Friday, 23 January 2015
Sunday, 18 January 2015
On Sunday 18th January, at 11.08am I was delighted to see a fine male Bullfinch feeding on the buds of our Cherry tree as this species always does every January, we've had a longer wait in seeing them this year! Arriving along Halvergate road at 11.50am, I was relieved to see sunny conditions, it was quite foggy at Lowestoft & Great Yarmouth. I was imagining having to tweet "Defeated again by weather conditions dipped RLB 2nd by 1st snow blizzard and now fog!" But along the road on the right, Roy R was scoping over the marsh. He had the fine Rough- legged Buzzard perched on the left side of a gate. It was long bodied but virtually a silhouette save for a cream nape shawl at the back. As it preened I noticed a whiter area on the upper breast and being darker on the mid breast. Being joined by Tony B & Neville L, we noted the bird had a white tail and dark terminal band when it flew off and disappeared into a dip. I later saw it perched in a field just left a bush (with a Kestrel perched on top) and along the right hand end of a line of 200 Pink- footed Geese. It then flew a long way right, stopping a few times to hover in mid flight, a super sight. Further down the road it flew closer and started hovering albeit against the light. Along the Acle straight, 30 Lapwings and 3 Curlew seen from a lay-by.
On Saturday 17th January, a tweet from Robert Wil, led me to divert to Carlton Marshes I went to the Mound and overlooking an unusually flooded Peto's Marsh, Rob was still there and kindly showed me one of the Glaucous Gull's the darker bird at the very back of the field partially obscured by the GBB Gull. Scanning along at the back just in front of a Leylandii tree at the back, by a group of Gulls the nearest ones I saw the fine other, second 1st winter Glaucous Gull, with distinctive long pink and black bill. It moved around and then eventually disappeared behind other Gulls. Just right of there a leucistic, very white looking Herring Gull was seen in front of another pool of water.
On Saturday 17th January, my plan was to target Tundra Bean, Cranes & wild swans, Cranes and wild Swans again and RLB in East Norfolk. Driving just past Hemsby, the field where the Geese had been seen all week was deserted. At Horsey a flock of around 800 Pink- footed Geese were flushed by shooters and I had only been able to check half their number. Best bird of the morning was a fine Water Rail that scampered across the road from east to west by Horsey Mill. By now it was snowing heavily and the now was starting to lay making the road very treacherous so I just managed to get to Brograve Farm to check for Cranes, none there. I then drove to Acle, no sign of Cranes by the usual barn. I then drove to the Halvergate road, as I parked up a Snow blizzard started and viewing conditions and visibility were dramatically reduced causing me to miss both the RLB and the Bewick's.
Friday, 16 January 2015
I walked along the Breydon South wall 12th January, I had just missed rare showing by the Richard's Pipit by the kink in the wall around 3/4 mile south of the farm. Richard & Ian, the Dereham boys were there so it was worth hanging around as they rarely miss things. Richard spotted a lone Stonechat by the field edge. After 2 and a half hours it looked as if I would continue my new year dipping tally, but mercifully a shout went up and we walked down another 1/2 mile to where there was a lone bush and after some difficulty getting onto it I finally spied the excellent Richard's Pipit walking around tussocks of grass and dead thistles at the back of the near field in front of a thin line of reeds. Also present was a lone Barn Owl hunting over the distant Burgh Castle marshes. From there I went onto Covehithe late afternoon and met Dave & Pauline, former work colleagues and we looked over the back fields of Covehithe looking for Bramblings we didn't see any in half an hour. Walking down to Covehithe Broad, I met Tony B he said the Smew was still there along the northern end of the Broad. sadly some dog walkers let a dog swim in the Broad and all I could see were 30 Mallards. The dogs had also flushed the Larks. 8 Goldeneye were seen in total including 3 smart males. I finally saw the redhead Smew in the distant south- west corner of the Broad.
Thursday, 8 January 2015
On Sunday 4th January I ventured down to Covehithe Broad and there was no need to look for the Shore Larks as there was already a battalion of the long lens brigade in attendance. I joined them and was pleasantly surprised that they all behaved themselves really well not hassling the birds or moving into close. The 3 fine Shore Larks were therefore constantly on view and very relaxed as they fed along the southern hotline of the broad, they flew a little way along the mid section of the beach side of the Broad and even went to sleep/ resting for half an hour. We wet all able to obtain reasonable shots what a difference good field craft makes. 3 trilling Snow Buntings flew round us briefly on the beach. A trip then to North Warren missing out Benacre Broad, which was a bad error as I didn't get to the see the Smew there and I dipped the LWF Geese again (I later learned they were in Holland on that day) and as usual dipped the near mythical Tundra Beans that I have never ever seen there. I counted 98 Black- tailed Godwit and around 122 White- fronted Geese and a further 40 White- fronted geese flew in. What was good to see was first one and then 2 Water Rails in the watery dyke bordering the west side of the path/ old rail way line. The second Water Rail was partially obscured you could see the ripples in the water where it was and as it moved first its bill, head, body and striped flanks were seen well on what is usually a very elusive bird to see.
Saturday, 3 January 2015
The poor start to 2015 continued as there was no sign of the Glaucous Gull, but I saw 2 LT Tits in trees as I walked to the Yacht club area of St Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad. A Kingfisher flew over by the reeds and flew around before flying off again. A female Marsh Harrier and male Sparrowhawk seen courtesy of Jeremy G our ace raptor spotter. 20 Redshank flew east down the river.