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Sunday, 29 March 2015

No sign of Ring- necked Duck

Finding myself unexpectedly going past Loddon today, I called into Hardley Flood in the hope of seeing an RND but there was no sign of Ring- necked Duck at Hardley Flood. Not sure if "Hardley Staithe" is referring to this or the river where the boats are moored up (but that would seem an odd location for an RND- Phone was dead so couldn't ring anyone to check), mid afternoon, but I did see Cetti's Warbler fly into a low bramble bush and sing and it was seen moving around in the bush. 2 Pintail, a male and female seen on the water they then flew east. Walking down 14 Curlews seen in the field.

First returning Chiff- Chaff

I heard my first returning Chiff- Chaff of the year singing in the rain just behind the garden on Fallowfields at 11.15 am (BST) today Sunday 29th March.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Great Grimpen Mire at Carlton Marshes

A grey and quite windy day at Carlton Marshes this morning, it was great to see Rob Wil and we caught up and he updated me on the LRP that was still there. I trekked down to the Scrape. An initial look and I was delighted t see first one and later 2 winter- plumaged elegant Spotted Redshanks striding around the middle area of water. Having almost disappeared into the quagmire on the path by the orange plastic fencing where you can view the scrape. I stepped on some straw and my wellington boot almost disappeared down into the ground. I managed to extract a whole foot length of Wellington boot out of the "Great Grimpen Mire" and was delighted to catch up with both Roy and Ruth H who had failed to see the LRP. Another scan and I immediately saw the fine Little Ringed Plover walking left followed by a summer plumaged Sanderling. Both birds disappeared behind a big tuft of grass and past an adult Herring Gull. Later after Roy & ruth had left, a Green Sandpiper was seen walking right over the Scrape. Finally, a female Marsh harrier flew over the west section of the Scrape. I had to leave as the sky was looking darker and the wind was increasing, rain imminent? Delighted to say at 12.45pm this afternoon, Jenny called me there were 3 lots of Frogspawn in the fishpond in the garden this afternoon. I will transfer to the wildlife pond once the Tadpoles start wriggling in the spawn to ensure the fish don't eat them. We always get frogspawn in the fishpond being smaller than the Wildlife pond the water may be a degree or so warmer? A Frog was seen in the wildlife pond.

Grey Wag over

On Thursday 26th March at 1.30pm, a Grey Wagtail was heard and seen flying north west over the north west area of James Paget Hospital grounds.

Last weekend

During the last weekend

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Black Redstart by the Net posts

On Saturday 14th March, first thing in the morning it was pleasing to see 4 Greenfinches (2 males, 2 females) perched in the middle tree of the garden. At 3pm, I heard the "curlee" of a Curlew flying over the garden, not seen but another new species (albeit heard only on the garden list). On Sunday 15th March, I drove down to Links Road car park walked along the North demes, little seen there save for NE corner of the Oval wall has been demolished plus the old toilet/ changing block building and the area has temporary fencing all round. More concerning was that they taken out all the bushes in that corner too, so there is no cover for birds such as Ring Ouzel to dive into anyway within the pitch area which is a great shame. 12 Turnstone flew onto the rocks just north of Ness Point and first 1 flying Rock Pipit perched on the ledge and a second bird heard too. On the Ness at Ness Point, 5 Purple Sandpipers were feeding on the wet stretch of the finger. I couldn'tt see any birds out to sea. Walking back, I was delighted to see a female Black Redstart fly up to a vertical part of the net posts in the north section, and I saw regular correspondent Paul W, a few yards away and beckoned to him to where the bird was and we both watched the female Black Redstart hunting for insects and then finally she flew over to the southern fence of the Ting Dene permanently sited caravan park before she finally flew back to the north section of the Net posts again showing quite well.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Great Grey Shrike at Upper Hollesley Common

Having to take the 500mm lens back for repair today Wednesday 11 March, (again- auto focus is in permanent hunting mode again!) I revisited the picturesque Upper Hollesley Common (after my trip to Colchester camera centre) where I had previously seen Roller, 2 years previously and parking further down the road near the Red Lodge, I luckily bumped into 2 birders- I had no idea whereabouts the GG Shrike was on the Common. I took a walk along the diagonal path and this revealed a pair of fine Stonechat and a super male Dartford Warbler that flew from bush to bush and then flew towards me and across the path to a bush opposite. These birds are always nice to see sporting their rich wine red underparts and slate grey upper parts and long tail. 2 Buzzard flew over near the Army base. Someone, a well known photographer, was lurking first in the woods and then walked unbelievably right over the common and in Shrike territory (not sticking to the path whatsoever!) consequently no sign of the GG Shrike at first. I walked through the woods and saw a fine Red Admiral butterfly and 2 singing Goldcrests and 5 Chaffinches assembling in trees near a pool of water on the path. Once said photographer had left after an hour, the Shrike soon put in an appearance. I spotted the aforementioned and excellent Great Grey Shrike, (which are always nice to see especially on their wintering grounds), perched on a distant bush. It sat first on the left side of the bush and then the right. It eventually flew down to the ground then perched in a spindly tree, before it flew left (I finally watched this bird from the south east corner of the Army base fence. Distant viewing but reasonable with the scope).