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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Slow patch birding

On Saturday 29th August, at 8am and Corton old SW, a charming family of Blackcaps the male and female and 3 immatures were around the bare branch area just west of the Sw corner of the old Corton SW this morning at 8am, there would be no repeat (for me at least) of Craig's witnessing 2 Wrynecks calling to each other, I didn't see either. Meanwhile, Links road car park was deserted save for 1 wood Pigeon and there were just 5 Common Terns on the groynes along North beach. Belle Vue Park, Sparrows Nest, Arnold's Walk and the Netposts appeared devoid of all migrants.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Elusive Wrynecks

I arrived at Corton Old sewage works this morning at 10.20am, brilliant sunshine but no sign of the 2 Wryecks Craig had seen at 8am that morning. Also the Whinchat had gone. I met Richard S, Neville S & Rob Wil. Just after their greetings, I noticed a Stoat (the black tip to the tail seen) running left along the edge in a westerly direction carrying a prey item either a mouse or a vole. they hadn't seen the Wrynecks either. A female Sparrowhawk dashed along the western hedgerow flying north. walking around to the northern side I saw a juvenile Blackbird and a Whitethroat flew up to the fence and then into the compound. Chris M arrived and at 11.30am Chris alerted me to a bird with undulating flight slim with longish body and tail flying over top the south west corner of the compound, it was a brief glimpse in flight of the Wryneck. Chris walked to the corner, I was hoping it would come out along the edge, but instead Chris saw it fly up and appear to fly in the middle of the compound. @ other birders arrived no further sign so we went to Gunton Warren cliff where Andrew E had briefly seen another. Opposite Hubbards Loke we saw a Swift fly over and west.

Resting Hummer & Painted Lady

At 7.50am, on Friday 28th August, I noticed a Hummingbird Hawk Moth feeding on the high Buddlea flowers it then flew over to the variegated Holly and perched here and here it sat for the next 2 hours and 20 minutes. It perched at around 15 feet up, so I had to retrieve the step ladder from the garage and standing on the top rung, have carefully wedged wood underneath the 4 feet to provide a safe and secure platform, it would be embarrassing attending JPH Hospital A&E/ Orthopaedic department with broken bones! It then flew at 10.10 and briefly hovered over the Red Valerian flowers before flying off. A Painted Lady butterfly was also seen feeding on the flowers of the Buddlia this morning. Update: in the evening, a female Common Hawker flew in and settled on a Lavender flower stem.

Whinchat's Last stand

Arriving again at Corton old sewage works, on the evening of Thursday 27th August, buoyed with the news that the Wryneck had been seen again several times during the day, we (Craig, Rob Wil & others) didn't mainly because it chucked it down with rain. The literal golden lining was the gorgeous golden setting sun which belatedly came out and illuminated the showy Whinchat that was again perched on the posts running adjacent to the path leading to the cliff. The bird showed well and I managed to get within 5 metres, without disturbing it and watched it perched on posts and a thistle before it eventually flew back to Old sewage works eastern fence where it perched here before going to roost.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Showy Whinchat still at Corton SW

The showy Whinchat was still at Corton old sewage works this evening, Wednesday 26th August at 6.30pm I walked along the southern perimeter fence and it was perched on the fence and then flew to the track in front of me before flying back to the eastern perimeter fence. Leaving and coming back armed with my camera, I had catch up with Robert Wil in the Church carpark and bumped into Craig & his 2 border Collies back at the old sewage works. This time the Whinchat was perched on the fence posts just east of the compound (as Robert had described its last location) and again proved reasonably obliging particularly in rare shafts of sunlights poking out of the sodden sky and bathing the bird in a golden evening glow, before eventually flying back to the southern perimeter fence line and then onto the fenced off area itself.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Local Patch birding

On Sunday 23rd August, a walk around Corton ORT revealed a calling Chiff- Chaff just south of the road and not the hoped for Flycatchers at either Corton ORT and Hopton Radar Lodge. A Wheatear flew onto the eastern fence of the old sewage works compound. On Tuesday 26th August, a walk around Corton ORT again, 2 Chiff- Chaffs were heard and 1 was seen. At Corton old sewage works a walk around initially revealed little but a Whinchat flew onto the east side of the fence and the flew over into the compound perching on a weed stem just a couple of yards from the fence. I often find birds feel quite secure even if you are the other side of the fence so slowly walking up I pressed the camera lens up against the fence and took a few close shots of this obliging bird that stayed here for several minutes. Walking back to the lane, a fine Pied Flycatcher flew across at 9am and perched briefly on the bare low branches before darting deeper into the foliage, nice to see earliest in the autumn rather than having to desperately around to see one in October. A look at Radar Lodge approach road failed to reveal anything save for 2 overflying Kestrels. POSTSCRIPT I was staggered to see a Wryneck was discovered at Corton ORT at 2pm that day, I had specifically looked for Wryneck scrutinising bramble bushes, the leafy lanes, the grassy area and the compound itself in the hope of finding one.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Visitors from West & the East

Minsmere a trip to West scrape revealed the fine Pectoral Sandpiper plus 1 wp Black- tailed Godit, 2 Ruff were seen at the back 'hugging' the edge of the east scrape. 2 Snipe on dead vegetation and 4 Common Sandpiper. At South scrape I saw 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank and a flock of small waders included 20 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plovers and a larger grey Knot. several 4 Lapwing also seen. A call from Jane and I was driving back to Kessingland Sluice, seeing Jane, Paul & Andrew at the Common, I went to the bramble bush with 2 elder bushes just poking out, 40 minutes no sign of the hoped for Wryneck, then suddenly it hopped up onto the elder bush and sat here for 4 mi nuts, Craig turned up and was photographing it too before it flew off its own volition across the river and by the 2 big bushes just west of the telegraph pole on Benace sluice dunes. Meanwhile we admired several 6 Linnets including 1 posey male and 2 Stonechat plus a distant Whinchat on the bramble. back home, tweets about Black Terns flying around the groynes at the end of Links road had me down there and again I saw Andrew & Pail & Jane and there was initially one immature Black Tern on the groyne before an adult winter plumage Black Tern flew in and settled onto the post behind it.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Speckled Bush Cricket on back door!

On Thursday 20th August at 10pm, I noticed an interesting insect on the back door. It is a Speckled Bush Cricket (?) Here is the pic of it for any entomologists to confirm or decry this identification. It was green with a thin brown line along the arch of the back and fine red speckling on it. It had a small rounded red area behind the head on the upper abdomen. It was about 2 inches long (body only). Please see accompanying pic. It moved around the door and finally dropped off at about 10.30pm. Earlier in the day at 8.30am, 4 charming Long- tailed Tits calling frequented the bushes just underneath the lounge window and just 1 double- glazed pane of glass separated me from these delightful birds. On Wednesday 19th August, no definitive sighting of the Purple Heron at Carlton Marshes seen, the Barn Owl as usual was hunting the far dykes and a Curlew flew north over the reserve.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Osprey at Blythburgh & Purple Heron again

I visited Blythburgh estuary on Saturday 15th August morning, I followed Pete M & friend out of the car park. They were viewing from the bridge, but it was a lot nicer to view further along the footpath where traffic noise was much diminished. 15 Curlew flew east. Pete M & his friend left. Within 10 minutes, between 10.40 & 10.50am, I saw the silhouette of a large raptor, the fine Osprey that hovered and then flew left and then right before disappearing behind trees it appeared to be heading towards the Hen reedbeds area. I also saw a small baby Common Vivaparous Lizard cross the path scuttling away just west of the path. At the Hen reed beds, I looked for the jetty all I saw was an open air hide overlooking a marsh area. retracing my steps I saw a Wood Mouse that sat nicely for a minute or so and another this time adult Vivaparous Lizard by the corrugated iron sheets. Early evening I visited Carlton marshes and after waiting a while overlooking Whitecast marsh, I was delighted at 6.40pm to see the immature Purple Heron flying high over fields nicely lit by the sun it flew back and into Whitecast marsh. Sadly too quick to get a picture though.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Purple Heron at last!

A tweet from Jane F at 5.45pm on Thursday 13th August, stating the Purple Heron had just flown onto the Scrape by carlton Maeshes car park had me driving westwards but gridlock at Oulton Broad meant a diversion via Prospect road, inevitably by the time I got there at 6.05pm the bird had flown but jane did direct us to where it had landed behind a domed bush on Whitecast marshes. I joined Ali R and another birder and looking along the northern most path, I suddenly saw the excellent very brown looking immature Purple Heron as it flew over the reed bed flying right/ east low over the reeds it appeared to drop into reeds behind a large bush right in with the tapering towers of the Oulton Broad Maltings (in the background). Ali and I walked east along the path and we eventually saw the immature Purple Heron fly up from a dyke in Ivy Farm Marsh and fly north over to Whitecast Marsh where it landed in a bush. Five minutes later it flew towards us and past us and then it flew down into the domed bush where it originally had disappeared too after it flew up from the scrape.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Purple Heron eludes this observer

A look over the Carlton Marshes Scrape initially revealed a fine Wood Sandpiper, 5 Ruff, a Dunlin and when joined by Ian he did well to spot a superb Little Stint next to the Dunlin that suddenly appeared from nowhere. Even better he found my lost Zeiss eyepiece nearby saving me a lot of trouble and expense in sending the bins back to the Zeiss factory- you don't expect things to fall off top of the range binoculars! No sign at all of the Purple Heron, although 5 Snipe flew south over the scrape. Also later 2 Barn Owls were hunting by the dykes. I walked back to the car park and scanning Whitecast marshes for 1/2 I saw a lady and gent peering intently onto the scrape with bins. The cycled back and the lady said the Purple Heron (& she was adamant it was definitely the Purple Heron & I believe her) had just flown back onto the Scrape 8.30pm. She said it was walking around in the water with 2 Grey Herons, I ran back and got there 5 minutes later at 8.50pm, I could only make out 2 definite Grey Herons, (I couldn't see any other Herons) I also saw 5 Egyptian Geese and ducks and waders in the gathering gloom but it was too dark to see anything else, this was extremely frustrating, when I had been there looking cover the Scrape until 8pm!

Lowestoft North Beach Terns

Sunday 9th August I met Danny on the north beach and we photographed several fishing terns not far off shore. An adult Common Tern fed an immature Common Tern perched on the end of the groyne. several 3 Cormorant and 5 Kittiwakes flew past too.

2 Banjo Bills on Breydon

Getting a timely tweet from John H on Saturday 8th August I went up to Breydon and walking out from Asda car park, I quickly located the 2 Spoonbills asleep on the northern shore of Breydon. They woke up several times indicating they were immature birds with black wing tips and pinky bills. On the lumps were at least 15 Mediterranean Gulls (mostly adult) and c450 Avocet roosting an incredible total.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Two Migrant Hawkers in the garden

This evening all evening, Thurs 7th August, there were 2 Migrant Hawkers resting along the top wooden rung of the pagoda.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Dragonflies at the Vicarage garden

A very pleasant walk on Sunday 2nd August around the gardens of the Vicarage Garden just shy of Happisburgh revealed a fine female Emperor Dragonfly regularly oviposting from what appeared to be the underside of the 4th segment up. She even oviposted on a leaf very close to the path where I was able to obtain several shots. Around 5 Migrant Hawkers were seen and 1 posed nicely for the camera although a Painted Lady butterfly appeared briefly on a bush before flying off.