Thursday, 29 November 2012
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Arriving at Hamilton Dock this morning, I heard a splash in front of me, but I couldn't see what it was, as I would have been looking directly into the bright sunlight. Some other birders wandered over saying it was a good thing it had surfaced and shown well. I didn't know what they were talking about, until I wandered away a bit and looked back and saw a sadly oiled Red- throated Diver sitting on the bank barely 15 feet away. It unfortunately some oil around the base of the bill and quite a lot on the belly, too. No doubt, either a victim of the nonsensical oil transfer policy which is conducted off the coast just out of sight of land, or the oil tankers illegally washing their tanks out at sea. The diver looked in a bad way, especially when it rested its head on some rope. But after a while, it appeared to rally and shuffled around looking quite alert. At such close quarters the red eye and upturned bill could be seen clearly. Chris M and later Dale (who I haven't seen for a long while), arrived, with Chris stating he'd seen an interesting warbler in the Arnold's walk, Whilst I was walking through (from Arnold's walk) to the Sparrows Nest in a sunlit tree in front of us and to the left, a Willow Warbler perched out in the open for a few seconds and continued to feed well around the trees and foliage, always on the move. Andrew E, Rob Wil's & Win, Paul & Jane F were also present. A later walk through the long grass of the Denes flushed a Snipe, Song Thrush and 4 Greenfinch. Whilst on the groynes, an adult Kittiwake seen and 3 flying north. Plus a large flock of c50 female Common Scoter also flew north.
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Thursday, 15 November 2012
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Monday, 12 November 2012
A lovely chestnut-capped female Blackcap, a long overdue, but very welcome first record for the garden, was sitting out in full view on the edge of the middle of our Copper Beech tree (still covered with maroon foliage) at the back fence this morning at 7.45am, for around at least 3 minutes, sadly just eluded the camera. In the evening picking up Jenny from Norwich airport and travelling back to Lowestoft past Hales on the Haddiscoe road just before Hillside farm at around 9.45pm, I spotted a Barn Owl perched on some farm machinery to the left of the road and it suddenly flew kamikaze like towards the car, I had to break sharply to avoid hitting it and it flew right past the windscreen safely, but only just!
Sunday, 11 November 2012
At around 9am this morning, it was a lovely sunny morning, I, belatedly made my way over to Covehithe (having resisted the urge to go on a dull and rainy Saturday, yesterday) and walking along the cliff-top fields south-east of the church, I saw a small group of birders looking up the cliff top path around 2 fields south of the track. They were looking directly north along the cliff- top path and I and some Essex birders, stopped at the top of the field looking down. It was in exactly the same area, where I had seen my last one in Suffolk, 2 years ago. Immediately, we saw the excellent Richard's Pipit pop out at the edge of the field of green-shoots (not sure what the crop was?) before almost immediately darting into long grass and weeds by appropriately enough given the day, 2 very red flowering Poppies. We had to wait around 3/4 of an hour before we had good views on the cliff top path, where it gradually made its way towards us. It showed on and off for the next hour, giving good scope views. I also heard a Snow Bunting which appeared to be flying north over the sea, although I couldn't spot it. A Common Darter flew in off the sea and flew steadily inland. A group of around 45 Barnacle Geese flew over and north. While behind the southern group of birders a late Swallow flew west and over Covehithe broad. The Pipit then flew out into the field and perched up for a couple of minutes before flying back and occasionally showing along the path again. It was good to see everyone hanging back, allowing the bird space to feed. Back at the Church seeing Dick and Clive, we scanned the field, for winter finches and Sparrows of the arboreal variety, but we only saw a group of 25 flying Skylarks, 2 Reed Bunting and a Chaffinch. Small group of Starlings, 100, 30 and 45 flew in off the sea. A stop off at Asda, revealed many c80 BH Gulls on the very low water, so low a Redshank flew in tried to land, it ended up swimming for 2 minutes before getting fed up with that it flew west. An adult Shag flew west. Late afternoon, in fading light, I drove to Oulton Broad, following tweets from Rob Wil and Rene B, looking across towards the maltings were 145 Grelag geese and bang in the middle and swimming just in front of them was the smaller White- fronted Goose, always nice to see. A smaller goose, being around 20% smaller, with pink bill and white surround by the base. The new scope was really excellent in the fading light and I could clearly see the bird. It then swam into the pack of geese and I left in the fading light. Paul & Jane F were turning into the car park and told them to follow me back to save time, we also saw Rene B briefly (and having thanked him for his tweet) and we were soon watching the bird again.
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
A male Goldeneye was seen at the back of Rollesby Broad as viewed from the A149 road on Tuesday 6 November, early morning. Solitary Sandpiper shot added to Soggy Scilly post, Blackpoll Warbler pics have been added to the "Arrival of the Americans days 3 & 4" Oct 2012 Scilly post. Also Wryneck details and picture notes added to "Soggy Scilly days 1 & 2" post (Oct 2012).
Monday, 5 November 2012
After a weekend fruitlessly trying to twitch Waxwings firstly at Thurston street, Lowestoft (Saturday) and then Pasteur road retail park, Great Yarmouth by Perenco (Sunday) without any luck. I had to return some equipment to Great Yarmouth Library on Monday 5th November and at lunchtime, having to fill up with fuel, I had briefly called in at Asda to fill up. Passing the new Breydon bridge on the way back at around 11.30am, travelling along the Yarmouth bypass road, just 50 metres from the Gapton Hall retail park roundabout, I noted 5 excellent Waxwings perched on the tree on the east side of the road, driving around the roundabout and pulling into the layby by Gapton Hall retail park, I parked the car just before Black Gate farm and decided to take my lunchbreak. The 5 Waxwings were still perched in the tree and I was able view them from a gap in the bushes. However, they soon flew off and when I drove back, seeing Keith D, I returned to the layby, where Keith D had walked there before me, when I heard the distinctive trilling call of a Waxwing. I looked west across the fence and there were now 6 Waxwings perched on a bush on the "farm area" behind metal fences. Two of their number then east flew over our heads and perched on some berry bushes right in front of us (but the light was very poor here) before a lorry driving past flushed them back to their bush. Another 3 Waxwings, that Keith spotted flew overhead and directly west again right over our heads, so 9 Waxwings seen in total, today.
Sunday, 4 November 2012
On Saturday 3rd November, I arrived at Ness Point at 9am in the morning and saw some birders scoping 2 Purple Sandpipers by the defence rocks just left of the finger. A further 2 Purple Sandpipers were then seen on the top of the large boulders amongst a group of 5 Turnstone behind the ledge just right of the compass, so 4 Purple Sandpipers in total. On checking the tamarisk bushes, I could see no initial sign of the LW, until I spied some birders gathering by the Tamarisks by the seawall near the southern walk entrance to said wall. A bird flew back into the Tamarisks bordering Birds Eye and eventually it was seen deep in the bushes in particular skulking around the barer branchy bit of the bush, showing on occasions briefly, it was the fine Lesser Whitethroat, looking typically like a normal one. Grey above, white below and browner (earth brown) back. It then flew right, started "takking" and then showed briefly on two further occasions, once out in the open for around 10 seconds! Some birders walked south along the Point and I saw Jeremy G, who was keen to get further views of the bird. Unfortunately, the bird was becoming more difficult to see or even locate, I had only had one further glimpse. It appears to favour the Tamarisk opposite the southern entrance walkway to the seawall and up to the staff entrance gate for Birds Eye. By now I had given up all thoughts of trying to photograph it, perhaps my last chance this year for this species? I met the birders on their return walk from the old Coastguards and they pointed out they had just seen a confiding Snowie by the aerial. A good find. I drove straight round and found Danny P and his 2 children, plus Barry W digiscoping the excellent Snow Bunting. It was feeding between the cracks of the pavement on the raised path at the most southerly tip of the point bordering SLP and next to the cabin there. It flew up the SLP wall and I was just about to photograph it, when a dog walker walked up the wooden steps and flushed it, it flew north. I thought that was it, until Danny P had it feeding around the weedy margins of the concrete floor slabs by the aerial. Another passer-by flushed it back to its original area. A few minutes later it was flushed again by a walker going up the steps and it returned to the area by the aerial. With the others, I tried to get some pics, but wasn't very happy with the results, until it did some wing stretching. When all the others had left I stayed, the sun came out and the bird showed particularly well down to 10 feet right in front of my car and feeding along the weedy perimeter of the blue western most fence. It was nice just to watch it without it being disturbed by anyone. Then some teenagers arrived on bikes and started messing about by the aerial, flushing the Snow Bunting onto the wall just left of the wooden steps, Andrew G then arrived and I pointed the Bunting out to him before I left.