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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Lapland Bunting Gunton Warren & Firecrest

On Sunday 4th October, a look around Corton old sewage works pool, after the fog had cleared, revealed a feeding LesserRedpolland when I was joined by Neville S and after a Sparrowhawk dashed through, it spooked 4 Lesser Redpolls that flew off. A male and female Blackcap again visited the pool as did a Chiff- Chaff. A message that Andrew had relocated the Lapland Bunting had me walking along Gunton Warren half way along by the fenced off area protecting plants on the beach, I saw a Wheatear perched on the wooden slats, another Wheatear was seen in company with it later. Paul W was around the far northern end of the beach past Tramps Alley but James W joined me and after Rob Wil had replied to a text stating the bird was mobile along the marram grass dunes/ beach margin, we walked along the beach edge and the excellent Lapland Bunting flew up calling a distinctive tattling call with a Meadow pipit by the fenced off area half way along. We saw it settle and then it promptly disappeared. Unfortunately some dogs flushed it and it flew a long way south to the edge of Warren House wood, we were joined here by Ali R and Paul & Jane F. Yet another dog flushed it to the beach edge a third of the way along. Here it seemed settled and we eventually saw it feeding between marram grass where it initially obscured by marram grass stems, it then came out in the full sun where Jane F spotted it and we joined her and managed some good mid distance shots of the bird in full sunlight. It then retreated to the north edge of this marram grass clump where we watched it feed for the next hour during the end of the period of observation it came out almost fully into the open before dog walkers by the tideline spooked it and it flew 5 metres north to the next marram grass clumps where we were joined by a group of birders and Craig, we saw it again partially obscured where I finally left it at 4.15pm. Following a tweet from Rob Win, I parked near the bridge by the ravine and following the sunlit areas I walked along overlooking the White House at the top of the ravine named Arlington and in the garden saw several Long- tailed Tits and Goldcrests but with them was the fine Firecrest that flew over to the Oak tree the other side of the garden, I watched it. I walked over to the ravine and by the top end of Belle Vue Park, I looked across into the garden of Arlington, and the Firecrest again showed really well this time in the Holly tree catching the last vestiges of sunlight as it moved around feeding on insects, it was joined at the top of the tree by a Chiff- Chaff and another called nearby.

Yellow-broweds & Redpolls at Corton

On Saturday October 3, I had looked around Corton ORT only seeing 2 Chiff- Chaff and lots of Goldcrests. I saw Maurice B here and we looked around the Corton churchyard not seeing a lot. I decided to look around the old sewage works site on the cliff. Again not a lot seen. I was walking back along the entrance track and paused to look over at the marshy pool on the right and was delighted to see a Lesser Redpoll sitting on top of a tall weed with big white fluffy seeds that it was feeding on. It quickly hopped down but later 1 then 2 Lesser Redpolls were seen in the bush. I could constantly here the sound of birds bathing with wings flapping in the water and over the course of the next hour a range of birds visited including male and female Blackcap, a total of 4 Chiff- Chaffs, a Coal Tit that looked very wet when it flew up from the pool. great Tits, Blue Tits, 2 Dunnocks and memorably at 11.30, a Yellow- browed Warbler suddenly appeared flitting around low down in the bare branches of the bushes showing well for all of 2 minutes bushes before it flew across the track to the hedgerow opposite. later on following a tweet I looked in Sparrow's Nest around the top loop track, a Chiff- Chaff was seen. however by the side path by the lighthouse a calling Tellow- browed revealed a brief view of the silky white underparts of this Yellow- browed warbler whilst another called back from the top loop path, indicating there were 2 Yellow- browed Warblers here. I then went with Rob Wil and we saw a fine briefly showy Pied Flycatcher from the top of Maltsters score.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Few birds

Last few days I have checked Corton old sewage works the rail track and churchyard and seen very little (admittedly this before and after work which might be anything from 30 min to 1 hour). In Gunton wood yesterday Thursday 1st October after work the Yellow- browed Warbler was heard calling briefly and a Firecrest heard but frustratingly neither bird seen. A look at a large Tit flock mostly Long-tails but also Blue & great Tits one very brown Chiff- Chaff flew in. The started calling their alrm calls as a Sparrowhawk shot through.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Firecrest at Corton Churchyard

After 2 days of looking around Corton ORT, Churchyard and Old SW before and after work & seeing nothing. It sounded as if this would quickly change this morning Wednesday 30th September, when I drew up to the approach rd to Corton old SW when I heard a lot of bird song including a calling Yellow- browed, but it was not to be as the ringers were in Town. I decided to try Broadland sands and heard a Yellow- browed seeing Derek I asked him was it another tape? Yes! Going back to the Churchyard, I heard the more rasping call of a genuine Firecrest moving through the hedge on the eastern side but it remained mostly well hidden. a look after work typically revealed nothing again.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Big Moon, rubbish pictures!

This morning, Monday 28th September I got up at 2.45pm and witnessed the not so Big Moon (I've seen bigger Harvest moons) slowly be eclipsed by the earth's shadow with a bigger bite taken out of the moon by the earth's shadow. At totality, it took on this dark salmon pink colour from around 3.10- 4am. We had occasional cloud which came along and covered it from time to time. When we first looked out, we had a magnificent shooting star streaking past it at about 2.50am. At totality at 3.10am, as it got darker, the local pair of Tawny Owls suddenly became active hooting and "kewicking." However, I failed miserably to get any pictures of the salmon pink moon at totality I even tried whacking up the ISO to no avail. Moon photography isn't really my field of expertise! Any hints or tips for future occurrences gratefully received. Here's a picture at around 2.50am when there was enough light to get a pic!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Showy Snow Bunting on the North Denes

On Sunday 27th September at around 4.30pm I walked around the North Denes, I was keen to see the elusive Snow Bunting. I heard and saw 2 Rock Pipits one showed well on groynes and the rocks of the old sea wall. An initial sweep of the sea wall and the Ting Dene caravan site on the North Denes revealed no Snow Bunting although 10 Pied Wagtails seen. But walking back I saw the excellent Snow Bunting feeding between the caravans, walking down it fed right up to the base of the sea wall before it flew up unprompted onto th seawall. Where it perched before a cyclist pushed and it flew calling its excellent "jingling" call over the seawall the beach and then back over the seawall and it flew towards the south- east end of the Ting Dene mobile caravan site. It later flew back along the seawall south from here perched on the western wall before a walker pushed it north and it perched on the western wall just north from here. The same walker flushed it and it flew south back to the seawall where it fed along the western edge by the wall. A cyclist pushed it over into the caravan site again. I walked down very care fully and it was feeding in the far SE corner along the concrete path and past the railings before yet more walkers pushed it over to the sloping area where it started to feed from some vegetation and I was able to approach with 20 feet and I took a series of pictures as it fed for some 10 minutes before it hopped down to the railing barely 5 feet from me (the bird had shown really well- this is normally the refrain of the Fergusons but I was getting in on the act too, and about time!) and as the sun was covered by cloud, I left it in the extreme south-east corner of the site by the yellow-black buoy.

Yellow- brows seen and heard!

On Sunday 27th September a tweet from Jake G had me driving over to Great Yarmouth cemetery I walked across to the southern section and just a few metres down the main path a crowd of birders including Jake & Justin L really was "x" marks the spot! They were looking up into the very canopy of a large sycamore and an Oak tree and I quickly latched onto the excellent Yellow- browed Warbler, a fast moving small warbler with silky white underparts an then the head showed with the cream white obvious supercilium and then later the 2 cram olive wing bars on green wings. It flitted about giving tantalising glimpses. We were later joined by Paul W, John H and an Ali R lookalike who picked the bird up again in the Oak and gave excellent directions 7 o'clock from the sky opening and I again glimpsed the bird. I also heard a Coal Tit calling but sadly not seen on what is an unusual visitor to Great Yarmouth cemetery, rarer than Yellow- brows! A walk around revealed little save for a male Migrant Hawker. I next called in at Corton old rail track and met the Fergusons, who for once, hadn't seen a bird well; the Ybw had been really elusive. I met Rob Wil who had found them. At the copse around the Sallows area, I heard the "tsuipp" call of a Yellow- browed Warbler right above my head but didn't see it. Chiff- Chaff also heard. I was joined by Paul W. Next stop look in Gunton Woods around the Sallows to look for my own YBWs. All I heard was a very vocal Chiff- Chaff by the hedge before the wood and then calling in the Sallows, but nothing else. Of course later on James W found one here and I drove down met James W and we went back to the Sallows and the main wood path by the sign and we both clearly heard the Yellow- browed Warbler call twice unfortunately we didn't see it.