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Sunday, 24 September 2017

Hard work on local patch

A look around Corton on Sunday 24th septenber was very disappointing despite the east wind blowing with the only species seen 4 Large White butterflies, a Grey Wagtail was heard calling as I did the loop path back to the car bordering Stirrups lane. A Green Woodpecker flew up and flew left as I was entering the Corton church car park. Nothing at Radar Lodge. A look around the Denes revealed 6 Pied Wagtails on the Oval and I was relieved to finally see a Wheatear this autumn perched on the fence of the northern perimeter of Ting dene permanently sited caravan park. The bird perched there for a while before flying down back into the fenced off area. A young and Adult Herring Gull perched on the west and east wall of the seawall near Ness Point.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Little Stints & Phalarope again

On Saturday 23rd September, walking down to Covehithe Broad which is fast becoming my favourite birding spot with a combination of field hedges, trees, beach and broad some nice varied habitat. No sign sadly of yesterdays RN Phal, but 3 fine Little Stints seen at the back of the Broad initially. Looking out to sea, initially a Red- throated Diver flew south and also amongst some Gulls I could see a Bonxie or Great Skua sat amongst some Gulls its thick body broad neck and distinct face and bill betrayed its ID, after a fe minutes it flew up showing the white underwing flashes on the primaries and it flew south. When I looked back on the Broad, the Stints had disappeared, then they were seen back at the back they suddenly flew the trio flying north and round again and then 2 flew over us and settled in the seawater inlet to the Broad. I and John R who was also there carefully approached them and got some reasonably close pics along the far side of the inlet albeit in poor light but they then flew to the Broad edge, we saw them here too. A Hobby then flew from north to south over the back of the broad. A calling Grey Plover with black "armpits" flew over the beach and right above me before flying south. Later, the 2 Little Stints had ran to the extreme northern edge of the broad by the beach and approaching very carefully (I had the advantage as I was dressed all in beach biege) we got eventually within 5 metres of these birds without disturbing them as they were both asleep and now bathed in sunlight. Eventually one work up started feeding and then the other woke fed and then they flew of the own accord back to the broad edge further south. Walking back a fine male Stonechat perched on scrub seaward then landward side of the path. A fine calling Goldcrest seen by the trees by the track. A hovering Kestrel seen by the farm then perched on overhead wires. Later seeing Carl B when driving back to Wrentham, he directed me to 25 Egyptian Geese and 1 Barnacle Goose in the middle of the flock in the field to the south of the road by the first house. At Minsmere east scrape, a distant juvenile Red Necked Phalarope still spinning like a top clockwise along the left hand end of the east scrape to disturn invertebrates to peck at from the water's surface seen late am. Later it moved to the very back of the east scrape. There were also 3+ Little Stint much closer to the hide, 1 bird flew to the island with the big stick running along the far edge, it returned several times. 3+ Ruff seen including the white male with orange legs, a winter- plumaged Knot was amongst some c300 Black- tailed Godwit, c20 Dunlin, one Snipe seen on an island and whilst scoping the Phalarope, 2 Bearded Tits seen in reeds behind they were a male bird and a juvenile. Finally back at Minsmere car park, a fine adult male Migrant Hawker seen flying about.

Pied Flycatcher on the North Denes

On Sunday Sept 17th after a tweet from Rob Win, I drove down to the Links road car park and looked in the sycamore copse just 100 yards south of there where I saw Carl B peering intently in, we saw the fine Pied Flycatcher flitting around low down almost at ground level, several Magpies higher up maybe making it a little nervous! It occasionally showed perched briefly on bare branches and posed briefly for the camera. Amazingly this was Suffolk's first autumn bird this year! An adult winter Mediterranean Gull seen in the car park later but no sign of the Redstart. On Tuesday 19th Sept, the usual Buzzard was perched on the tree just south of Hopton roundabout seen after work. On Wednesday 20th returning from Frettenham via Acle straight it was almost dusk and a Buzzard flew from left to right low over the road.

Curlew Sand & Red- necked Phalarope

On Saturday Sept 16th a walk down to the scrape at Carlton Marshes revealed the fine Curlew Sandpiper still early morning Carlton Marshes scrape right in the middle of a group of with 6 Dunlin, (Lowestoft & Lizard land tick, the Curlew Sand not the Dunlin!) right in the middle of the scrape, when they flew the white rump was seen clearly they flew around then returned just west of the middle of the scrape and at the old building an immature Little Owl showing v.well at barn perched on the metal sheet before flying up to the eaves. The fine juvenile Red- necked Phalarope still at Minsmere East Scrape this evening, spinning around clockwise like a top, seen from the left side of the hide it was mid way back, 3 Hobbies flew around at the back above the trees around Bittern hide, one Hobby flew right over the scrape from the beach over the hide and low over the scrape, 2 male Mandarin one sat by the ducks at the back of the bund, one left of the west hide and 4 Bar- tailed Godwit nearby, 3 Ruff including the white male individual with orange legs, no sign at all of Citrine Wag between 4- 7pm.

Return visit to Corton OSW

At Corton Old sewage works this evening, on 13 September, a Whinchat still, 10 Sand Martin, 3 House Martins (seen mainly from the churchyard car park), 2 Chiff- Chaffs Corton Churchyard hedge and tree but absolutely no sea passage off Bakers Score, Corton earlier.

Whinchat back at Corton OSW

On Tuesday September 12 after work, a male Whitethroat flew up to the fence and disappeared into scrub in the south- east corner at Corton OSW, plus a Whinchat perched on the northern fence, plus 14 Sand Martins overhead this eve, lovely to see these fine birds, but wasn't there was a seabird passage going on missed again!

Citrine Wagtail at Minsmere

On Sunday the 7th September, after hearing the Citrine was still there I headed straight to Minsmere following Paul & Jane F in via the entrance road, we walked/ ran to the East Scrape and joining the throng along the right hand side of the hide there was anxious wait of half an hour when the bird had just walked behind an island. I heard a calling Yellow- Wag type call a high pitched "tslie" call and I saw a Wagtail which flew back to the island and Dave H said the Citrine was there. The superb distinctive immature Citrine Wagtail was actively feeding to the right of the island in front of some bare sticks. It had all dark bill and legs, greyish aoppearance with pale cream- white super cilia, whitish throat, 2 striking broad white wing bars below the grey mantle and darker wings and white on the rear underparts and vent. It then disappeared behind the island again before walking out again and feeding by the stick area again.