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Monday, 29 August 2016

Wryneck at Corton old sewage works

I arrived early today on Monday 29th August, Along the southern ridge of the Corton old sewage works compound the excellent Wryneck was seen briefly by ragwort and then in the south- eat corner by a gap between 2 clumps of grass. In the north -east corner a Whinchat flew up the bramble bush and corner fence briefly. walking around the other side I saw the Wryneck fly over to the south section, I saw it out in full view and it flew up to a broken alexander stem and it showed here for all of 3 minutes. Before James B walked up. At Bakers Score, I saw 2 Gannets flying south over the sea. A look around the North Denes revealed a male Blackcap feeding on elders on an elder bush behind the Oval (south side), a male Whitethroat by the first shelter belt. In the garden, nice to see 2 Small Tortoiseshells on the Buddlea one of which frequently alighted on some clothes on the washing line but was very wary and was off on the 2 occasions I tried to gert a pic of it! This evening I watched 8 adult Common terns feeding c15 young on the groins several flying close by and 3 immature Kittiwakes flew south but still no Sandwich Tern!

Wales trip

Wales trip: 3 trips down to the stream, first (saturday 26th August) time revealed a Dipper by the Penybanc wooden bridge. Second trip (saturday 27th August) as I parked up amazingly an American Mink (a 1st for me!) sloped down the bank to the water half way in size between a Polecat and Otter with jet black coat saw me getting out of the car and scarpered!, 2 Dipper seen by the Penybanc bridge, whilst a Grey Wagtail flew towards me under the bridge and up the stream, & 2 Raven Cymisfael stream nr Llanddarog, Carmarthenshire.

Carlton Marshes in the evening

On the evening of August 23rd Carlton Marshes eve- Wood Sandpiper, 6 Green Sandpiper, Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 2 Black- tailed Godwit, 4 Snipe, Kingfisher seen on its usual perch briefly & 4 Linnet on the wires.

Aug 22

No sign of Wryneck in birdless Great Yarmouth south Cem evening, Muntjac a 1st for me here, Curlew Sandpiper, & several Knot Breydon N.flats, 3 Wheatear seen on pill box by Corton MOD.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Red Kite and Clouded Yellows

On Saturday August 20th a visit to Sudbury with Jenny saw us spotting a Red Kite again flying very close and high over and to Kentwell Hall near Bury St. Edmunds at around midday. On Sunday 21st August, a visit to Riverside near asda revealed not a lot. However checking the disused area by the new Waveney District Council HQ was more productive. A Wheatear flew right with the distinctive white rump showing. The people from BOB Education, really nice to meet them and they alerted me to not only 2 Painted Ladies but first a female Clouded Yellow and then a second Clouded Yellow a male. Both were reasonably showy. They were often flying a small way before perched on a frond of foliage. After a few false starts the male showed well and I was able to get my best ever shots of this species.

Local patch and garden update for July & August

Extreme lethargy and mid- summer doldrums on my part has led to a lack of updates, here's what I have been seeing (ie. not a lot!) 31 July- Lowestoft North Beach- Tern lite this eve- only 1 Common Tern on groynes and 5 flying out to sea still yet to see my Sandwich Tern for 2016! Sun 3rd Aug This fine Southern Hawker currently in the garden + Red Admiral & Digger Wasps Aug 7-Painted Lady, Comma, Red Admiral, Peacocks, Large White, Gatekeepers + Brown Hawker again in the garden this afternoon Aug 10- This Migrant Hawker posed well for the camera in our garden in Lowestoft this evening! Aug 10- Lowestoft North Beach quiet this eve with 15 Common Terns inc 3 juveniles, 7 Turnstone & 5 imm Pied Wagtail & 5 Wood Pigeon on the north beach Aug 10- This Comma also posed well for the camera in our Lowestoft garden this evening! Sunday Aug14- During the day a fine total of 7 juvenile Little Stint seen on the flash just east of the old rail way line on the same area where the Greater Yellowlegs seen plus 2 Black- tailed Godwit. during this evening bathed in sun a juvenile or 1st winter Caspian Gull first found by Craig was relocated on groins further along, unfortunately my camera setting was set erroneously to TV until I realised the fault and took pictures when the sun had just gone in!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

"Under the radar" with the Purple Swamphen at Minsmere

A long day out in the field and I was relieved to get back home and do some cooking and housework in readiness to entertain guests on Monday. Checking the computer I couldn't quite believe that a Purple Swamphen was at Minsmere in the pool behind the South hide!! Was it plastic or fantastic, to quote a well known song lyric? Could it be an introduction scheme bird? Minsmere tweeted initially it was an escape but when they later tweeted it was unringed the consensus moved to it being a wild bird. I flew into action and around 40 minutes later was pulling into the car park quickly followed by ace digiscoper Craig. After some confusion about whether permits were required after 4pm on a Sunday, apparently they were! This held me up for 10 minutes, not good for a potential 1st for Britain! I finally ran down the path behind the South hide. Even though, I'd dropped everything to get there as quick as possible, the info I had received half hour before I'd picked it up because my phone doesn't bleep on alerts! James B, Rob Will were there & Rob told me to go the far end and look to the far side of the pool on the right hand end. Once in position. A shout went up after 10 minutes, but there were no directions and I missed it on the first 2 times it showed briefly, as it quickly went back into the reeds. A kind lady explained that it was indeed over the far side but in a more central position (and not the far right). Finally, I saw it walk out a big dark purple bird, aptly named with a deep purple plumage and big red bill and facial shield. Smoke on the Water indeed! It was the superb Purple Swamphen. It then walked out again and walked right. It was then seen several times, its longish red legs showed no rings and the really long feet seen caked in mud. It then disappeared in and out of the reeds. For the next 20 minutes it played cat and mouse occasionally showing well before popping back in to the reeds. But when some people thought it was moving closer, I spotted it walk around the reedy fringe (partly concealed by reeds) in the mid distance (I called this out) and then it walked right behind this much closer reed edge and I again saw it walking right half way down (I again called this out). I obtained some shots, one came really well. Moving down, the Swamphen later moved quickly very left, literally sprinting past the corner again! Later arrivals included Steve G, Rob H, Maurice B and OFB, JHG, Chris D, and Andrew E. from Links road car park, 1 common tern seen on the groins and 5 Common Terns seen flying over the sea, plus a transitional summer/ winter plumaged unringed adult Mediterranean Gull quickly spotted on the car park before as always, a car flushed it and it flew off. Why does this always happen every time, I find a Med Gull on the car park then a car appears and always flushed them so I can't get any pics????!