Saturday, 30 August 2014
A before work visit to Corton OSW on Friday 29th August failed to reveal any birds hardly surprising when I only had 10 minutes! Another visit at lunchtime was more successful and dead on 12 noon, I could see bird as soon as I got there, the excellent juvenile Red- backed Shrike perched on the north - eastern end of the wires. It perched here for all of 1 minute, before it disappeared and I could not refine it despite much searching. A Whinchat flew from the compound and disappeared in the middle of the beet field again never to be seen again. An evening trip to Southwold old Sewage works was disappointing, a great spot but in a 2 and a half hour vigil, no sign of the Greenish, a really elusive bird and not seen since 5.20pm apparently, (I arrived soon after) whatsoever by me, although a bird that flew across the path and into a tree late on, looked interesting but we couldn't relocate it. Best bird seen was a Swift that flew past us and west and several 5 Chiff- Chaffs. A fine Southern Hawker patrolled the pathway and flew around me curiously, also flying around were 20 Migrant Hawkers continuing their recent influx.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Corton was devoid of any migrant birds, this afternoon, Wednesday 27th August, by the sewage pond a mating pair of Migrant Hawkers all curled up on a tree branch would have made a stunning shot had I had my camera. an immature Green Woodpecker seen, a Blue & Speckled Wood butterflies and loads of Migrant Hawkers. Good to bump into Chris M & Peter N. We decided to look for the Pied Flys found by James at Gunton. By the Dip Farm Football pitch in the north- east corner flycatching and flitting about in a Hawthorne bush exactly as James described, I first saw the Pied Flycatcher fly out and then back into the bush after Peter N had whistled us over after he had refund it. I next saw it perched at the back of the bush showing the white in the wing. It then flycatcher and then perched so its head could be seen well and then the whole bird was seen out in the open briefly before it flew left top a Holm Oak and out of sight. A Robin, Chaffinch were also in or around this bush and we were joined by Nick B and then an immature Green Woodpecker flew to the edge of the field by the fence too. Several Migrant Hawkers were seen here too. A look around Gunton warren revealed the usual dubious characters but sadly no birds.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend we made the best of the appalling weather, 2 Chiff- Chaff were seen around the back of the garden and just over the fence, a male Migrant Hawker was seen on the rare occasions flitting around it wasn't raining and on Monday a juvenile Herring Gull got forced down into the garden with the heavy rain and when the rain abated it didn't appear to want to leave the garden, Cosmo, our cat, didn't know what to make of it either and I herded the Gull sheep dog style (stressing it a little as it vomited twice a horrible bread mixture!) down the passageway and to the front garden and onto the road, I stayed with it until it decided to run down the road and finally launch itself into the air and freedom!
Sunday, 17 August 2014
On a sunny but windy evening, I made my way up to Carlon Marshes Scrape on Sunday 17th August, 3 later 4 Swifts (on the way back) were seen flying low above the track half way along giving great views of a summer migrant just about to depart for far away shores. Over looking the scrape, I saw very few waders initially, a close Greenshank, 5 Dunlin then the 3 immature Little Ringed Plovers seen plus 2 speckily backed Wood Sandpipers seen and possibly a third bird. A few 5 Sand Martins were seen flying over th scrape as well as 1 House Martin. Walking back the female Marsh Harrier seen flying away and the 4 Swifts were hawking low above the track on the way back.
Saturday, 16 August 2014
On Saturday 16th August a walk down to Carlton Marshes revealed 2 Green Sandpipers on the Scrape, later another was seen making 3 birds. In the far right hand corner, a golden crowned female Marsh Harrier was perched feeding on something. Further scanning revealed 3 super immature Little Ringed Plovers, 4 juvenile Ruff also flew in on the left and we were busy walking and feeding as they walked west. After the female Marsh Harrier had flown left a Greenshank was seen on the scrape plus a Common Sandpiper. Walking back, a female Sparrowhawk flew low and north over the track. By the Oak trees near reception a Little Owl flew in.
Delighted to say we found Cosmo yesterday afternoon, apparently in the thunderstorms on Thursday he had ran for shelter in our next door but one neighbours car! Really relieved that the car was in the shade as he must have been in the car for around 24 hours. My leafleting of over 80 properties and a day off work had done the trick as we was really worried about him. He seems no worse for wear but we are keeping a close eye on him at present with only supervised access outside at present.
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Lost our much loved 1 year old male Tabby cat Cosmo From the Bosquet Close/ Fallowfields/ The Pastures area of Parkhill/ Parkwood, North Lowestoft on 14 Aug 2014 Please could you check your garages, cars outhouses, greenhouses. If you have any information please let us know, or if you accidently ran him over please let us know, or there is a new 1 year old Tabby in your area, or you have found him injured & taken him to the Vets. He is micro-chipped with full address details. He loves to chase a stick around the garden and is very partial to cat food, ham, chicken, fish and cat biscuits. He also doesn't kill birds or reptiles/ amphibians We are very concerned about him & we are desperate to get him back/ find out what happened to him. Please ring: 01502 733686 & ask for Peter or Jenny (there is a reward for any info leading to his recovery/ fate)
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
On Saturday Aug 2nd and the second American in 2 days, late morning I drove to Hickling and around midday (having dodged a downpour!) I arrived by the hide at Rushills Scrape and the WR Sand had gone apparently flown left. A scan through the waders revealed Common sandpipers 2, Green Sandpiper and 1 Wood Sandpiper plus an ad Little Gull in the water. Eventually after 30 minutes someone was going directions to a wider creeping around the in the yellow flora yo the left of the scrape, we went over and could clearly see this was the greyish White- rumped Sandpiper with a more attenuated rear end than Dunlin and sporting streaks on the breast and flanks suggestion an immature age rather than adult as previously thought but the date seen tends to rule this out, so adult it must be. I saw John H there and he very kindly showed me show Swallowtail larvae, some 3 individuals on Milk parsley by the side of the path just past the hide. On Sunday 2nd August I went back armed with a couple of cameras one with 1500 400mm lens and my trusty 150mm macro lens. I saw the caterpillars again onMilk Parsley plants just beyond the hide and I was lucky enough to see the original there Swallowtail larvae still on the plant originally shown to me the previous day but also to find a further 3 Swallowtail larvae all seen separately, with 2 of them on the Milk Parsley right by the path edge so I was able to get pictures without any disturbance to them whatsoever. A very striking larvae rivalling the caterpillars of the Hawk moths in my book.
On August 1st, a tweet just as I was leaving togo to work around 7.40am, stating there was a Franklin's Gull on Breydon and I quite simply ran to the car jumped in and drove there. I arrived at 8am and just beyond the hide was Peter A and the finder, plus Tony striding up too!! (couldn't resist that one). The bird was still there a magnificent moulting adult Franklin's Gull, my first ever and a bird I had been waiting to see ever since I missed the bird at Lowestoft in 1977, a mouth watering 37 years ago! The 1977 bird was famously found by the late Brian B, who was the bird man of Lowestoft and whose influence, fieldcraft and local patchwork influenced many of the movers and shakers on the Lowestoft scene today. This is certainly the rarity I have been waiting longest to see. The Franklin's Gull was on the mud the nearest bit looking west over the lumps and the water, it was seen in front of Gulls near a tyre and could be easily distinguished by its typically slate grey back. It was slightly smaller and more compact then Black- headed Gulls. With the forehead white and a thick blackish area stretching diagonally up from the black eye cupped white eye rings (above and below the eye)It showed a blackish and red bill with dark grey legs. Because it was a moulting adult the primaries were all black with no white wing mirrors that I would expect to see in a non- moulting adult. A really fine bird and it then flew over to the northern flats where it could be seen slightly closer in flint the bird was really distinctive with a characteristic white underwing almost Kittiwake like. At 8.50am, unfortunately I had to leave for work.
On the Tuesday a trip to Minsmere was in order, going first to West Scrape no sign of it there I then traipsed all the way over to East scrape after receiving Rene's tweet and saw rene at east Scarpe hide. he informed me that I had missed the bird by 10 minutes... an hour and a half later still no sign although it had settled behind an island out of view and surely hadn't gone? We were entertained, by a delightful group of 21 Little Gulls, not only appreciating their appearance but also their distinctive calls as one by one or in small groups of 2 and 3 they gradually took to flight and flew east over the hide and seawards. It was only when Adam R arrived and said it was still showing from the North Hide that we all bundled over there squeezed in and eventually sound a seat and the bird was seen sitting just in from to some vegetation on the island a fine Collared Pratincole. It's identity was confirmed when it flew and I noted the chestnut underwing and caught a hint of the white trailing edge on the secondaries as it flew frequently around the spit in he east scrape area. On the 16th July, the first Migrant Hawker of the season, a female was seen perched on foliage at the from tot the pagoda. A female Brown Hawker was seen briefly too. A trip to Winterton on the evening of 19th July, in the hope of a possible Bridled Tern, yielded good views of c15 Little Terns and
Grey Seals but little else.