Sunday 28 October 2018

Probable Stejneger's Stonechat at Salthouse

This morning saw me and the Jims heading north to Cley for a spot of seawatching on the back of a weather forecast suggesting North easterly winds all day. We arrived just after 7.30am to be told we'd just missed a White-billed Diver.

It was a bit choppy 
It was bitterly cold but dry so we set up behind a tractor and enjoyed a couple of hours watching the sea. Our reward was a very close adult Pom Skua that flew right along the shingle in front of us and a very close Glaucous Gull. We missed a Sabines Gull but did spot a few Little Auks and a couple of Velvet Scoters among the large rafts of Commons. A distant Great and Arctic Skua added to the count as did a couple of Arctic Tern.

We then set off for Salthouse and searched the ditch at Meadow Lane to find the bird being reported as "probable" Stejneger's Stonechat. We found it straight away and enjoyed an hour or so but it remained quite distant. I managed a couple of record shots before the bird flew across the marsh and was lost to view.

The probable
The probable
Look at that rump
Last call for the day was Brancaster where we enjoyed a bit of lunch whilst watching the various waders in the harbour.

Black-tailed Godwit

Year list now 249 which includes the Stonechat listed for now as Siberian but if DNA proves it to be Stejneger's then it will be added to the life list.

Sunday 21 October 2018

Grey Catbird at Lands End

 Jim and I drove down to Lands End today leaving at 2.30am we tackled the 320 mile drive and despite thick fog and the M3 closures we arrived at Lands End for 8am. Pulling into the car park which was already full we could just about make out the group of birders in the mist and made our way towards them. The bird had just flown which was in one way a relief as we knew it was still about but obviously we now had to see if it returned. After an hour we had a very brief view as it sat up on top of some distant brambles. Another hour passed before the bird showed again but this time it came much closer and gave me the chance to grab a few images despite the thick cloud cover that had now formed.

Grey Catbird
Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird was now firmly on the list.

A short diversion on the way home gave another year tick with Cirl Buntings at Broadsands.
Year list now 246
Life list now 397

A full car park at sunrise
Looking for the Catbird
Lands end
First distant views but qualified for my second lifer this week
Now will that Brown Shrike wait around for next weekend?

Thursday 18 October 2018

Rustic Bunting at Wanstead flats

Thanks Nick!

Yes Mr C has found another great bird on his local patch and I managed to bunk off work long enough to connect with it today. When I say connect I managed to hear it calling as it flew over and saw it at least three times in flight but despite people giving directions I never managed to get on it on the ground so a return trip will be in order should it hang around until the weekend.

Nice to see lot's of locals today.

The twitch
Rustic Bunting
Rustic Bunting
Rustic.............Thanks Nick!
Ps,,went back Saturday got to see the bird on the ground, took a few distant records shots above and gave Nick a hug for all the work he puts in walking this patch and finding good birds for people like me to see.

Year list now 244
Life list now 396

Sunday 14 October 2018

Quiet morning at Minsmere

At the crack of dawn we're walking the north bushes at Minsmere only to find a few Brambling and a Bullfinch for our effort. An Otter and four Red Deer showed as we walked the north wall and lot's of Beardies pinged all around but despite the calm didn't show that well.

On the wader front a Spotted Redshank was the only thing of note.
At the Sluice we found a few Stonechat and surprisingly a pair of Dartford Warblers.
At the car park we heard Yellow-browed Warbler but failed to see it.

There was a lot of migration today but all high up with groups of Redwing, Skylark and Meadow pipit making up the majority of the movement.

Red Deers at Minsmere
Elusive Bearded Tit
Then we get home to find a certain Hornsea birder has found a White-rumped Swift up in Yorkshire today which is only a first for Britain..never mind!

Year list now 243

Saturday 6 October 2018

Sea watch at Cley

With the north winds forecast I headed up to Cley this morning for a bit of a sea watch stopping off at Buckenham Marsh for a couple of Pec Sands and then a couple of Jack Snipe before landing at the coast guards car park.
The weather looked good but the going was slow.

Four Arctic Skua, Five Great Skua, several Manx Shearwaters, lots of Gannets. A few groups of Eider and Scoter, four Arctic Terns, two Med Gulls and a single Little Gull.

On the beach a single Snow Bunting was the highlight.

A large long winged Shearwater flew east but remains unidentified depsite a few people saying Sooty!. I thought I could see a white belly on it but it was too long in the wing to be Manx.

The two guys next to me had a Storm Petrel but I couldn't get on it.

Year list now 242

No pictures today with the weather etc so here's a few of last weeks Cattle Egrets at Elmley.

Cattle Egret at Elmley
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret at Elmley
Cattle Egrets 
3 of the 6

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Bittern at Dungeness

A few more images of the Bittern from Hanson Hide on ARC pit this weekend.

close up and personal
What a bird!
All about the stare
Eurasian Bittern at Dunge
Probably my best views ever of this usually secretive bird
Newt for lunch
year list now 240 (I missed Arctic Skua from a trip to Dunge in August)