Saturday, 3 January 2015

Great Start to the New Year

1ST   JANUARY 2015 

Long line of Birders at Fraisthorpe.

News of a Little Bustard being found at Fraisthorpe in East Yorkshire and still being present at dusk on the 31st December 2014 was to great to resist , so plans were put into place and i was leaving my home at 1 am on the 1st January 2015 and heading to Yorkshire .

I arrived  on site at approx 7.15 am and it was still dark , i made my way around to the Kale  field where the Little Bustard was last seen the evening before and joined the mass of birders already in wait , as the light started to improve everyone was scanning the field and after approx 30 mins rumbles were spreading down the line of birders that someone had located it , thankfully it didn't take long for me to get onto this fantastic bird , i dipped the Dorset bird back in the late eighties and thought my chance had gone after all this time without seeing one , so you can imagine my delight once i got my eyes on this little beauty .

Digi scoped shot of Little Bustard.

I had some excellent scope views and tried to get some digi scope photos but the wind was quite strong and it was difficult to keep the scope still , so i just enjoyed watching this bird which was picking insects of the oil seed rape stretching it's neck up , it had a little walk where you could make out the patterning on its back and wings , i even saw a little bit of white in it's wings at one point , cracking bird and a great way to start the New Year.

After a warm up and a lovely breakfast i headed off to Calder park for another look at the Blyth's Pipit plus i was hoping for better views.

Record shot of  Blyth's Pipit.

I arrived at Calder park and was straight on to the Blyth's Pipit which was walking in the grass , i saw it quite well before it suddenly flew high over towards the KFC field , great to hear the very distinctive call again , it was relocated in the KFC field but although it showed well at times the views were very brief , i managed a couple of record shots but once again i was more happy viewing the bird .

Male and female Goldeneye.

I had a quick walk along the river to try and see the drake Smew but was out of luck with that one however i did see a female Goosander and 5 male and 2 female Goldeneyes.

From here i headed of to Old Moor RSPB reserve in the hope of seeing Willow Tit a species i have not seen for over 15 years in Kent as they are sadly extinct in that part of the UK .

This is the first time i have been to this reserve and what a great place , the bird feeders set up by the visitor centre are incredible and i saw loads of finches , tits and woodpeckers coming to the feeders.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker.

2 Female Bullfinches.

Male Bullfinch

Another male Bullfinch.

There were Tree Sparrows all over the place and then 2 Willow Tit's flew in and were feeding on the feeders right in front of me , fantastic birds to see and were definitely the cherry on top after a quite fantastic days birding and without doubt my best birding  start to a New Year ever.

I also added a cracking Brambling here from a different hide .



I stayed over night in Norfolk and tried for the Golden Pheasants at Wolferton triangle but i missed out on them,  next a brief stop at Thornham produced 40+ Twite and a Ringtail Hen Harrier  , i called into Titchwell and added several birds to my year list including a showy but often obscured Water Rail , Titchwell has a good selection of feeders up and we saw several Long Tailed Tit's and a single Coal Tit.

Long Tailed Tits

Coal Tit & Robin.

I had another brief stop at Burnham Overy but missed out on any RLB'S but saw thousands of  Pink Footed Geese and several Egyptain Geese.

Pink Footed Geese.

I called into Bennett Abby to check for Cranes but sadly i couldn't locate any but i did add 20+ Bewick's Swans to my trip list.

My final destination was Covehithe Broad in Suffolk , a cracking redhead Smew showed well plus 2 male & 1 female Goldeneye were keeping it company.

Redhead Smew.

However the highlight here was 3 stunning Shorelark's which were feeding on the beach.

3 Shorelarks.

Just about make out yellow colouring on face.

I then saw 4 Brambling in the field near the church on the way back to the car 
and then it was time to head home after a great couple of days birding , i saw 85 different species over the two days including 1 Lifer .