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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Firecrest bonanza

The calm after yesterday's storm initially didn't seem too promising for migrants around Lowestoft today.
Little was seen at Ness Point, but there was a Purple Sandpiper feeding amongst the rocks just north of the point (on the seaweed encrusted wreck of the sea wall.
Checking the parks a lot of common birds were seen in Arnold's Walk, Great & Blue Tits, Robin etc.
At the top of Sparrow's Nest, in the holly by the steps leading down to the Museum, an excellent Firecrest was seen twice. I heard the melancholy call of a Bullfinch and a female settled & perched right at the top of one of the trees before flying west inland. A Jay was also seen.
More Firecrests were seen in Belle Vue Park along the northern path, half way between the bridge and the north- west entrance another Firecrest was seen in the holly bordering the ravine, 2 Goldcrests also flew in here and another Firecrest called in the Holm Oaks behind me.
Behind the Oval, another Jay was seen. Whilst walking past the north- west corner of the Oval and out onto the Denes, incredibly another Firecrest, the 4th of the day, flew into the bramble and remained faithful to this area.
Meanwhile, a chap flying a gyrocopter flew over. Then 3 calling dark- bellied immature Brent Geese flew over (1 had an odd looking bill were they the same 3 Brents seen on Breydon south wall earlier in the month?) and circled over the North Denes 4X,  looking as if they wanted to land, but dog walkers appeared to put them off and the Brents flew off south. 
A final check of the Links Road car park revealed around 70 Black- headed Gulls, 2 Common Gull and an adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull but suddenly the flock was flushed deliberately by a young boy, they all flew towards the sea. The adult Med was on the beach with 4 Black- headed Gulls, but again these were flushed by dog walkers.
Fortunately the gulls perched on the groynes, the adult Mediterranean Gull was ringed  on it's right leg with a green ring and the white letters 3XA9 and on the left a smaller silver ring. It was the same bird I had seen on Links road almost 2 years ago in Dec 2007.
This bird I knew from contacting the ringers, was a bird that had originally been ringed 9 years earlier in Belgium. The bird has been commuting between France/ Belgium and Lowestoft for the last few years and it was back again!
This bird then flew back to the Links road car park where it showed well.


Terry said...

Hi Peter,

Here in Denmark, Goldcrests appear to be much scarcer this winter so it's good to hear that another member of the 'crest' family seems to be doing well in the UK... No Waxwings yet in Copenhagen - there is a fantastic berry crop this year, so maybe their need to wander south will be reduced this winter.. we'll see.

A young Steppe Eagle appears to be wintering near Malmo but no sign of any large owls in southern Sweden yet...


Peter Ransome said...

Hi Terry, yes the continuing southerly winds seems to have blown a few Firecrests across.
Very interested in another trip as long as they aree several birds to go for including large Owls, keep us posted please.