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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Dusky Warbler saves the day

After a poor week for birding missing the Pallas' on Tuesday 25th October (leaving too early 7.50am at Corton ORT when I had to be at work to open up at 8am) not seeing anything after work either. On Wednesday 26th October, after leaving work at 12 noon, I had a look around the Links road area, seeing 3 adult winter Mediterranean Gulls on the car park ( including 1 ringed with E861 black lettering on a white ring) and a large group of LT Tits around the Links road area contained 1 Chiff- Chaff northing around Gunton Warren and checking the beach too revealed little. 1 adult winter Mediterreanean Gull with its right leg dangling seen fly over to Link's Road car park. After 3pm, hearing Ricky F had found a Dusky. I drove over to Hopton and walked up Warren Lane, around 30 metres past the cottages I saw OFB and Chris & Alison A, "takking" was heard and the bird, the excellent Dusky Warbler was around the other side of the hedge in bracken. It then flew into a bush in front of me and it then moved and flew right into another bush directly in front of me at the side of the track and the whole bird was seen well for around a minute, its face, dark eye stripe and cream supercilia as it moved through a bush. It then flew right again and we all moved over to the east golf course side and followed the bird as it flew down the hedge then flew a long way east by the hedgerow extending eastwards to the cliff where we lost it and didn't see again, despite some searching. This is the 5th Dusky Warbler I have seen this autumn, (1 at Corton, 2 at Spurn, 1 at Walsey Hills and now this one- quite unprecedented!) Further down the track, a group of 6 LT Tits included a Goldcrest. By the cottages were 3 Goldfinch and also 3 Goldfinch with their their "tinkering" calls perched on top a tree by the Holiday camp.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lowestoft patchwork hard work!

On Sunday 23rd October, in the morning a Siskin was heard calling several times from a bush within the western edge of the garden. It flew out to Fallowfields. A Pied Wagtail flew north west calling over the garden. In the parks, a young Wood Pigeon seen along the top loop track. On the North Denes by the first shelter belt north of the Oval, 10 LT Tits included Goldcrest and Chiff- Chaff. A Redwing calling at the top loop track in Sparrows Nest. By the steps on from the Oval, another group of LT Tits included a Chiff- Chaff and Goldcrest. Nothing at Ness Point or the North Denes. Nothing at Gunton save a by the sunlight hedgerow by the field, LT Tits, Goldcrest and Chiff- Chaff. In the woods, Wren, 2 Great Tit, 2 Chaffinch and a Blue Tit by the Sallows, 2 Redwing calling by the fenced area by Gunton estate plus a male Muntjac deer first on the path on the circular reserve at Gunton Meadow.

Isabelline Wheatear at Burnham Overy Dunes

At 9.03 I saw a tweet stating there was an Issy wheatear at BOD, 5 minutes later John rang to see if I wanted a lift. Forty minutes later, I joined John & Bob B and we picked up Tim H and set on our way. We didn't get to Burnham Overy Dunes until 12.30pm. sadly we saw 2 dead Roe Deer on the road. We walked out towards Gun Hill and the long walk revealed skein of Pink- footed Geese flying across. After 20 minutes walk we reached the board walk and 10 minutes later reached the site. The bird wasn't on view but when it hopped out into view on the top ridge partially obscured by grass. The general sandy plumage, upright stance, thick black bill, thick black legs, general sandy appearance and isolated alula feather clearly showed this was the excellent Isabelline Wheatear. Over the next hour, the bird seen around the grassy area occasionally flying and perching on top of bushes. Unfortunately two over zealous photographers, I know them both- one from Suffolk and one from Essex went over the ridge and got too close to the bird pushing it some distance away and it disappeared for half an hour, when it flew and disappeared. Meanwhile, we looked in the nearby bushes for Pallas' warblers couldn't see any. I was walking back when the Isabelline Wheatear seen again, it preached on bushes and then seen on a grassy ridge in full sunlight. A small olive- green sprite bird called, sounding suspiciously like a Pallas' Warbler and ex- BBRC man Peter Col, a top class birder, called it instantly as a Pallas' and we saw it fly (complete with yellow rump) in to the group of bushes to the left into a berry laden bush. sadly, it didn't reappear. Walking back, we looked on the dune ride over right and could see the poor unfortunate carcass of the dead Fin Whale on the beach, cordoned off with a load of people around 15 looking at it. We tried for the Shore Lark, but couldn't see it. Walking back along the path, we saw a group of around 60 Brents and John spotted a hybrid Black Brant, with full white neck collar joining at the front and large white flash on the flanks but crucially dark bands in the white a mid grey (not black) back. also on the other side of the path, were around 90 Pink- footed Geese plus 2 Barnacle Geese at the back. We stopped off at Walsey Hills, walking along a ditch, we went in a little way and heard the "takking" of the excellent Dusky Warbler, a shape was seen high in a bush moving about and "takking"that was all I was to see of the bird.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Gunton woods and catch-up

Sun afternoon, a stroll up to the Sallows area of Gunton Woods, 5 Fieldfare flew west overhead whilst 2 Chiff- Chaff seen flitting around the bushes plus a Robin, A stroll up the path revealed a female Brambling perched high up in a bush but passers by meant the bird soon flew right unfortunately. 4 Long- tailed Tits & a single Yellow- browed Warbler heard calling several times and seen once high up in the canopy of the trees and cream super cilia and silky white underparts seen. walking back to the car a group of around 12 Long- tailed Tits included 2 briefly confiding Coal Tit. Mon 17th October, a Yellow- browed Warbler was heard calling 3Xh along the western hedgerow running north from the back of Corton OSW. at 8.10am. On Tues 18th a Grey Wagtail was heard calling flying over HEE HQ at Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire at 10.40am. On Friday 21st October, lunchtime, 4 calling Siskins flew over north- west, the Education & Training Centre, at the JPUH Hospital.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Siberian Accentor and a great fall at Spurn

Spurn yesterday prob best fall I have witnessed. Birds were showy too. having left at 4am picking up Rob Will, Rob Win and Andrew E, we arrived at Easington. The fluorescent jacketed volunteers directed us admirably to a car park in the field we walked back into the village and walked up, the now fabled Vicar's Lane. As we walked up the road, a magnificent Short- eared Owl, flew way above our heads, it was apparent there was a big fall of Thrushes as around 140 Redwing seen in the field to the right bordering the Lane. By the Easington Gas terminal, we only had to queue for 15 minutes. We were then ushered forward by one of the volunteers and walked to a small line of trees to a fence looking over what looked like a back garden, the area we looked over appeared to well mossed over tarmac, the absolutely magnificent Siberian Accentor was quickly seen, feeding, it had an obvious yellow- black markings on its head. A thick black stripe area running through the eye bordered above by a cream super cilia and below by yellow lower ear coverts. The yellow on the breast extended onto the underparts. with the rest of the plumage like a Dunnock's. It flew over to a Leylandii tree, then flew up and perched within it. Just minutes later, it flew over to the moss carpeted tarmac and was frequently feeding, Dunnock like not stopping at all. Until it stopped once looked around and then hopped so close tot he fence being barely 2 metres away. later it flew back and perched on a yellow skip. Before flying down and feeding by the left hand hedge line. having to the leave, we queued again for 5 minutes before led back. The situation was repeated 10 minutes later (when we met the newly arrived Paul & Jane F) and at the end of that session we were told we could remain as no one was waiting. On the walk back, a fine brown-backed Eastern type Lesser Whitethroat seen on the edge of a tree. A Firecrest showed well briefly in some other trees., 140 Redwings & a lone Fieldfare again could be seen in the fields. We then drove over to the field near the Pub and walked back hearing a Pallas' Warbler calling in the process, only problem was we couldn't get anywhere near it! At the Pub carpark, a showy Goldcrest seen plus a male Siskin feeding on alder seeds on a tree behind us. We then went to the churchyard and overlooking to gravestones to the right in some trees we initially saw a tailless Pallas' Warbler. This was joined by first 1 then another Pallas' Warbler flitting glimpses seen as they flitted about. First the tailless one flew past and into the left stand of trees. The other 2 Pallas' warbler seen flitting around. One Pallas' kept returning to a moss covered branch. The broad yellow super cilia and yellow rump seen clearly in flight. Walking down a ride bordering the shoreline, where we saw a somewhat bedraggled but confiding Redstart on the rocks. First a Dusky Warbler showed well, "takking" as it was seen in really close bushes and the edge of reeds and we followed it down as it moved down. Back at the pub, for a drink, I heard and saw 5 Tree Sparrows flying over. We walked down the ridge again and first a Jack Snipe flew left and then a Woodcock flew right. Nearing Spurn Point a Black Redstart seen in an enclosed area, near a Heligoland trap (complete with 4 Robins trapped within) , whilst amazingly a flock of 14 Yellowhammers flying down to Spurn Point itself. Robins were literally everywhere we must have seen over 100 during the day. A ringer was processing a Robin recently plucked from a mist netwalking around we saw some Meadow Pipits, a tame Goldcrest in a tiny bush plus a mystery Acro warbler which flew into a narrow strand of reeds bordering a field. It turned out to be a Reed Warbler, We could see a vast throng of birders assembled in a long line appeared to be staring into a hedge, we later found out from Dave W it was a Radde's! We walked along the cliff overlooking the beach and near another pub car park a small grassy area bordering the beach sported a very confiding Shore Lark, initially before it disappeared into the longer grass. Walking around to the group of people, they were looking into the base of the bush west of the road, a Warbler sitting at the base showed a cream super cilia and was the Radde's Warbler, unfortunately my birding companions had split up. But as I waled around the ridge by some reeds, the excellent Radde's Warbler flew out of an area of bushed calling "quip Quip quip" and it dived into a small bush at the end. Unfortunately it was disturbed from here as birders were standing right by it and hadn't even noticed the bird fly in! Some "takking" by the reeds just left of us revealed the same Dusky Warbler showing rally well it even flew into bushes and a stem of grass just 2 metres away! It flew right while incredibly another Dusky Warbler was seen by the reed edge to the left.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Lunchtime Dusky

On Friday 14th October, at 1.30pm I arrived for a quick visit to Corton OSW, parking at the Church, I met Andrew E and we walked to the dyke where it had been seen, taking the southern entrance and standing on the pallets in the ditch. The hard "takking" revealed the bird, an excellent Dusky Warbler, seen flitting around a bush low down before showing off and on for around 5 occasions and all the salient features noted. It was often seen darting around the vegetation and its face and head seen clearly.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Elusive Yellow- browed warbler at Gunton

On Wednesday 12th October, after work I went straight to Gunton woods, the Yellow- browed Warbler was heard several times in the Sallows, but frustratingly eluded save for 1 shape moving in the canopy. A Robin obliged the camera and 3 Goldcrests seen too, but despite calling sometimes up to 15X constantly the YBW eluded both the Bins and the camera. A small flock of 6 LT Tits also flew through.