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Monday, 14 May 2018

Carlton Marshes Garganey proves they do exist!

On Carlton Marshes on Sunday 13th May I heard of yet another Garganey, this time for the first time in 2 years and 12 attempts it was finally a successful twitch as the male Garganey bird could clearly seen at the northern end of the scrape. They are such an elusive duck it was really gratifying to see it considering my recent problems in seeing this species missing several times at Southward and Minsmere recently. I missed the short flight of the American Bittern again, only a 5 second flight, but this time it was flying away from Share Marsh, with no directions I was looking in the wrong direction! I went round the cars side and saw a male Stonechat, 2 Swifts screaming overhead and a Water Vole which showed quite well as it sat on a branch suspended just on the water, although obscured by vegetation. Its presence given away by 2 plops heard in the water! Walking back to the car by the railwaymen, I heard and eventually saw a singing Lesser Whitethroat from a bush and heard a Whitethroat.

Butterflies bring cheer to the garden

On Saturday 12th May suffering from a heavy cold I did manage to see both Holly Blue and Speckled Wood in the gardena that was about it.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Now 41 hours and counting

On Thursday 10th May. missed the AB tonight although a chap stood next to me saw it for all of 3 seconds a brief flight view, I did see a shape disappear behind the bush but couldn't ID it myself. Andrew E spotted a nice Hobby that flew straight past us plus where I stood some rusting barely 2 foot away revealed a fine Water Vole not that anyone else noted. Excepting Andrew who spotted that or another Water Vole by the remains of a traffic cone and it disappeared into thicker grass just a s I got onto it.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

More Misses than hits

On Tuesday May 1stt American Bittern seen in short (2 second!) flight from original dyke fl E for 30 yards at 8.10pm Carlton Marshes, Lowestoft this eve (it had been showing for 2 hours up until 10 mins before I arrived. Now spent 35 hours for a cumulative view of 2 mins & still no pics, typical! On Wednesday missed the Pied Fly at Leathes Ham, not able to park but saw 3 Reed Warblers 3 replies 1 retweet 10 likes. On Thursday May 4th the American Bittern flew around 7.15pm for 5 seconds but also heard calling. Following some particularly gruelling dental surgery I was too poorly to get out over the Bank Holiday. On Friday before the agony of dental surgery I had 2 short minutes to see 2 Green- Winged Orchids at Gunton Meadow On Saturday both Holly Blue & Speckled Wood seen in the garden, as I was recuperating after more dental surgery. On Monday 7 May, no sign of the Garganey on the "Gtr Yellowlegs" flash by the golf course but 2 Sand Martin seen and a Nightingale heard and seen briefly just west of Southwold sewage works at 11.15am. On Tuesday 7 May, the AB seen briefly in flight at 7.15pm for 3 seconds then heard calling, also usual Water Vole and one very close (but obscured) Barn Owl and 20 + 8 Black- tailed Godwit flew in. Now 39 hours for 2 mins and 11 second view of the AB still no usable pics. On Wednesday 9th May, the first Whitethroat heard calling from the roundabout by Capt Manby's as I left at 4.20pm.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Confiding Wheatears at Lowestoft Net posts

On Sunday 29th April, I thought it was going to be another dismal walk around the patch with little reward, 2 Linnets seen at Corton OSW, where a brisk north- easterly wind blew. At the OSW compound where a ditch has been dug out bordering the western side and around 30% of the scrub and dead trees taken away. A crying shame as this area was used to hold photogenic Flycatchers and Redstarts from time to time. The ditch was already littered wdetritus and rubbish. A cold north- easterly wind meant my visit for Sand martins would prove fruitless. A look around the Oval, even more wall has gone and the "temporary fence" has now been up for over 2 years, 2 Stock Dove seen near the wall before being inevitably disturbed by dog walkers. A look around the net posts initially revealed nothing except more travellers encamped on the parking area. Ness Point the area by the gas compound looks just like a breakers yard and cans strewn all over the Turbine yard, welcome to the sunrise coast and the photogenic Ness Point, I think not! I bumped into Paul & Jane and there had just seen 2 Wheatears I looked again and walked around the northern posts, the male Wheatear popped up from a rabbit hole and was just 3 feet away from me. I retrieved my camera and by the northern edge, by a rusty bit of metal the male and female Wheatear perched up, the female soon flew off but the male Wheatear was particularly confiding and I left him in situ. At Riverside no Wheatears seen as I didn't want to disturb the 5 birds.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Very, very elusive American Bittern

I reached Carlton Marshes on Tuesday didn't see the bird at all. With 2 Swift seen plus Swallow and House Martin.on Wednesday 25th April, the American Bittern seen with Rob Wil and James Wr just after 5.30pm flew from the dyke and flew east for 5 seconds. It started to tip down with rain and I had to put my camera away. Of course 20 minutes later, I picked up the American Bittern really close, my closest view yet barely 20 metres away but only seen for 5 seconds! by the juncos before it had dived behind reeds and flew when the camera came out. 5 Avocets seen on the scrape. On Thursday at 7.30pm the American Bittern seen for 3 seconds when it swam across the dyke. Justin spotted an excellent Short- eared Owl flying over the main part of the reserve looking back towards the centre and 22 Whimbrel flying in. Also a fine Green Sandpiper flew east. On Saturday 28th April I arrived at 4.30pm and the AB flew out (seen for 3 seconds) and into the meadow, Rob Will rang and we went round the eastern section of Share Marsh as soon as we got there we heard the AB was showing in the meadow but when we got back I just couldn't see it. I next saw the bird at 7.30pm when it flew west back to the dyke. Great to see 7 Avocets on the scrape. A Hobby flew over the main part of the reserve the Scrape and disappeared over Peto's Marsh at 7.40pm 20 Whimbrel flew in, another 7 joined them. 2 Cuckoos heard too and Cetti's & 3 Grasshopper Warblers heard but not seen as we walked back. Total of viewing the AB 113 seconds, after 33 hours and 8 visits!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Prague birds

Just returned from an excellent trip to Prague, Black Redstarts heard singing from the hotel, heard and seen around Charles Bridge the far end and one showed quite well singing in the Jewish cemetery. On Charles Bridge, 2 Jackdaws were very obliging. A trip to an ecological park revealed a showy Nuthatch and obliging male Blackcap. A trip up Petrin Hill revealed a singing and an obliging Great - spotted Woodpecker, a Red Squirrel seen around the base of the tree then it scampered up the tree trunk, it was more dark brown than red but the ear tufts seen clearly. A Green Woodpecker called and near the bottom of the hill an obliging Lesser Whitethroat scolded from the middle of a bush and Green Woodpecker showed really well on the trunk of a tree pity I didn't have my big lenses with me! Swallows seen flying around the bridge area. Funny that no dogs seen and the birds were obliging.