Sunday 23 August 2015

North Norfolk & Coate Country Park

                                                       North Norfolk  10th August

Icterine Warbler .

My first trip was to North Norfolk on Monday the 10th  , i started of at Burnham Overy Staithe to look for the Icterine & Barred Warblers that had been seen the previous day plus any other drift migrants that might be around , i spent a little time looking for the Barred Warbler along the track but without success , these can be quite elusive at times despite being big bulky warblers.

Very close Icterine Warbler.

I decided to carry on and look for the Icterine Warbler which has been showing very well indeed , and no sooner had i arrived at the group of bushes it had been seen mostly from when i got onto it straight away but not in the bushes !! it was actually foraging on the sandy path right in front of me !!

Icterine Warbler on sandy path.

I have been lucky enough to have seen several Icterine Warblers over the years but have never seen one this obliging , incredible views were obtained .

Cracking looking bird.

I spent sometime here and enjoyed prolonged views of this cracking bird before i headed off to Titchwell RSPB reserve , i added plenty of waders as you would expect including some close views of Avocet & Ruff ,there was good numbers of Black Tailed Godwit , Knot Dunlin with a few Bar Tailed Godwits amongst them.

Close views of Ruff

However the star of the wader show was a summer plumage Grey Plover which was quite stunning to see , i also saw 5 Spoonbills here.

Grey Plover.

Coate Country Park  12th August

Spotted Sandpiper in full summer plumage.

On Wednesday the 12th i  headed to  Coate Country Park in Wiltshire and my target bird was a Spotted Sandpiper in full summer plumage , i arrived in good time and made my way round to the bird hide which the Sandpiper has been favouring , and it was packed with all the regular local birders taking all the front row seats , i had missed the Sandpiper by about 10 minutes but was told it normally flies back in after approx 30 to 40 minutes .

Lots of spots.

Well after an hour it still had not reappeared , one of the local rangers popped into the hide and asked the local birders to give up their seats as they have already seen & photographed the Sandpiper lot's of times and fair play they all gave up their seats without complaint and eventually after nearly two hours the Spotted Sandpiper flew in and gave us all some fantastic views , this was a very welcome year tick for me .

Spotted Sandpiper.

Other birds seen here were at least 3 Kingfishers , Grey Wagtail , Common Terns and plenty of Hirundines hawking over the reservoir . 

Friday 14 August 2015

Wader Hot Spot.......... Oare Marshes

White Rumped Sandpiper .

The water levels have been near perfect at Oare Marshes over the last few weeks and the selection of wader species has been very impressive and it was only a matter of time before a rare wader species was found and sure enough on Tuesday the 11th August i received a text from Richard ( Thanks mate) saying a White Rump Sandpiper had been found.

Primaries extend beyond the tail.

I headed straight over to Oare and joined the Oare regulars and had some decent views of this adult bird , a very welcome year tick indeed , there has only been 3 White Rumped Sandpipers recorded at Oare the last one being in 2010 .

White Rumped Sandpiper & Little Stint.

Cracking bird to observe , it was quite flighty but often came quite close away from the main flock of waders which consisted of 2000+ Black Tailed Godwits , 3 Little Stints (1ad & 2juvs) , 2 ads Curlew Sandpipers  , 3+Little Ringed Plovers , 75+ Dunlin , 5+ Ruff , plus large numbers of Redshank & Avocets. 

White Rumped Sandpiper.

Flight shot.

Note white rump.

Near the end of the session Murray picked out 6+ Whimbrel flying overhead plus a Green Sandpiper was heard but not seen , a really great birding session in good company.

3 Little Stints , White Rumped Sanspiper & Dunlin.

3 Little Stints.

3 Little Stints and a Dunlin

Thursday 13 August 2015

Black Storks in Middlebere Farm & Spurn


Black Stork coming out of the mist.

An early start on Sunday morning the 9th August saw me heading to Dorset in the hope of seeing the juvenile Black Stork that had been seen going to roost at Middlebere Farm. 

Having a fly around.

The viewing conditions were not great as there was a heavy morning mist covering the area the Stork had gone to roost , however the mist begun to lift and another birder picked out the Black Stork which was quite distant , however it got up and had a fly around and looked like it was going to land alot closer but just circled round and then flew further into the fields and dropped out of sight.

Black Stork flying into the mist.

I did see it again a bit later on but was always distant , this was a welcome year tick for me, other birds of note were 2 Spoonbill , 14 Little Egrets , 2 Water Rails , Kingfisher , Dartford Warbler and at least 3 Garden Warblers.


Black Stork.

 On Monday 10th August  another early start  saw me heading to Spurn and despite an hour delay on the A1 i made good time and just as i pulled up by the Coach & Anchor pub at Spurn my phone beeped and news was positive .

In flight.

I made my way around to view the Black Stork and was straight onto the bird as it just slept in the field , still fairly distant but closer than the Dorset bird , after awhile the Black Stork woke up and started to preen before walking out of sight in a near by dyke .

I thought that was it until as i was deciding of what to do next the Black Stork flew out of hiding in the company of a Little Egret and flew quite close to me giving cracking views , it flew over the pub and out of sight.

Black Stork & Little Egret.

The Black Stork was only seen one more time that morning and not seen since in the area , so i was very fortunate to see it when i did .

Juvenile Black Stork.

This bird was ringed ( Ring number F05P) at it's nest in Bossus-Les-Rumigny , Ardennes in France in June of this year and one of it's siblings is currently residing in Scotland.

Friday 7 August 2015

Mega Flock of Little Terns plus Plenty of Waders at Oare

Mega flock of Little Terns.

I paid an evening visit to Oare Marshes yesterday the 6th August in the hope of seeing the large number of Little Terns  that had been reported and wow what a sight it was to , the most i can ever recall seeing in a single flock , the agreed amount was 220+ birds roosting on the East Flood , every so often they were spooked by a juvenile gull and took to the air giving a tremendous spectacle.

Little Terns.

It was very difficult to get a definite total of the  amount  of Little Terns present but as i said earlier the general consensuses was at least 220 birds , fantastic to see so many and they are most probably from the East Anglia population .

Coming into land.

Roosting on the East Flood.

There were 1000's of waders present including 20+ adult Curlew Sandpipers , 2 Wood Sandpipers , 2 Little Stints , 14+ Greenshanks & 10+ Knot.

4 moulting Ad Curlew Sandpipers.

Adult Curlew Sandpiper .

Two Little Stints.

Wing stretching .

Whilst having another look through the Little Terns Geoff Burton picked out a couple of Black Terns which seemed to appear out of nowhere and were a very welcome year tick.

Black Tern.

Black Tern calling.

There were in fact 3 Black Terns in total , with the other two in quite a bit of plumage moult.

Two Black Terns in moult.

Two Black Terns.

 Other waders noted were 2000+ Black Tailed Godwits , 200+ Avocets plus large numbers of Redshank  & Dunlin , 3 Common Snipe flew out of the flood towards the West Flood plus approx 3 Ruff & Golden Plover plus a single Common Sandpiper were on the far side of the East flood.

3 Golden Plovers alongside a Common Gull.

Wood Sandpiper.

Another digi scoped  Wood Sandpiper.

A really enjoyable birding session .