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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Two wet Waxwings

At around 12.30pm today on Sunday 23rd November, I drove past Tennyson road again and 2 of the 3 Waxwings were sat on the aerial again, one then both flew down presumably to feed on the berries by the old people's home courtyard. Both birds looked very wet in the steady rain that was falling at the time (which lasted typically all day!)

Waxwings at Tennyson road

I drove down Artillery Way on the morning of Saturday 22nd November, hoping to see the Waxwings that had been seen there over the last few days, no luck so I drove down to the battery Green roundabout and drove back and parked in Arnold Street as I could see at least 1 Waxwing perched on an aerial. I was joined by Paul & Jane F. It was soon joined by 2 more and they regularly flew from here in to a berry tree in the inner courtyard of an old people's home. walking around from the Tennyson road entrance, 1 and then 2 Waxwings were seen on the berry laden tree. They fed for a while and then flew back to the aerial. All 3 Waxwings were either seen on the aerial or the chimney pot. The birds would frequently flycatch, flying up high then swooping down and settle back on the aerial. When we were joined by OFB and then Jon E. We waited and several times 1 or 2 birds would fly down and feed from berries from the tree before flying up again.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

RIP Malcolm F

I was very saddened to hear that Malcolm F had passed away at the weekend. I had known Malcolm since the early 1980's, he used to live, I believe, at Reydon and then moved to the Saints near Halesworth, Suffolk. Often, I would quite literally, bump into Malcolm whilst birding around Southwold, Benacre or Minsmere. Malcolm was an excellent birder, finding many rare birds, including a Serin at Southwold. Above all, I remember Malcolm's cheerfulness and exuberance, despite occasional bouts of ill health. Malcolm was very keen to get to a bird and wouldn't allow any vegetation to stand in his way. He was well liked and was a very sociable man and it was always good to have a chat with him and share in his extensive ornithological knowledge. Looking back at my blog, it was Malcolm who advised me to look at Sizewell for the King Eider on Nov 15th 2010 and due to his excellent advice, I was able to add a very smart male King Eider onto my Birthday list. More recently, Malcolm and I had shared an incredible experience of watching an Osprey which fished on Blythburgh estuary (8 Sept 2013), it was Malcolm that put me onto a Glow Worm larvae wriggling across the path ahead of us. In more recent years, Malcolm had also embraced social media particularly Twitter. He described himself on there as "an old birdwatcher in the Saints, a rural area of Suffolk, North East of Halesworth." I used to look forward to his tweets about him seeing Turtle Doves in his garden. Something we would chat about when I saw him. On Twitter, he followed 74 people (including my tweets) and I was 1 of his 75 followers. He will be very sadly missed by all his birding friends and my thoughts go out to his family and friends. RIP Malcolm.

Redwings and Tawny Owl

Last night 18th November at around 10am I heard several Redwings flying over the house and the call of a hooting Tawny Owl nearby.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

2 Brents at Ness Point

On a further trip to Ness Point on Sunday 16th November, I was pleased to see Danny P, and he pointed out there were now 2 immature Brent Geese on the jetty and sure enough I saw 2 immature Brent Geese feeding right at the end of this promontory. There were again feeding on the seaweed and one even fell asleep at one point. Before an immature Herring Gull harried one of the Geese and caused it to fly inland in a south- westerly direction at 9.50am. Within a minute the other bird followed too. The return of the rain put paid to any further birding during the day.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A wet day

First thing, I was at Gorleston and sadly there was no sign of the Desert Wheatear but a Grey Seal was seen swimming north out to sea briefly. At Ness Point, a fine immature Brent Goose was seen on the finger/ Jetty fed on the seaweed here. The Goose spent most of its time, half way along but on a return visit it walked straight up to us, just a few feet albeit in the pouring rain. Later, on a walk along to the southern end of Ness Point, revealed a Purple Sandpiper which fed on the rocks. Plus 2 calling Rock Pipit were seen just north of here on the rocks too.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Windswept Desert Wheatear

On Tuesday and Wednesday night I had heard several Redwings calling whilst flying over the garden. What a difference a couple of days makes! My trip lunchtime today Thursday 13th November, at around 12.15pm I drove back to Gorleston beach and was greeted by murky grey skies and a brisk strong south- east wind. I walked along could not initially see the bird but something flitted past and into a tuft of grass by the beach wall opposite Cliff Avenue. Another bloke had seen it in this area and I met up with ex- Pat Geoff who'd spent the last 20 years in Australia and was back home making his home at Lowestoft. A dog walker with a dog flushed the fine female Desert Wheatear out by the wall and it flew back on the stone ledge and showed well before being seen by the posts and then flying further along. With the sand starting to blow around time to gt the camera safely in the bag and get back to work! At 8pm this evening I heard at least 4 Redwings flying over Tesco's Supermarket at Gunton.