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Sunday, 31 January 2010

1 Hare, 100+ Fieldfares, 3 Rough-Legs & 25 Woodcock!!



A look around Mutford turned up a few more Fieldfare (around 10) & Redwing too (around 15) all fairly distant, but most photogenic though, was a sleepy Hare in a field. It woke up, "boxed" (it's not March yet, although Jenny fervently wishes it was!) and then ran off!
The fields near Covehithe were scoured and again the field, which you reach by taking the A12 to Wrentham, turn off towards Southwold and then take the left turn to Covehithe, 300 yards up here on the right, is the Fieldfare field. Today, it hosted some 70 Fieldfare all were seen fairly close to the road. I managed to get a few shots, but looking into the bright sun was far from ideal. back to the main Southwold road & taking the next turn to the right, looking around the farm with the Horse in the field, 1 Fieldfare was seen really close to the road. It was photographed through gaps in the hedge. Another Fieldfare was seen in a field further up. Nearer the bridge, a field hosted some 15 Fieldfares again looking directly into the sunlight! Why do 90% of Fieldfare flocks, flock in fields where you are looking directly into the sun??
At Southwold on the Golf Practise green, a flock of 9 Black- tailed Godwit were feeding at the back, they walked left and then flew left and over Southwold marsh before changing their minds, they turned west and flew over heading west.
At the Bailey Bridge, I could see just west on the River Blyth, a flock of 12 Dunlin that flew onto the south side of the riverbank and I managed to get some reasonably close shots of them.
walking back a very close Turnstone was seen feeding on some green turf, whilst overhead I heard "yapping" calls, I looked up and saw a flock of 19 White- fronted Geese flying directly overhead in a north- westerly direction. About 5 Redshank seen here also. Back at the Practise green, I managed to see 1 excellent Water Pipit for 10 minutes before it too flew east high over Southwold marsh. At Potters Bridge, 2 female Marsh harriers flew over the reedbed.
Back at the Fieldfare field, the 70 Fieldfare were showing well again and as the cloud briefly obscured the bright sun I managed to obtain a few reasonable shots.
Viewing Chedgrave marshes and joining the assembled throng (Andrew E, Rob W, Richard S, Roger C, Phil H & others) from the "Bun" (a raised area) at the edge of the woods giving an ideal view over the marshes to the west. I immediately saw the Rough- legged buzzard perched on a gate post. Also flying over the marshes was an excellent Short- eared Owl and an equally excellent ringtail Hen Harrier. The Rough-leg flew from his post and flew right and then left. At excatly the same time to the feft of that bird, another Rough- leg flew right and was joined by a third Rough- leg, so there were incredibly 3 Rough- legged buzzards flying around!!! Other observers having confirmed this afterwards also. Certainly a record number for the local area. The Short- eared Owl quartered the fields as did the female Hen Harrier which flew strongly right. About 3 female Marsh harriers were flying around also.
The Rough- legs all disappeared for twenty minutes, before I saw a single bird perched on a gate post below the distant church. A typically squat bird with small head, pale upper breast and dark rear belly, I let everybody know especially the newcomers who were keen to see it. As twilight descended, it flew off towards us and flew directly overhead, silhouetted beautifully against the rose- pink horizon. It will presumably roost somewhere in Waveney Forest. We witnessed the wonderful spectacle of mostly singleton but also sometimes a duo of Woodcock flying from over the forest and out onto the marsh, 25 Woodcock were counted in total, and I personally saw at least 18 of their number.

3 comments:

Paul Woolnough said...

will go back for the rough leg. Saw bird on Norfolk side 28 January. There may have been two then. I thought the bird had flown past the copse but then it reappeared further west.

If the RL buzzard crossed the river it would be a first for Lothingland / Lounge Lizard area.

Also just outside your area are
Suffolk ticks at Benacre:
green-winged teal 1994, long-tailed duck on the Broad 1993, white-tailed eagle 1999, rough leg itself 1996, dotterel 1997, little auk 1995 and last and definitely not least eastern olivaceous warbler 1995. Better move the area boundary.

Only dotterel at Kessingland seen north of Benacre sluice.

No need to move the boundary for rare phylloscs: with hume's the only obvious omission!

Peter Ransome said...
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Peter Ransome said...

Paul, thanks for your comments, there are 3 Rough legs now. The Rough- leg did cross the river. it is not a first for the Lothingland/ Lizard area as we counted the Gapton Hall marshes bird as such (using Watsonian Suffolk boundary)!
Other Lounge Lizard ticks includeLT Duck had one on Lake Lothing, WT eagle was over Oulton Marshes many years ago, but I didn't see it. I have seen Little Auk- North Beach, Ness Pt and Gunton Beach & Dotterel north of benacre Sluice so Lizard tick but also one at Corton MOD too where I've also seen Buff- Breasted Sand.
Hope to find Hume's in parks or at Corton ORT!!!