Monday, 17 June 2019

Great night with Nightjars in the Kings Forest

We travelled up the A11 last night and found our usual forest clearing with ease. We plotted up and waited hoping that with the full moon shining we might get some early Nightjar action and we weren't to be disappointed. At 9.10pm we had our first call then a brief churring. A Woodcock flew over and Owls could be heard calling in the distance. Large bats came out to play then by about 9.25pm the real Nightjar action started. We had both male and female birds flying around our heads, calling, churring wing clapping and making that noise they do as they fall from the perch. We had one bird sitting up on a nearby tree on several occasions and we left at around 10.30pm having had the best ever Nightjar experience and bring about tick 262 for the year list.

Image from 2014 and my only daylight sighting of a Nightjar

Friday, 14 June 2019

Found a Cattle Egret at Elmley today

Not much about but I did find a Cattle Egret at Elmley today.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret at Elmley
Cattle Egret in flight
Year list still 261

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Unwanted comments

Recently I've seen an upturn in the volume of crap I get dumped in my comments box. It's always nice when somebody drops a genuine comment showing real interest in where I've been and what I've seen but I have to vet this because of the crap. I've posted a few recent examples for your amusement.

1) Stunning flower bouquets might be positioned on the time of reception

2) I am genuinely thankful to the owner of the website who has shared this great post

3) Wonderful work. This should be shared disgrace on the search engines for not pushing this kind of work on the submit upper.

4)Your writing taste has been amazed me

5) The decaying algal biomass will deplete the oxygen in the pond which can lead to loss of fish

6) Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make critically posts I would state

7) Avoid placing furniture in sunlight as sunlight causes furniture to fade

8) This topic seems too complicated and vast for me I don't think I'll ever understand it

Just a small sample of some of the random crap I get which of course all have been generated by a robot somewhere and have no relevance to my blog topic but are the reason I have to vet the comments so as to not give the link any credit.

To all real people reading this then please continue to comment when you feel the urge.
It's great to share my travels and sightings with like minded people but the blog is really just a shared diary. It may inspire, it may amuse, it may show people birds they wouldn't see normally or locally and it may just allow a window into my crazy obsession hobby.

Anyway the year list is still 261 so onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Lesser Grey Shrike at Horsey

I planned to visit the Suffolk Norfolk border yesterday but the weather put that plan on hold until this morning. I decided to stop first at Hazlewood  Common and it proved a decent shout as we quickly connected first vocally and then visually with the Quail that's spent the last few days there. The bird seems to favour the field on the left about a hundred yards after the houses but was seen in flight heading to the pea fields on the right of the footpath.

From here we headed twenty miles north to Kessingland and started a two hour search for the Woodchat Shrike without joy. The bird appears to have moved on but with only seven people looking it could simply just be playing hard to get.

Our final destination was a further twenty miles north were we parked at the top of Nelson Head track and walked all the way to the green shed. The weather had closed in by now and we were happy to take shelter behind the shed to scan the fence line were the Lesser Grey Shrike eventually showed.
I picked up the bird in flight into the trees and managed to pick it up again taking refuge from the wind and rain but it remained a little distant.

year list now 261

Lesser Grey Shrike at Horsey
Lesser Grey Shrike (a true record shot)
The Green Shed

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Black-headed Bunting at Flamborough Head

We couldn't make the trip yesterday but set off this morning hoping the Bunting would stick for us although we were still smarting from the previous dip on the Brown Shrike a few weeks ago. As luck would have it we had positive news come through around 7am which helped us press on with the four hour journey arriving at Flamborough head around 9am. There were around a hundred birders on site and some had seen the bird whilst some missed it so we set about relocating it and before long Jim had picked out a very distant yellow blob in the hedgerow at the far end of the fields. After checking it to rule out Yellowhammer we put up the shout and the march along the footpath started. We got to within a few metres of the hedge row and managed to get really good scope views and a couple of record shots.
Black-headed Bunting
Black-headed Bunting
Black-headed Bunting
The Black-headed Bunting twitch
The Lifer was in the bag so we drove down to the Lighthouse car park and walked over to the golf course where about forty birders had created a ring around the willows hoping the Subalpine Warbler would show and after about an hour it did. Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and lots of Tree Sparrow kept us busy as we scanned the bushes but we did see the target and I think everybody got on it eventually.

The Subalpine Warbler twitch
Waiting for the warbler to show
We broke the journey home with an hour at Welbeck watchpoint but failed to find any Honey Buzzards.

A nice twitch in good company and a warm welcome given by the locals who seemed more than happy to share their patch for the day.

Year list now 259
Life list now 403

ps.. Black-headed Bunting has now been removed from my dipped list after I missed one in Norfolk previously. A difficult bird with chances to twitch on the mainland few and far between.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Great Grey Shrike at Needingworth Gravel Pits

I drove up the M11/A14 today to look for the Great Grey Shrike that's being reported at Needingworth Gravel Pits. I've never visited these pits before but easily found the Ouse Fen car park to begin the long walk around the pits towards the entrance to the working pit. I heard numerous Turtle Dove and a single Yellowhammer as I walked the paths. I got lost and then found the correct path but even on the right path this is a long walk (at least 4.6km as a return walk) but the prize was worth it as the Shrike chased dragon flies from the security fence by the pump station and would fly within a few feet of me before sitting in a willow just a few feet away to feast.

Year list remains at 257

Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike and a darter
Great Grey Shrike
On the wires
Great Grey Shrike and a hawker
The long walk
The prize ( A real stunner)

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Dipped the Broad-billled Sandpiper again

After dipping the Broad-billed Sandpiper at the weekend and seeing it showing well all day yesterday I decided on another go this morning so we set off early and arrived at Orford Quay around 6.30am this morning. I walked over a mile twice up and down the estuary and for my trouble I found Dunlin, Ring Plover, Turnstone, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and Swallows but after four hours had to concede that the Sandpiper was not around. The rain was now falling and the tide almost in so any chance of finding the target had long gone so we set off back down the A12.

On the way down I offered to Jim the chance of trying for a London tick with the Ring-necked Duck on Seventy Acre lake. We walked all the way around and eventually found the bird in the distance from the Bittern Hide. It was right under the bridge separating the two lakes

It remained quite distant but did fly over to the far side possibly disturbed by a school party on the bridge. Jim left pleased with his London tick.

Year list still 257

Ring-necked Duck at Fishers Green

Ring-necked Duck 
Ring-necked Duck
Peacock on guard at the farm