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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Spotted Crake "whiplash" call at Reydon Smere

On Friday 29th April I heard the Spotted Crake'whiplash' call heard almost as soon as I arrived (a first for me) at 8.45pm calling at Reydon Smere marshes between 8.45-9.05pm along the Cove Bottom rd by obvious large double gate by bend TM498792. It called around 5X then a pause then another5X around 8.45-8.49pm then a pause at 9pm started calling more regularly. From the double gate the velocity of the "whiplash" call was strong and strident.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Little- rings still there

On Saturday 23 April, there were still at least 2 Little Ringed Plovers over the far western side of Carlton Marshes scrape this morning. A Redshank was the only other wader present, as well Heron & Little Egret, 2 Shovelor & Gadwall and no sign of the Garganey or any other of yesterdays birds. 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 5 Willow Warblers and a Cuckoo heard from the usual north-west marsh area.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Three Marshes in three days

Mon 18 April early evening at Oulton Marshes it was immediately apparent that trees have been cut down by the side of the entrance hill and bordering the path leading south immediately left at the bottom of the hill. The evening was a really dull overcast one and a Male Blackcap seen but a tree by the dyke plus Willow Warbler & 3 Sedge Warbler all heard, one really close Barn Owl flying around the perimeter of N&S Rede Marsh was a delight, but a pity I didn't have the camera. A Mute Swan on the nest by the overflow marsh, by the river plus a distant Grasshopper Warbler heard , whilst 2 Sand Martin flying distantly in the sky looking south and male Stonechat on vegetation bordering a dyke on the "SE Owl fields". On Tues 19th April early evening at Carlton Marshes, a Sedge Warbler heard, up 7 Grasshopper Warblers heard some very close to the path, but typically not seen. On the scrape, I briefly saw Rob & Erin & also 2 elongated, Little Ringed Plovers with yellow eye-ring and pale legs and no white wing bar noted whilst flying, a lone Greenshank was feeding on the far side, When I walked over to the far side the Greenshank was a little closer but 2 flying Grey Herons put it to flight and spooked it over to the middle of the marsh. Redshank seen too & 5 summer plumaged Black- tailed Godwits (tall waders with orange- based bills, longer tibia, barred on the breast, the orange on the underparts disappearing on the mid breast, also had long straight bills) seen too by the northern edge of the scrape, whilst 4 Swallow flew overhead and a Little Egret fished in a nearby pool. 3 Chinese Water Deers and 11 Linnet who flew onto the overhead wires, 2 Willow Warblers were hopping around each other & seen in the bushes by Wed 20th May driving home from work by Barn Owl Lodge on the A12 I saw my first Swallow of the year perched on overhead wires. Early evening parking at North Cove staithe, by the woods a male Blackcap seen in bare bush briefly and along the bank I spotted Paul & Jane on the marsh. The fine summer plumaged Great White Egret was seen fishing in a dyke the walking left and the right. A larger bird than Little Egret, it had fine long white back scapular feathers hanging down its back was a real treat to see. It typically showed its long kinked neck as it walked around in full view hunting on the marsh for food. As it was in summer plumage the bill was black and it showed pinky legs. It was a reasonable distance from us and could easily disappear into a ditch for a few minutes or so with barely its head or upper neck visible. Finally it flew strongly north and settled in trees probably not far from Carlton Marshes. On the walk back one Sedge Warbler showed well briefly as it sang in reeds by the path, another 2 Grasshopper Warblers heard but again not seen. We also saw 2 Chinese Water Deer and a Hare all running together in a field and near the cross section paths looking north along the path, a Hare ran out and briefly paused on the path before disappearing into the woods. Another great evening out!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Changes at Corton

It was really nice to see a female Blackbird sitting on a nest by the Pagoda against the garage wall, somehow I don't think she will remain sadly. At Corton New Sewage works by the entrance early evening, I saw the 4 Wheatear, 2 male and 2 females, on the cleared area but I couldn't see any sign of the Black Redstart despite an extensive search. They have also an orange fenced off, fenced off to protect the Bee Orchid colony which was gratifying to see but do they really need to fence off the area and draw attention to the Bee Orchids? That was it as there was nothing seen at Corton Churchyard (where the large tree behind the church had had an extensive trim, the field just east of there now has 5 mobile homes on it (north- east corner), Corton old sewage works save for a singing Goldfinch and Goldcrest in the wonder dyke. Nothing at the net posts, Ness Point (rocks or Turbine Yard) or Hamilton Dock. 2 Chiff- Chaff again feeding on flowerbeds in front of the kitchen and conservatory 6.30pm tonight.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Eastern Lesser Whitethroat?

On Wednesday 13th April, a really early start with skies leaden with a slate grey cloud threatenning rain at any time, Kessingland by contrast was brighter and I parked near the beach and walked along the concrete path running adjacent to the beach just 50 yards south of the Beach cafe. By the flowering, at 6.55am after just a minute's wait I saw the possible Eastern race Lesser Whitethroat moving through the bush. Indeed during the next 40 minutes I saw it 3X usually obscured by foliage but at 7.30am it came out almost into he open feeding. It "takked" a few times aiding me in locating it. Was it an eastern form? It certainly had a pale brown mantle a feature supporting Eastern but I couldn't really see any extensive white in the tail, but this feature is probably difficult to see unless you see the bird really well. Most of the time it was partially obscured or when out in the open it was seen side on so difficult to ascertain these feature. One photo appears to show an almost completely white out tail feather on one side. The jizz of short wings and long tail I couldn't really see although the photos tend to show an abraded tip to the tail. The jury is still out unless we can get more views/ photos of it. Then I saw 8 ducks flying overhead and south with a really weird "whistling call" I was perplexed as they were obviously escapes but I tentatively think 7 of the 8 were Fulvous Whistling Ducks not sure of the larger duck with them as it wasn't seen very well, might have been a Mallard type? Checking Kessingland Sewage works it was practically birdless, but a Chiff- Chaff was heard and 4 male Blackcaps were singing on the common and 2 were briefly seen. In the evening at 6pm, in the backgarden 2 Chiff- Chaff flew over to the flowerbed directly in front of the kitchen window and one bird was foraging for insects on the ground here for sometime, really nice to see.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


On Wednesday 13th April, a lunchtime visit to the local woods failed to reveal any Adders in the usual area (but this has been devastated by the cutting back of the heather) although it was just a quick look (1 hour lunch) good to see the heather is slowly growing back and 3 super Brimstone butterflies seen.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Iceland Gull & 'Stonies' at Minsmere

On Saturday 9th April, 2 Redwing called just beyond the garden perimeter, they were still about On Sunday 10th April too. also on Sunday 10th April, I visited Ness Point in the Turbine yard, the female Black redstart seen by the concrete wall distantly and a smart male Wheatear bathed himself in a puddle. Later that afternoon, by bird feeders by the Minsmere car park I thought I was on course for my usual Minsmere bad luck having missed a fine male Brambling by seconds, an hour and a half I stayed here as the light was so good and birds included up to 15 Chaffinches (males outnumbered female 12 to 3!), Blue Tit, Great Tits, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Robin, Pheasant, Magpie, 2 LT Tits and a fine male Reed Bunting. By the old car Park really nice to see the cliff busy with at least 40 Sand Martins. At North hide, I spotted the excellent Iceland Gull sat asleep on a long narrow muddy spit running west from East scrape. Typically no Garganey on show. It was apparent there were many Black- Tailed Godwit here at least 80+. Checking the North wall field in the hope of seeing Stone Curlew, I couldn't see any but there were 2 Curlews feeding on the ploughed strip. From East Scrape the Iceland Gull seen it woke up was harried by a LBB Gull and eventually flew east right over the northern section of the hide. A group of 15 Dunlin seen and a close Black- tailed Godwit too and 2 Teal. Walking back having missed the Stone Curlew on the walk up, I was in luck this time as I spotted them, 2 Stone Curlews along the far side of the North wall field right back almost by the woods, initially the east end of the narrow ploughed strip and first one and then the other ran on brief spurts to the centre of the strip by some pipes sticking up. These were my first sightings of Stone Curlews on the reserve proper as I had seen them around the perimeter before.

Easter trip to Wales

Following a horrendous journey on Good Friday, A12, M25 fine, M4 Reading traffic jam (1 hour), Bristol Traffic jam (1 and half hours) I bailed out at Kenfig and was delighted to discover a confiding Common Toad by the path by Kenfig Pool. It even crawled out right onto the path but when I left i put it back where I originally found it, it posed nicely for the camera. Cymisfael Stream- on the stream itself, 2 Grey Wagtail seen. feeding on "skit heap" there were G<b>rey Wagtail 2 & 2 Chiff- Chaffs around the bushes, that periodically settled on the skit heaps feeding on flies. Cymisfael Stream- Dipper, 2 Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Nuthatch in the tall trees opposite side of the road to the stream it was very vocal and helped me pick it out running along a vertical branch, a Willow Tit was heard around "skit heaps" but not seen despite much searching. Viewed from the junction at the bottom of the hill. A Treecreeper flew regularly to a nest hole side of the door of an abandoned building. Behind that 2 Ravens seen perched high up in trees 1 flew away but one stayed put. Travelling along east along the A9 towards Cross Hands, 2 Red Kites soared above the road and flew left ro right. Llandeusant Red Kite feeding station at 3pm- 20 Red Kites, on journey back 2 Dipper seen up stream from the bridge. Mum's new garden, Brodawel, Llandarrog- 2 Mistle Thrush and last day a Red Kite flew across right to left at the field at the back.

Lesser Yellowlegs at Carlton Marshes

On receiving a tweet from OFB at 11.10am I dashed down to Carlton Marshes joined a small throng of birders and was fortunate to see the Lesser Yellowlegs, a first for Lowestoft proper, centre right of the marsh. It walked left along a grassy spit but then flew to the far side. Seeing Chris D was watching it I joined him and saw better views but it then flew at 11.10am and flew past us and west heading for Castle Marshes I managed to get a quick record flight shot.

Ruff at Carlton Marshes

On Wednesday 23rd March at Carlton Marshes Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 smart male Ruff (which in full breeding plumage will have a white "tudor ruff") 2 Wigeon flew back to the scrape from the north- east calling "weed" as they flew in. No sign of the RNGrebe at Ormesby Little Broad and sadly no time to look on Filby. At Martham Broad the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe was eventually seen far west side of the broad distantly. 30 March aFirecrest by watery dyke S of Corton old SW then along hedge W of old SW to 5.30pm at least. Also Corton Old SW Chiff-Chaff & a Sand Martin over Corton cliff by Radar Lodge, a female Black Redstart still Turbine Yard by Turbine base Ness Point. On 31 March, a White Stork (presumed Thrigby bird?) seen along Acle strait feeding in a large puddle 6.10pm yesterday 1/3 way along between YAR & Hindu temple (former Cadillac rdhs), south side of the road.