Monday 29 July 2013

Norfolk .... never disappoints


 On Saturday 27th my destination was Norfolk in the hope of catching up with Two Barred Crossbill and to visit Cley and Titchwell for some wader watching , my first stop was at Lynford Arboretum where a juv Two Barred was seen recently however i drew a blank but i did add a single juv Common Crossbill  to my year list , i then headed off to Kelling heath where i was more hopeful of seeing a Two Barred Crossbill as one had been seen early morning .

Gatekeeper underwing.

Well to cut a long story short it was seen at 6.10am and not seen again , real shame as i have not seen one of these smart birds for a number of years , i put in a good couple of hours here and enjoyed some wonderful butterflies including , Gatekeeper , Small Copper , Small Skipper , Silver Studded Blue and the star of the show a really smart Purple Hairstreak   . I also had a brief view of a Common Lizard .

Silver Studded Blue underwing.

I cut my loses and headed to Titchwell for some much needed grub and then onto the reserve for some really top quality birding , i connected straight away with a family party of Red Crested Pochard  on the first lagoon on the left of the path and then saw all the Spoonbills , there where 17 birds which is an incredible number and the most i have ever seen together in the UK , there was also a single Little Egret amongst them .

Spotted Redshank.

There were waders everywhere , Avocet , Black Tailed Godwit  and Ruff seemed to be everywhere i looked and i counted at least 20 Spotted Redshank in various states of plumage from almost grey to jet black , quite amazing to see , there was a scattering of smaller waders including 2 Curlew Sandpipers which was another very welcome year tick .

Record shot of Curlew Sandpiper.

I added both Green and Common Sandpipers from the hides and the wader list just kept on growing with Whimbrel , Curlew and Knot joined the party , if you love waders this is the place to come .

Close Knot.

I had a very good birding session here and then I decided to head to Cley and was on my way out of the hides when all of a sudden everything got up and there were hundreds of birds in the sky , the reason for this was 3 Arctic Skuas flying over the lagoon being mobbed by Common Terns , how good was that ? 2 dark phase and one light phase bird , these were really impressive birds to see and the detail was amazing on these birds , sorry i never took any photos of these as i was just enjoying watching them so much .

Family party of Shoveler .

I reached my final destination of the day at Cley and added Common Snipe and  Greenshank  to my ever growing wader list ,   i spent about an hour here before i decided it was time to head home .

I have had a very good response to the " Just for Fun Quiz " this week and you still have time to try and guess the mystery bird , i will reveal the answer and correct entries this coming Saturday .

Sunday 28 July 2013

Just a Bit of Fun Quiz week 6 Last weeks answer and new Pic

Mystery bird was :  Little Egret .

Last weeks mystery bird was in fact a Little Egret and it caught quite a few people out with only 2 correct answers and they were by Martyn Wilson and Chidders , well done on getting that one .

Unlucky to those who got the wrong answer and many thanks for having a go .

Mystery bird to id is on the left .

Well here is this weeks Mystery Bird , its the left hand bird i would like you to try and id  , however if you can name both birds you get a bonus point .

Remember i will only name the correct entries and you can have as many goes as you like , just leave your answer in the comments and good luck , i will post answer and names of correct entries next Saturday.

Sunday 21 July 2013

Catching up ........ Brief visit to Dungeness then onto Rye

Black Redstart.

I paid a brief visit to Dungeness last Sunday the 14th July , i headed straight to the patch in the hope of seeing either Little or Med Gulls however i didn't see either , on my way to the patch i could hear a Black Redstart calling from somewhere inside the power station compound but could not locate it , although on the way back from the patch i located the Black Redstart on top of a tall post calling its heart out , only other birds of note were about 60 Common Scoters heading east .

I then decided to head to Rye Harbour and try and see the recent Roseate Tern that had been reported from there .

Common Tern.

Rye Harbour is not a site i visit much although it is a very good reserve and has a long list of rarities to its name ,on my walk to the Denny hide i saw several Avocets with young , there were plenty of Linnets flying around and then i had arrived at the hide , i could instantly hear very vocal Common Terns which were very close to the hide .

Very close Common Tern.

However the Roseate Tern had not been seen since early this morning , oh well it was such an enjoyable morning i thought i would put in some time as it often went missing , scanning through the waders i came across a summer plumage Knot which was a new bird for the year list ( i know i should get out more ) .

Summer plumage Knot.

I bumped into Jamie ( sorry cant remember surname ) who is a birder i met on Scilly a while ago , good to see you again , well Jamie headed of to check other areas after we exchanged phone numbers just in case, well he had only been gone 20 mins when a lady picked out what she thought could be the Roseate Tern right at the back of the reserve amongst Sandwich Terns , i quickly got my scope on it and sure enough it was an adult Roseate Tern , smart i have not seen one of these for a few years so was very pleased to see it , i quickly phoned Jamie and he dashed back and thankfully saw it too. I never managed to get a photo because of the heat haze and distance , so here is a pic of the last Roseate Tern i saw at Minsmere a couple of years ago .

Roseate Tern at Minsmere in 2011.

I quickly popped into the other hide and other than some close Redshank it was very quite.


Saturday 20 July 2013

Just A bit of Fun Quiz Week 5

Its back or should i say i'm back with my weekly summer quiz for just a bit of fun , after suffering with some tech problems with computer i am now back up and running , so here it is this weeks mystery bird ?????

Name that bird ????

If you fancy ago just leave you answer in the comments and i will post names of all correct entries next Saturday , you can have as many guesses as you like and don't worry only names of correct entries will be posted , so good luck 

Saturday 6 July 2013

Just a Bit of Fun Quiz week 4 Answer

Water Pipit .

This weeks mystery bird was in fact a Water Pipit , this proved to be a very tricky bird to id and a very big well done to just 1 correct answer and they are : Ephraim P .

Water Pipits are very scarce migrants on Scilly with only 1 or 2 records a year , very good effort by those with the incorrect answer , i find Pipits really tricky birds to id myself , thanks for everyone who has had a go , i am taking short break from the quiz for a couple of weeks but it will be back .

Monday 1 July 2013

Bonapartes Gull at Oare.....Again

 Bonapartes Gull note the all black bill.

I headed to Oare Marshes yesterday 30th June and was hoping to see the Bonapartes Gull  , well after a short while i picked it out quite near the road , its been a couple of weeks since i last saw this bird and it has much more black colouration on the head .

Note the pink legs , ( dark red on Black .H.Gull ).

The Bonapartes Gull rested up on the spit near the pull in for a while preening , this is a really dainty looking gull and well worth a look if you have not been for it yet , hide tide is probably the best chance of seeing it as it roosts on the east flood.

Sedge Warbler.

This Sedge Warbler was singing and preforming well in a nearby hedge by the lay by , i decided to walk around to the west hide , just before i went i saw a really close Grey Heron .

Stunning Grey Heron.

And then i saw  3 Sandwich Terns  flying overhead , i then walked around towards the west hide and met Murray on route and whilst chatting 7 full adult summer Med Gulls flew high overhead , there were plenty of Common Whitethroat in the area and then we saw a Hobby circling around and Murray pointed out a distant Peregrine on a pylon , i said my goodbyes to Murray and then headed to the hide and i did not really add anything from here and decided to head back to the east flood and do a circuit around  to see whats about .

Summer plumage Ruff .

I tried to relocate the stunning plumaged Ruff  i saw earlier and it had moved onto a small island in the middle of the flood , this is an amazing plumaged bird , there were 250+ Black Tailed Godwits on the flood with lesser numbers of Avocets which were well represented , there was a scattering of Redshank and Lapwing around and everywhere i looked there seemed to be Little Egrets , after a short stay in the hide on the east flood where i could here a Lesser Whitethroat calling behind the hide , on my way out i saw this really cute Greylag gosling all on its own near the hide .

Greylag gosling.

I headed around towards the sluice and along the creek , I added Marsh Harrier and another Med Gull flew over the flood , there were plenty of Bearded Tits around the fringes of the flood , the most i have seen here in awhile , I bumped into Chidders and whilst we were talking he pointed out 2 more Hobby on the other side of the flood , we then carried on with our walk to the sea hide and back along the Swale adding plenty of birds as we went , we did see a probable Small Blue butterfly along the sea wall however it never stayed still long enough to be sure.

There were several Black Headed Gulls out on the exposed mud plus a couple of Curlew flew along before landing out of sight , then we were soon back at the cars and ended a really good birding session at Oare .

This weeks Quiz is proving to be a real challenge with only 3 correct answers so far , don't forget you can have as many guesses as you want , so good luck and don't worry if you get it wrong i will only post names of correct guesses .