.

As the title promises I scored to lifers, so on the morning of the 13th at 6am the first bird of the day was an Lesser Whitethroat (and early record for me) this was at Swafield.

I then headed for Timingham and headed out. In the Cliff Top wood after adding Willow Warbler for the year I got my first patch lifer of the day a Firecrest.

I then walked around the pilgrims shelter noticing more Chiffchaff and Blackcaps around and on the walk I added my second lifer of the day as a Hooded Crow flew over my head with 5 other crows.

I then done the cliffs and only saw two Swallow, this Speckled Wood was my first since the winter.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Patch Lifer - Long-eared Owl

After already adding 4 Patch lifers this year I really didn't think I would get another, but on the 6th April I got to Trimingham at 8am and headed along my normal route.

The Cliff Top wood was its normal quiet self when a Green Woodpecker laughed its way onto a nearby tree.

As I left the wood a flock of 16 Golden Plover flew over which isn't a normal site and a small flock of 15 Linnet flew of the cliffs.

Approaching the scrubby area I got my  first year tick of the day a Blackcap was singing along with many Chiffchaff.

And whilst trying to obtain a snap of the Chiffchaff I accidentally flushed an Owl from about 5 yards in front of me. It flew and landed in the bottom of some bushes and was indeed the Patch Lifer Long-eared Owl!!

The owl hopped upwards and out of site so I then carried on.

I walked back through the Cliff Top wood adding a Song Thrush for the day. 

The walk along the cliff was quiet but was not fruitless adding Wheatear and Oystercatcher to the year list.

This Meadow Pipit was one of around 25 Meadow Pipits along the cliff top.

But the day was not done as just before I got back to the car I spotted a wader flying over and it was a Ruff my 5th year tick of the day.

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.