Sunday, 4 October 2015

Goldcrest fall at Landguard

We took an early morning run up to Landguard today and on arrival found the place alive with Goldcrest.
The little gems had literally fallen from the sky and every bush held one along with several groups feeding on the ground all along the beach. In foggy conditions the little Kinglets chase the light from lighthouses and can as today appear in big numbers. The only negative was the local Kestrel picking a few off but as the place got busier with birders and dog walkers alike the Kestrel seemed to keep a distance.
Chiffchaff had also arrived in good numbers as had both Blackcaps and Blackbirds. A Redwing, Firecrest, Lesser Whitethroat, Wheatear and Redstart made up the other notables although a group of Spoonbill did fly over but I must have been looking at Goldcrests at the time as I completely missed the Spoonbills. (I also missed Redwing and Firecrest in my state of Goldcrest overload)

No Yellow-browed Warblers today but a really memorable trip which will take some beating as a spectacle.
I also apologise now for the Goldcrest overload you're about to get below.

Goldcrest and daisy
Goldcrest (PS'd)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Garden birds

This morning whilst everybody else was out there finding Yellow-browed Warblers I was sitting in the garden enjoying the various visitors to my feeding station. (It's a dead tree with a few feeders hanging on it)

My first Autumn Blackbird paid a brief visit this morning along with Dunnock, Robin, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, House Sparrow, Starling, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon and a Feral Pigeon.
Fly overs included Sparrowhawk, Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed Gull, Jay, Rook, Crow and Jackdaw.

I snapped a couple of side lit images of the Blue Tit and Sparrows.

House Sparrow
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Blue Tit
After enjoying the garden I couldn't resist the pull of the Yellow-browed so headed up the M25 to Great Warley where I found a neat nature reserve. I scanned every movement around the car park and surrounding paddock finding first Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit and a Chiffchaff, then a small flock of Long-tailed Tits travelled through with another Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest which had me excited for a second. Movement in the top of the trees looked interesting but turned out to be a Firecrest which was still good to see.

Despite a good search where I was joined by around twenty other birders the Yellow-browed failed to show although I did hear it call in the Sycamore at the car park but failed to actually see it.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Essex Phalarope

The Wilson has been in Essex for a week now and I finally found the time to go and look at it today.
The Jims picked me up after work and we arrived early afternoon at Vange Marsh to find a small get group of birders with scopes aimed at the back of the marsh. We quickly picked up the Phalarope spinning around in the distance just before it was flushed by a passing Marsh Harrier. It was relocated and we enjoyed good scope views of it along with Little Stint. A single Ringed Plover at least three Green Sandpipers and what looked at distance like a Wood Sand were good additions. A few Spotted Redshank, Ruff and several Common Snipe added to the list before we moved on to Wat Tyler hoping for the Glossy Ibis to drop in at roost but sadly we left without seeing it. We did get to see Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine Falcon but the Glossy didn't join the Wilson on the year list.
Nice to bump into Alex and Steff too who'd travelled down for the Wilson.

Marsh Harrier at Wat Tyler

Marsh Harrier

Monday, 21 September 2015

Norfolk day four

Our final day in Norfolk and my good lady saw a Barn Owl from the bedroom window this morning but it had vanished before I got there. Thornham was very quiet as was Holme but we had a nice lunch at Stiffkey where a Spoonbill had dropped in about 300 yards out from the car park allowing a reasonable record shot alongside a Little Egret. Marsh Harrier flew over and another two Spoonbill flew off as the Harrier came through.  At Brancaster we had lots of Gannet, Sandwich Tern and Scoter flying through with a single Red-throated Diver and several Auks. As we took a coffee break three Dunlin dropped in and gave me a chance to catch an image even if the light was poor today. Great little birds and nice to get close to them and watch them perform along the shoreline.

Spoonbill and Little Egret

At Holkham we found a nice Stag displaying and a Hedgehog, I cant remember the last time I saw a Hedgehog that wasn't flat so it was great to watch this little guy for a while.

Proud Stag

Back home and reports of both Wilson's Phalarope and Glossy Ibis in Essex would both give me a year tick if they stick around for the weekend.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Norfolk Day Three

Another superb day in North Norfolk with blue skies and summer sun.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Barn Owl to start the day was again a good start followed by a good spell at Thornham where hundreds of Curlew have gathered. A Spoonbill was present again along with Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover and Golden Plover. Common Buzzard, Kestrel and Marsh Harrier flew over to move the gathered waders around and at sea Gannets and Cormorants were in good numbers.

At Brancaster the Turnstones entertained for a while before we took Tia for a run in the waves at Brancaster beach where Gannets, Auks and Sandwich Terns were moving and a single dark Shearwater (probable Sooty) was seen flying West.

At Titchwell the highlights were three Spoonbill, two Curlew Sandpipers and three Little Stint along with a couple of Snipe, Marsh Harrier and the usual suspects.
No Owl action tonight (I spent too long watching the Stints and Sandpipers) but a fine days birding in great weather.

Curlew Sandpiper

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Norfolk day two

A quiet day with the highlights being Barn Owl at first and last light, Red-throated Divers at Salthouse, Redstart at Gramborough Hill, Grey Partridge at Holkham, Bearded Tits at Titchwell, Six Spoonbill and a Red Kite at Stiffkey along with a few more common species.

Today was 1940's day at Sheringham and the Norfolk fun run was on too so the north coast was a little busier than usual but the weather was superb so nothing to complain about even had a fly-over Spitfire to entertain me whilst on a little seawatch at Cley.

Curlew at Thornham
Bearded Tits at Titchwell
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail

Friday, 18 September 2015

Norfolk weekend

Back in Norfolk for the weekend

A good start to the day when I picked up a fishing Osprey at Thornham harbour and spotted two Spoonbill in the distance. Hundreds of Curlew, Lapwing and Golden Plover were present whilst Cormorants and Sanderling had massed on the beach. Wigeon, Brent and even Pink foot have started to arrive already.

At Brancaster Staithe we enjoyed the company of several Turnstone along with Curlew, Redshank and Ringed Plover. Common Gull were present with the Black-heads and Herrings.

Our last stop was Titchwell where Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint were highlights. Hobby, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine flew over and Bearded Tits were seen from the hide. Yellow Wagtail and Whimbrel were good ticks too.

A decent first day on the north Norfolk coast.

Little Stint
Little Stint with two Dunlin
Ruff with Curlew Sandpiper
Herring Gull