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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Firecrest at Corton Churchyard

After 2 days of looking around Corton ORT, Churchyard and Old SW before and after work & seeing nothing. It sounded as if this would quickly change this morning Wednesday 30th September, when I drew up to the approach rd to Corton old SW when I heard a lot of bird song including a calling Yellow- browed, but it was not to be as the ringers were in Town. I decided to try Broadland sands and heard a Yellow- browed seeing Derek I asked him was it another tape? Yes! Going back to the Churchyard, I heard the more rasping call of a genuine Firecrest moving through the hedge on the eastern side but it remained mostly well hidden. a look after work typically revealed nothing again.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Big Moon, rubbish pictures!

This morning, Monday 28th September I got up at 2.45pm and witnessed the not so Big Moon (I've seen bigger Harvest moons) slowly be eclipsed by the earth's shadow with a bigger bite taken out of the moon by the earth's shadow. At totality, it took on this dark salmon pink colour from around 3.10- 4am. We had occasional cloud which came along and covered it from time to time. When we first looked out, we had a magnificent shooting star streaking past it at about 2.50am. At totality at 3.10am, as it got darker, the local pair of Tawny Owls suddenly became active hooting and "kewicking." However, I failed miserably to get any pictures of the salmon pink moon at totality I even tried whacking up the ISO to no avail. Moon photography isn't really my field of expertise! Any hints or tips for future occurrences gratefully received. Here's a picture at around 2.50am when there was enough light to get a pic!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Showy Snow Bunting on the North Denes

On Sunday 27th September at around 4.30pm I walked around the North Denes, I was keen to see the elusive Snow Bunting. I heard and saw 2 Rock Pipits one showed well on groynes and the rocks of the old sea wall. An initial sweep of the sea wall and the Ting Dene caravan site on the North Denes revealed no Snow Bunting although 10 Pied Wagtails seen. But walking back I saw the excellent Snow Bunting feeding between the caravans, walking down it fed right up to the base of the sea wall before it flew up unprompted onto th seawall. Where it perched before a cyclist pushed and it flew calling its excellent "jingling" call over the seawall the beach and then back over the seawall and it flew towards the south- east end of the Ting Dene mobile caravan site. It later flew back along the seawall south from here perched on the western wall before a walker pushed it north and it perched on the western wall just north from here. The same walker flushed it and it flew south back to the seawall where it fed along the western edge by the wall. A cyclist pushed it over into the caravan site again. I walked down very care fully and it was feeding in the far SE corner along the concrete path and past the railings before yet more walkers pushed it over to the sloping area where it started to feed from some vegetation and I was able to approach with 20 feet and I took a series of pictures as it fed for some 10 minutes before it hopped down to the railing barely 5 feet from me (the bird had shown really well- this is normally the refrain of the Fergusons but I was getting in on the act too, and about time!) and as the sun was covered by cloud, I left it in the extreme south-east corner of the site by the yellow-black buoy.

Yellow- brows seen and heard!

On Sunday 27th September a tweet from Jake G had me driving over to Great Yarmouth cemetery I walked across to the southern section and just a few metres down the main path a crowd of birders including Jake & Justin L really was "x" marks the spot! They were looking up into the very canopy of a large sycamore and an Oak tree and I quickly latched onto the excellent Yellow- browed Warbler, a fast moving small warbler with silky white underparts an then the head showed with the cream white obvious supercilium and then later the 2 cram olive wing bars on green wings. It flitted about giving tantalising glimpses. We were later joined by Paul W, John H and an Ali R lookalike who picked the bird up again in the Oak and gave excellent directions 7 o'clock from the sky opening and I again glimpsed the bird. I also heard a Coal Tit calling but sadly not seen on what is an unusual visitor to Great Yarmouth cemetery, rarer than Yellow- brows! A walk around revealed little save for a male Migrant Hawker. I next called in at Corton old rail track and met the Fergusons, who for once, hadn't seen a bird well; the Ybw had been really elusive. I met Rob Wil who had found them. At the copse around the Sallows area, I heard the "tsuipp" call of a Yellow- browed Warbler right above my head but didn't see it. Chiff- Chaff also heard. I was joined by Paul W. Next stop look in Gunton Woods around the Sallows to look for my own YBWs. All I heard was a very vocal Chiff- Chaff by the hedge before the wood and then calling in the Sallows, but nothing else. Of course later on James W found one here and I drove down met James W and we went back to the Sallows and the main wood path by the sign and we both clearly heard the Yellow- browed Warbler call twice unfortunately we didn't see it.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Corton, Gunton Warren & North Denes today

On Saturday 26th September I walked over to the Corton New Sewage works sewage outflow pool, in the hope of seeing Willow Emeralds, seeing Rob M and his wife there we couldn't see any but a fine male Southern Hawker patrolling the pond and several Common Darters both male and female. Whilst we were there 2 fine Grey wagtails flew in and settled on the hand rail just a few metres away. Whilst overhead in the brilliant sunshine up to 4+ Mediterranean Gulls (3 adults and 1 2nd year bird flew over) their wings a translucent white in the fine sunshine. As soon as Rob M and his wife had left. I immediately saw a Willow Emerald flying around the bushes bordering the boardwalk. I then saw up 8+ Willow Emeralds, a mating psi showed well the male lower down was frequently implanting the female on top. Another Willow Emerald briefly settled on the handrail. A walk along Gunton Waarren revealed no Small Coppers as hoped but a vocal and briefly showing Chiff- Chaff seen by some bramble and the Stonechat seen on tall vegetation in the middle of the North Denes and another second Stonechat briefly popped up into view too but I could not see the Snow B on either the sea wall or the net posts.

Welsh trip

Welsh trip: On Friday 18th September, I saw a Nuthatch which came to food put out in the morning, it perched in the bush just west of the conservatory. A walk that afternoon revealed a Dipper on the Cymisfael stream and 2 further along, so 3 Dippers in total. A showy Speckeld Wood showed well in on the bramble bushes by the new Whitehall bridge. On Saturday 19th September , the Nuthatch was again seen in the garden feeding on scraps put out. At Mum's new potential property Pied Wagtail and Robin seen plus a croaking Raven flew north directly overhead. On Sunday 20th September 3 Ravens flew over calling croaking, 2 seen in tall Pines and 1 flew over towards them. 3 Buzzard flew out of the copse north of Mum's house. on a non birding trip. Finally On Sunday, first thing the Nuthatch was seen feeding on scraps but only after I had vacated the car overlooking the area! after lunch, I drove back and a magnificent Red Kite flew low over the M4 from left to right right in front of the car just before the Swansea City sign.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Local Patch catch up: Little to report

Wednesday 16th Sept still 4 House Martins over Bosquet Close, Thursday 17th Sept 2 House Martins Bosquet Close. Nothing at Corton save for calling Bullfinch & Chiff- Chaff by the Oak Lane calling Siskins heard, Corton old Sw calling Siskin heard plus a female Green Woodpecker on fence & Swallow post flew to telegraph pole! Male Migrant Hawker flew past car park hedge Corton Churchyard. Gunton Warren calling Siskin,, 3 Chiff- Chaffs calling and 1 singing by Holm Oak parch just north of Warren House Wood. female Migrant Hawker and 2 smart Small Coppers at the eastern end of the Japanese Knotweed remains. 6 Swallows by North Denes. Arnolds Walk calling Coat Tit seen in fir tree plus alarm calls from Goldcrests as a Cat moved through. Netposts- 1 Kestrel on post, Meadow Pipits 4 & 4 Pied Wagtails. Nothing in the Parks.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Deaths-Head Hawk Moth at Minsmere

A tweet from Matthew D stating a Death's-Head Hawk Moth had been trapped overnight at westleton and it would be on show at Minsmere Visitor centre and an hour later I was driving down in the run to Minsmere. seeing Paul & Jane F there at 2.30pm, John walked in with a small container and in it was a large dark 8 inch moth the excellent Death's-Head Hawk Moth. A real beast of a moth and only my 2nd ever (first on Scilly in 2003), a real rarity in Suffolk with only 1 trapped per year usually. It was put on a bit of Silver Birch trunk but was still quite active walking along John's hand and when it stated to flutter its wings it was time to carefully put it back into the fridge. This done it was let out again after half an hour with more photographers sticking their lenses in than a gathering of press paparazzi at a celebrity! It was put near to the window to maximise the light and I managed a obtain few shots, albeit without my preferred macro 60mm lens which had given up the ghost last week.

Migrants at Corton

A look around the old sewage works revealed little save for 23 Siskins flying south. A look at Radar Lodge entrance track revealed a constantly calling Pied Flycatcher that would have been reasonably confiding had not the shooter on the field adjacent to the Lodge being fired every 2 minutes. The Pied Flycatcher perch on low down branches but would fly once the gunshot had gone off. A walk to the Corton new sewage works overflow sewage pool revealed a constantly patrolling smart male Southern Hawker constantly patrolling the ware plus a make Common darter perched on the handrail. 3 young Goldfinches perched on the sewage works perimeter fence, I couldn't see any Willow Emeralds although cloud was rollin in. walking to the fenced area near the Anglian water entrance gate. A Wheatear suddenly flew to a post and then out flew a male Redstart and perched briefly for all of 30 seconds in the vertical wire. I waited and saw it flitting around and later on hearing its constant calls I tracked it further along west and it flew across into an Oak tree perched and showing reasonably well it flew back to the fenced area again and where it flew back to the fence showing quite well again.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Bluethroat & Wryneck at Winterton

On Saturday 12th September having already missed 2 Bluethroat already this year and wanting to break my recent run of dips at Winterton- no having seen any birds there in he past 18 months, I waited until confirmation following report of a Bluethroat in the South Dunes. This duly came through from Tommy C with the encouraging news that it was showing well. I walked down the valley and not seeing any other birders I carried on to where there was a group of them by a sign with a large bush just north of it. Some birders said they had it, and I assuming it was the Bluethroat and I was looking on the ground at the base of the tree just left of the main trunk. Eventually, they explained it was a foot off the ground and a fine Wryneck came into view. An excellent brief sighting but I assumed this was where the Bluethroat was and had to retrace my steps back to the bushes along the main "inland" path of the Dunes just south of Hermaness. A group of birders were looking on the eastern side of this bush and the excellent Bluethroat was seen briefly in silhouette, it ran behind a small bush directly in front of me, where it frustratingly disappeared. I met Craig & Tinm H and Tim explained it was very faithful to this specific bush wandering no further than 15 metres away. It show roughly every ten minutes so not to worry. But when Barry J crouched down the other/ "inland side" of the bush, it was clear he was on it. I moved around to the other side of the bush, where it surrounded a bowl shaped area of grass. The bird would then would regularly hop out and run across the grass being around 3-4 metres away at times it was showing to around a metre! It perched once on a small branch of gorse. Then a well known Norfolk bird photographer turned up and he went the other side and he and his wife were as usual waiting far to close to the bush pushing the bird the opposite side and for once he did me a favour (but not the bird!) as it showed really well in front of me in the grassy bowl. It even ran to a bush beside me, when the photographer walked around he flushed it (no surprise there, no fieldcraft whatsoever!) and it flew to the right side of the bush by a gap through to the eastern side showing its fine chestnut basal tail panels as the tail flared when it landed at the eastern end. Later on it came out in this grassy bowl and showed down to a metre ridiculously close! Only problem photographically was the light was so awful and when the sun did briefly eventually came out the bird wasn't showing, sadly. 5 House Martin feeding over Parkhill/ Fallowfields this evening. Although I believe my pair has left within the past week lets hope they have a south journey south and I look forward to seeing them next year.

Easterly winds= birding after work

Friday 11th September a lone Siskin flew north over the house as I was walking to the car 8.30am seen and heard. Birding aftr work again. This time I parked again at the Dip Farm pitch and putt and walked along the northern fence line. The Pied Flycatcher was seen briefly perched on the low hanging branch. Otherwise 4 Robins seen, 1 immature and several in transition plumage. walking past the bush along the path running parallel with the road and walking south, a Redstart flew out of a tree and circled and darted round and back behind the tree. Around 30 yards further along, a Redstart flew from bush in front of m and flew left and settled behind another bush out of sight. meeting both Craig & James B at Corton churchyard I heard the Firecrest calling but didn't see it. Looking around the ploughed field just north of the old sewage works 3 Wheatears were seen on the north west section of the field.

Start of easterly winds

On Thursday 10th September after work, I went to Corton Old Sw saw james B, we saw 2 Wheatears by the newly ploughed fields but little else. He advised me to go to Gunton ORT and Dip farm where he'd seen Pied Fly & redstart. With the sun a now golden hue, I walked along the northern fence line and there was a brownish Wheatear which sat on the field near the fence. It flew up to the fence showing well. I walked along further to the berry bush at the end. I initially saw 2 Robins then a fine Pied Flycatcher flew low and perched on a low branch, I crept nearer and nearer and managed to obtain som great shots of this splendid bird. It would occasionally fly out to the grass catch an insect low to the ground and then return to its perch. I then met David F, a newish birder/ butterfly photographer who lived nearby I showed him the Pied Fly and he walked back where he had seen James' fine male summer plum Redstart, suddenly a Redstart flew out of a bush and then fly further back. Its reddish tail seen well.

Some Lowestoft birds

On Monday 7th September at Lowestoft Netposts, first 1 then 2 Wheatear seen the second was more obliging and several pics obtained. Plus 3 Meadow Pipit. Corton 28 ad Med Gulls in mixed Gull flock comprising Common Gulls, BH Gulls and Herring Gull too. At Lound, a Redstart flew out of the hedgerow at Blue Door Loke plus a female Blackcap seen at the hedge at the end and a Coat Tit near the start.

White- winged Black Tern

On Sunday 6 September, a tweet from Tony S stating there was a WWBT at Ormesby Broad had me driving over there and from the bridge by the busy road looking over to the far end we saw 2 Common Terns perched on posts and eventually the excellent juvenile White- winged Black Tern constantly flying over the water it sported a grey black back or saddle with darkish around the mid rear of the cap and a black edge to the primaries, it had typically dipping marsh tern flight and flew over tp the reeds on the left in the mid distance.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Corton migrants

On Wednesday 2nd September, a sunlit garden revealed a posing Red Admiral on the Wisteria leaves above the garden pagoda. A walk at Corton old SW revealed little but in the field south of there were 14 Mediterranean Gulls (12 adults, 1 2nd calendar year and a juvenile bird.) A walk down Corton old rail track just past the copse revealed a wet looking Pied Flycatcher that flew up into the a large Oak tree just left of the path. In the field just south west of the new SW 40+ Common Gulls seen with fewer BH Gulls and the odd Herring Gull.

Migrants then Barred

A look around Corton revealed nowt save for a Holly Blue by Corton old SW. On the North Denes, 2 Whinchat seen and 2 Wheatear seen on the Oval from the cliff, nothing at Ness Point a rain storm curtailed my check of the slopes. At 1.45pm tweet from Rob and by 2pm I was back on the Denes looking at the slope Barred Warbler popped up in the top bush then flew half way down the slope. Looking from the side across it favoured a sunlit bush just above a small Holly tree and spent some time resting. Also with it was a female Blackcap and a Reed Warbler. Rob rang and said there were better views from the top of the cliff. 3 Mediterranean Gulls were in the Links road car park Gull 2 adults and 1 2nd calendar year bird . Im the evening 1 Spotted Flycatcher was seen initially perched on the fence of the in the SW corner of Corton old SW. it then flew to the hedgerow west of here and back to the hedge of the west ice of the old sewage works before flying back.

Bank Holiday washout

Sunday Long- winged cone head seen in garden