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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Lesser Yellowlegs at Breydon Water

A tweet from Keith d at around 8am this morning led to me walking up past Breydon Hide and joining Peter A plus Tony S, The bird had flown to the edge of the estuary and I spotted the bird, a fine Lesser Yellowlegs, amongst Redshank, there were also at least 2 Spotted Redshank here too. It was sat between the 500+ Redshank and had a greyer more nondiscrept appearance with dark thin bill and smaller appearance and slimmer neck. Phil H turned up and thought this was a Spotted Redshank (which it wasn't, unless he was on a different bird!) but my original ID was confirmed when it suddenly flew sporting a squarish white rump and grey- brown wings (definitely showing no white wing stripe) Phil H then called it. It then settled amongst Redshank further back until it flew back to the edge of the estuary nearer the bridge. I then went to the hide joining Ricky F & Carl B and we had it fly fairly close in on the lumps showing its yellow legs i enjoyed watching it for a minute before it flew further back. Also sent around 12 Avocets, 100+ Black- tailed Godwit, 500+ Golden Plover, 10 Grey Plover.


On Wednesday 28th October it was sadly raining all morning, I did however spot 67 Starlings all perched on the roof top on Fallowfields house. Very little seen around Corton churchyard, old SW but that changed when I walked down the Corton old rail track. There were 5+ (including 3 smart males) Brambling all in one Sycamore on the east side of Corton ORT on the south side of the copse by entrance to an arable field. A calling Redpoll flew over here, whilst 17 Redwings flew west 4 Chiff- Chaffs were seen amongst all the Goldcrests (+1 Corton old SW) many Goldcrest. At the North Denes and Oval again not a lot seen. There were at least 7 Brambling (including at least 4 smart males) all in 1 Sycamore just E of Arlington garden top of Ravine opp Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft then suddenly 9 Bramblings flew to Belle Vue Park 4.20pm + 1 Redpoll flew south over the ravine steps.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Peregrines at Norwich

Walking back from the Courts following my jury service today Monday 26th October, I first heard the screaming and the amazingly 2 a pair of low flying Peregrines flew (one in close pursuit of the other) and they looped low over the road and jetted past and up towards the Cathedral close area, where 1 was seen circling around, a fine spectacle and welcome diversion from the serious business taking place today. Monday evening many Redwings heard calling overhead in Tesco's Gunton supermarket carpal one heard calling every 10 seconds or so. Tuesday 27th October again walking out from NCC on Tuesday 27th October a Grey Wagtail was heard calling overhead but sadly not seen.

Sibe Stonechat and AGP

On Thursday 22nd October we were let out slightly early from our Jury service at Norwich and at 5pm I rolled up at the end of Beach road, Caister. I saw 2 birders watching the Siberian Stonechat & it was really good to see Ricky & OFB. As I hadn't been able to bring anything optically other than my old bins, I was grateful to Ricky for the use of his scope. The Siberian Stonechat was a real cracker and a really smart bird, being a male bird complete with blackish head and pale peachy breast. It spent its entire time working up and down the fence line occasionally flying vertically upwards to catch an insect. Late on I saw Rob & Erin. On Saturday the Siberian Stonechat was seen again. Jeremy, David W & Lee W 2 Brambling flew over south calling their distinctive (to me) raspy call. At Horsey with Paul & Jane F we walked the fields around Horsey Corner no sign of anything save for overflying Pink- footed Geese groups of 28, 35 & 58 going west and 1 flying Lapwing, certainly no RFB. Driving back along Horsey straight 2 Marsh Harriers Breydon amogst a flock of 300 Golden Plover I eventually located the greyer American Golden Plover (another great find for Breydon stalwart Peter A- who must surely have the record for most found rare birds in Norfolk? Its a great credit to him) complete with pale white supercilia, it showed its longer leg length when it stretched and showed the length of its longer upper leg. It was originally in the cluster of Golden Plovers and was initially very hard to pick out. I did eventually locate it and made it even easier for us by walking to the front of the flock and then separating from them and joining some Lapwings in front. 3 Brent Geese swam past in the channel in front of the mud, including at least 1 immature with white lines on its back. On Sunday back at Caister, the Siberian Stonechat was initially showing quite well by the fence line, I watched from the burnt gorse area and obtained my best shot (see sub header) and it was reasonably faithful to the fence either side of a bush in front. The sheer number of birders were very well behaved but most annoyingly some idiot marched straight toward the bird when it flew even closer and spoilt any chance of me getting any better pics as he disturbed it and it flew back onto its favoured perched of the bramble within the golf course. Lots of viz mig was taking place overhead with 2 Sky Larks calling, a "peuu" call of an overflying Siskin had most observers amazingly puzzled as to its ID, obviously not field birders!!! The rattling call of a Redpoll flew over going west calling which amazingly fooled a lot of present as to its identity! A trilling Snow Bunting eventually revealed 1 bird flying north across the beach.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Cathedral Close birds

At lunchtime in Norwich taking a break from Jury service, on Monday 19th October, I saw a distant Peregrine perched on the right hand side of the spire of the Cathedral half way up. Goldcrests had even reached the trees within Norwich and in the Cathedral Close when at least one was heard calling and 1 was in the bushes just west of the Cathedral. A Grey Wagtail heard and sen lying overhead. Aound 30 Greylag Geese flew over high flying east. On Tuesday 20th, a Grey Wagtail again heard over Cathedral close and this time 2 Goldcrests were heard here also too.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Birding in drizzle & N/E winds around Lowestoft

Saturday 17th October, at 8am an incredibly total of c1,0000 Pink- footed Geese flew in a very loose "v" formation as they called and flw right over the house flying due north incredible to witness from the bedroom window! hadn't seen much when Rene's tweet came through and went down to the North Denes, I saw rene on the sea wall and the bird had been seen by the western fence of Ting Dene caravan park but had been lost. I decided to check the Oval where 2 distant Fieldfares were seen. I walked back and saw Rene & Andrew E looking at the bushes bordering the northern edge of the Bird's Eye factory, I still couldnt see the bird but when joined by Chris M the bird suddenly popped up and perched by a bush where we watched the fine Great Grey Shrike. It then flew over to the net posts before perching on a post before Danny P walked right up to it, amazingly not seeing it and the bird flew back to Ting dene fence first perching in the silver sallow bush before eventually flying down the ground in front of the buoy near the sea wall it spent sometime feeding here. It was later seen by the western fence in bushes. Last thing on Gunton beach together with Nick B, we saw 6 Reed Buntings on the beach feeding amongst the marram grass or flying to the brambles near warren House wood. Another Bunting slightly larger longer bodied flew north silently was this the Lap Bunting? Walking up I saw another 2 Reed Buntings but suddenly the heavens opened and I was drenched! Sunday 18th October, very little seen save for Goldcrests seemingly in every bush and tree. A Brambling called and flew over unseen. Nothing along the old rail track, dip farm or putting green area (save for more Goldcrests). A look on the North Demes perched on the post by the railings of the North Caravan park, a fine male Redstart seen. By the north wall of the Oval by the bramble bush just north of there, first a male Stonechat perched on top the bush and the it 'chacked' and the pair of Stonechats seen flying up into the air together. walking with Rob we saw the excellent Great Grey Shrike perched on top of he trees including the one with a lot of brown foliage. back at the North Caravan park we saw the male Redstart flitting underneath the caravans and the wooden staging area but a walker flushed it south. Sometime later I walked back and the Great Grey Shrike flew past me and perched in the middle Pine where it reasonably confiding although the light was abysmal! A dog walker flushed it flying north.

Isabelline & OBP

On Thursday 15th October, I was able to take the rest of the day off work from 10.15am, so after checking the Isabelline was still at Beeston I drove straight there. Unfortunately, it started to rain as I reached Crome but undeterred I continued to the Beeston Common road on the east side of the road assuming the Common was there, it wasn't it was opposite and there was a very conveniently situated large lay-by opposite where I parked with all the other birders cars and was fortunately to bump into Taxidermy John B, who told me exactly where the bird and saying it was still showing well despite the rain. From the lay-by the Common was accessed just a few steps further along and walking west along a path to a group of birders including Eddie M & John R. The bird the superb Isabelline Shrike, was distant perched on the top of 3 bushes. It was a pale bird with usual dark band on the rear of the ear coverts. It then flew much closer to a bare stick bush close to the path and appeared totally oblivious to the advancing birders it spent a lot of time here flying down to the ground and catching insects most of these were wasps. it then flew back to the far bushes where it again used these for lookouts to fly down to catch more insectivorous prey again mostly wasps. Next stop was Muckleborough Hills parking in Ventnor Gardenrs directly opposite the track. This area is just past the Muckleborough Tank museum entrance. I walked down the track where it slowly turned to the left and then up a hill overlooking a grassy heathy area surrounded by trees. The Pipit had just been seen but it had flown into the wood. 1 chap walked around the clear area and the Pipoit flew up and into the wood. It was later seen in the middle of the clear area on the deck and I was one of the lucky few to spot it here where it hopped out of some bracken I could see an olive- backed bird with split creamy super cilia and wing bar for all of 20 seconds before it moved out of view obscured by the thickest coup of bracken. We then incredibly lost it. It was later flushed from this area by a third person carefully walking around and I saw it fy back into the tree of the wood where it perched very, very briefly before disappearing behind the tree and into a hollow. No sign of the GG Shrike at Salthouse but I did see a Short- eared Owl hunting over the marsh.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Paget birds

On Monday 12 October, a calling Redwing seen flying south over the garden at 9am. On Wednesday 14 October at lunchtime a calling group of 5 and then 2 Redwing flew over the Library flying west. 2 Goldcrests were calling around the bushes by the Sandra Chapman centre, one seen briefly flitting in the bushes.


On Sunday 11th October Brent Geese flew north groups of 8, 12, 16 8, 24, 7, 15 flew north. Around 8 Red- throated Divers flew north as singletons and a fine summer plumaged Red- throated Diver was seen swimming on the sea a third of the way out in front of a bout. I picked up a Short- eared Owl flying south and in off the sea. Also saw a Song Thrush and 3 singleton Sky Larks fly in off the sea. Sun very little seen on patch save for Goldcrests, a Grey Wagtail heard flying over the Warren House wood. On North Denes with James W we saw the pair of Stonechats on the rough ground.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Horsey Nelson Head track & garden Grey Wag

Late afternoon on Wednesday 7th June, a very gloomy day following a cloudburst, following a work trip to Fulbourn, I nipped in at 5pm to Horsey in the hope of seeing the GGShrike, no sign for me it was obviously hiding up, although I did see a pair of "chacking" Stonechats. a wonderful total of 142 Grey Seals on the beck very close just south of the end of the Nelson Head. They were in 3 distinct equal groups with around 25 Seals swimming in the water. On Thursday 8th June, at 9am, a Grey Wagtail flew south calling over the front garden.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Lapland Bunting Gunton Warren & Firecrest

On Sunday 4th October, a look around Corton old sewage works pool, after the fog had cleared, revealed a feeding LesserRedpolland when I was joined by Neville S and after a Sparrowhawk dashed through, it spooked 4 Lesser Redpolls that flew off. A male and female Blackcap again visited the pool as did a Chiff- Chaff. A message that Andrew had relocated the Lapland Bunting had me walking along Gunton Warren half way along by the fenced off area protecting plants on the beach, I saw a Wheatear perched on the wooden slats, another Wheatear was seen in company with it later. Paul W was around the far northern end of the beach past Tramps Alley but James W joined me and after Rob Wil had replied to a text stating the bird was mobile along the marram grass dunes/ beach margin, we walked along the beach edge and the excellent Lapland Bunting flew up calling a distinctive tattling call with a Meadow pipit by the fenced off area half way along. We saw it settle and then it promptly disappeared. Unfortunately some dogs flushed it and it flew a long way south to the edge of Warren House wood, we were joined here by Ali R and Paul & Jane F. Yet another dog flushed it to the beach edge a third of the way along. Here it seemed settled and we eventually saw it feeding between marram grass where it initially obscured by marram grass stems, it then came out in the full sun where Jane F spotted it and we joined her and managed some good mid distance shots of the bird in full sunlight. It then retreated to the north edge of this marram grass clump where we watched it feed for the next hour during the end of the period of observation it came out almost fully into the open before dog walkers by the tideline spooked it and it flew 5 metres north to the next marram grass clumps where we were joined by a group of birders and Craig, we saw it again partially obscured where I finally left it at 4.15pm. Following a tweet from Rob Win, I parked near the bridge by the ravine and following the sunlit areas I walked along overlooking the White House at the top of the ravine named Arlington and in the garden saw several Long- tailed Tits and Goldcrests but with them was the fine Firecrest that flew over to the Oak tree the other side of the garden, I watched it. I walked over to the ravine and by the top end of Belle Vue Park, I looked across into the garden of Arlington, and the Firecrest again showed really well this time in the Holly tree catching the last vestiges of sunlight as it moved around feeding on insects, it was joined at the top of the tree by a Chiff- Chaff and another called nearby.

Yellow-broweds & Redpolls at Corton

On Saturday October 3, I had looked around Corton ORT only seeing 2 Chiff- Chaff and lots of Goldcrests. I saw Maurice B here and we looked around the Corton churchyard not seeing a lot. I decided to look around the old sewage works site on the cliff. Again not a lot seen. I was walking back along the entrance track and paused to look over at the marshy pool on the right and was delighted to see a Lesser Redpoll sitting on top of a tall weed with big white fluffy seeds that it was feeding on. It quickly hopped down but later 1 then 2 Lesser Redpolls were seen in the bush. I could constantly here the sound of birds bathing with wings flapping in the water and over the course of the next hour a range of birds visited including male and female Blackcap, a total of 4 Chiff- Chaffs, a Coal Tit that looked very wet when it flew up from the pool. great Tits, Blue Tits, 2 Dunnocks and memorably at 11.30, a Yellow- browed Warbler suddenly appeared flitting around low down in the bare branches of the bushes showing well for all of 2 minutes bushes before it flew across the track to the hedgerow opposite. later on following a tweet I looked in Sparrow's Nest around the top loop track, a Chiff- Chaff was seen. however by the side path by the lighthouse a calling Tellow- browed revealed a brief view of the silky white underparts of this Yellow- browed warbler whilst another called back from the top loop path, indicating there were 2 Yellow- browed Warblers here. I then went with Rob Wil and we saw a fine briefly showy Pied Flycatcher from the top of Maltsters score.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Few birds

Last few days I have checked Corton old sewage works the rail track and churchyard and seen very little (admittedly this before and after work which might be anything from 30 min to 1 hour). In Gunton wood yesterday Thursday 1st October after work the Yellow- browed Warbler was heard calling briefly and a Firecrest heard but frustratingly neither bird seen. A look at a large Tit flock mostly Long-tails but also Blue & great Tits one very brown Chiff- Chaff flew in. The started calling their alrm calls as a Sparrowhawk shot through.