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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Dip farm lives up to its name for once!

On Tuesday 31st May, from 6pm to 6.55pm looking along the north hedge of the Dip Farm football pitch at Gunton usually a very happy hunting ground for me in both patch work birding and twitching rarities here, but not today. I had a look along Dip Farm at for a Greenish Warbler well found by James W at 3.50pm, but during my visit here the light was decreasing and it started to rain too, so I left. Good to see Ricky F, Andrew E, John H, Dick W, James W, Paul & Jane F & Ali R though. I left at 6.55pm and barely a minute later it was showing again!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Temminck's Stint & Kingfisher at Carlton Marshes

On Sunday 29th May, when news broke at 9.30am I drove to carlton Marshes and rushing down the main path, I first joined James B who stated it had just flown off great! I then joined Rob Wil, Andrew E, Chris D & Gavin D and was directed to the bird that was there (it may have flown back almost instantly) on a spit with 3 sleeping Shovelors. It was feeding along the edge, a fine Temminck's Stint, a much predicted and long awaited bird for the area. It walked around feeding, typically diminutive with brownish body, short bill and when seen with the appropriate back ground pale legs. Walking back down the main path we saw a photographer photographing a male Linnet perched on top of a bush. Gavin & I then walked over to Spratts Water and by the back water, the same photographer was seen photographing a juvenile Kingfisher, it was perched in low branches, initially partially obscured I got into position stood stock still behind the photographer and managed a few shots, the adult Kingfisher flew in and fed the youngster a Stickleback it flew off the youngster remained until the other photographer moved and tried to edge closer from another angle, twigs snapped and the bird was gone, another example of poor fieldcraft which is sadly so prevalent these days. At the back of Spratts water Gavin and I saw female Scare Chaser, 2 Hairy Dragonflies and a pale Peacock butterfly. Reed and Sedge Warblers again seen.

No show Black-eared Wheatear & evening trip to Carlton Marshes

Saturday 28th May news broke 9.30am of a female Black- eared Wheatear at Cart Gap near happisburgh, jumping straight into the car I drove there with the aid of the essential OS map and pulled into the car park. Luckily Debbie was there to tell me where to look although the bird hadn't been seen since its original discovery. Great place to visit and really nice to get news of a rarity in this part of Norfolk, which makes a nice change!!! Saw Ricky F, Paul & Jane F, Dave H, Ali, Roy H & Carl. I later went onto Carlton Marshes in the early evening in my quest for Cuckoo. One Cuckoo was again seen around the western end of Spratts water, it settled in a large tree but then flew left and not seen again. Reed & Sedge Warblers again seen plus a Kingfisher flying down the dyke turning in mid air giving me a great flight view. A Mallard showed well in the dyke. Long- tailed Tit seen too.

Carlton Marshes: Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies & Interloper!

On Friday 27th May at Carlton Marshes tonight 3+ Cuckoo calling constantly and flying around the western end of Spratt's Water, 2 birds in particular were flying around the end bushes and the 3 bushes spied from from the south western path, a Cetti's Warbler sang its explosive song and for once I saw the bird, chestnut coloured and it flew from a bramble down into a dyke. A Kingfisher flew and perched on a vertical stick over the dyke + when I was looking at a male Blackcap in the bushes on the southern side of Spratts Water marsh, as I was looking at male Blackcap going up into a tree and looking distressed, I first heard crashing around and then I spied an interloper trampling all over Spratts Water (well off the footpath) and looking suspiciously into several bushes I think he was after nests or eggs. I challenged him he gestured that we was doing photography but a) when you are peering in a bush parting the foliage with both hands and the camera slung around the left side of your body b) crashing around making a lot of noise c) walking off the path d) disturbing all wildlife trampling on flowers and orchids this is no defence! He walked off quickly and sheepishly, I shouted "Oi" he looked around and bingo, I cold now send a pic of him to Mat. Several Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers seen too.

Minsmere Long-tailed Duck

On Wednesday 25th May, I drove over to Minsmere after work to look at the LT Duck. I should have visited the previous evening as the dull overcast weather would have given better viewing than the brilliant sunshine I was greeted with and the sun setting in the west causing much glare on the water on the back of the east scrape where the bird was. I couldn't see it and it wasn't safe viewing directly into the sun with optical equipment. I spied a fine adult Little Gull complete with black hood. BBC cameramen were walking on the scrape one set up a camera just the side of the south hide and a warden came in to warn us to set up another camera by the BH Gull colony. It just as well he did, as all the Gulls flew up into the air, as did the Common Terns and ducks except the Long- tailed Duck, a magnificent male in full summer plumage with long tail only occasionally seen as it was mostly drooped in the water. It swam left and I could see the bird albeit mostly silhouetted. Matthew D and his girlfried then entered and I again showed him a rare bird I had refound! A BBC cameraman with a very fine full beard (as seems the fashion these days, not quite ZZ Top style but getting there!) entered the hide and started filming downstairs.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Now you see me, now you don't!

On Sunday 22nd May, at Carlton Marshes, on an initially cloudy start the sun broke through and on the walk to Spratts water, the 5 dead bushes by the footpath I could hear the Grasshopper Warbler as usual but this time he was perched on the one 2nd in from the right and was singing from a perch 1/3 to 2/3 up in full but often partially obscured view. My first sighting of this species for several years. Walking to the area by Spratt's Water, 2 Reed Warblers seen and further along the path, really good to see Neville S and I walked back to show him the Gropper that was still reeling. A Willow Warbler showed briefly well. Half way down the path just past the 2 bare bushes by the dyke, I heard a plop go into the water it must have been a Water Vole (walking back later it did the same on the way back. A Cuckoo was heard and appeared to be in the western area of Spratt's water actually in the large very well foliaged tree right above me, the Cuckoo then flew out and soared down and out of sight. I saw a Sedge Warbler briefly. I met Chris M, good to see Chris too and we enjoyed first a Song Thrush singing from the overhead wires and then a Buzzard and a pale male Marsh Harrier both flying north. Walking back I broke off from Chris to look at Spratt's water and saw 2 Reed Warblers again. We saw up to 8 Hairy Hawkers patrolling the dykes and an early Wall Brown briefly alighted on the path as we started the walk back. At the car park, I met with Chris again and he said he had seen a Water Vole nibbling on a stem just path the right hand bend by the dyke. I walked back initially no sign although I enjoyed seeing the showy Grasshopper Warbler reeling from his favourite bush. Walking back I saw 3 people intently staring into the reeds they had a Water Vole and just left of a bramble stem going into the water partially obscured by 2 reeds was indeed a Water Vole nibbling on a reed stem with its claws, it spent around ten minutes doing this before leaning forward and plopping in to the water and completely out of sight. Walking back just past the bend were a pair of Mallard with ducklings 2 were bright yellow, another plop into the water must have been a 3rd Water Vole although not seen.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Butterflies in the garden

On Saturday 21st May, for the first time this year from the garden I could hear a Whitethroat singing & then a Holly Blue flew around and settled on a bush and the cooler weather enabled me to get a few shots of it, when the sun came out it opened its wings sunbathing before it was off. A Green- veined White looked exhausted as it rested on the ground at the rear right hand flower bed, therefore posing nicely for the camera & before the sun seemed to re-energise and it flew strongly up and over to next door.

Minsmere Black- winged Stilt

On Friday 20th May, I drove down to Minmere met Jane & Paul F who'd just seen the BWS. I looked from North hide couldn't see it, nobody in the hide. From East hide, nobody here either I couldn't see it here either. Lots of Common Terns I'd say close on 60.Lots of people from N. Hide so I walked back met Matthew D on way went back decided to back to East hide. I eventually spotted the excellent Black- winged Stilt right down the far end of the bung on the right hand side by some green reedy shards sticking out of the water. It had a little grey on the head, black back and long red legs. It walked around here and almost looked as if it would through the gap and beyond the island out of sight, but it gradually walked back into water and started feeding. A Kittiwake was stood on th far bung too. After a while, the Black- winged Stilt flew strongly east and disappeared behind an island. Also 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 full adult summer plumage p and another more adult with more partially plumage with blotchy black head. summer plumaged Dunlin. On the walk back along the beach, a group of 10 Terns included 7 Little Terns and 3 Commons Terns flew over and over East hide towards the Scrape. Walking back 3 red deer seen by the field just east of the centre sheltering around 3 bushes, either sitting tor standing and looking at me. Back at the track to the pond, a Blackcap was heard singing and by the birdtables by the steps by the car park, a Red- legged Partridge flew away down the path on my approach.

An evening walk to Carlton Marshes

On Tuesday 17th May evening I was delighted to see 2 Wood Sandpiper, 1 initially sen straight out on the scrape be short discovered just nearby, 3 Yellow Wagtail were at the back (western end) of the scrape including a golden yellow male, a pair of Wigeon, a Gadwall, 2 Little- Ringed Plovers one flew over showing a brown wing and no white wing bar in flight and 1 Ringed Plover on the edge. I saw first Rob Will & Andrew E walking down to the west side of the scrape.

Bee-eater at Winterton

On Thursday 12th May we drove all the way back from Scotland, having left at around 9.30am we were too late to see the Bee- eater at the cricket ground at Winterton. Next day, Friday 13th May, I waa there early at around 6am but no sign of the bird. Good to to meet Mick D and see Tim again. It wasn't until the afternoon after I had returned home that news came that it had reappeared by the BT cable station. So mid afternoon, I went over and soon as I was got there, a small group of birders with their scope trained on the overhead powerlines just to the west pointed literally to where the bird was. The excellent colourful Bee- eater perched on the wires, Tim very kindly showed me a great spot a little further on an to the left where we could walk under the cover of a fence, Leylandii trees and overhanging vegetation to get closer to the bird, where I could stand and wait and maybe get some pics of it. I stood here for an hour and a half and the bird wasn't perturbed at all by my presence and indeed it had frequently flying sorties always catching a bee and returning to the power line and promptly started devouring it. The bird even perched closer on several occasions and managed to obtain a few shots even though the sky was overcast.

Day 6: Scottish Highlands & Islands: Last day on Speyside

Sadly, the last day was soon upon us and the beautiful summery weather had continued although temperatures were slightly down on what we had experienced but still pleasant. First stop was a local Loch, where Ospreys were breeding on an island in the middle of the Loch. We took the lower path and walking down I saw a male Great- Spotted woodpecker on a tree trunk in front of us that flew right. We settled in a good position and could see the nest well (without disturbing the birds) with the female Osprey's head occasionally poking up over the top of it. Eventually the male came and circled around twice before alighting on the nest, the female then departed. This was cue for our exit having obtained a couple of pics (I as always would have liked a few more!) 2 male Goldeneye was seen on the loch plus near where we parked the car perched in a tree by the gravestones, a fine Spotted flycatcher. We stopped in at a Nursery for tea and cake and one of the feature of this is you sit on stalls by a large window overlooking a load of peanut filled feeders on 4 trees in front of you. 2 Red Squirrels eventually came in and started feeding on the peanuts. Other birds seen included Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits and 2 Siskins. At Dulnain Bridge, we saw Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper. At Lochindorb, a repeat visit again in the afternoon, failed to reveal the elusive (for us on this trip) BT Divers, 5 Red Grouse seen by theside of the road, a fishing Osprey that flew down and crashed in to the water rising again into the air with a fish clasped in its talons was yet another memorable experience from this holiday, although it was too far away to capture on camera. 3 Common Sandpipers seen briefly by the rocks by the side of the loch. Stopping again at Dulnain Bridge, we saw 2 Grey Wagtail, a Dipper flew to the side of the bridge and up a stream to the left. 1 rather scraggy looking male Red- breasted Merganser swam quickly first up and then down the stream making it surprisingly difficult to photograph. 3 Common Sandpiper also seen on the rocks. At the river at Grantown on Spey we saw 2 Grey Wagtail and 3 Common Sandpipers plus around 6 Pied Wagtails on the rocks here too. In Grantown on Spey Pinewoods./ Anagach woods, we entered the Caper core area but failed to see any here but one Roe Deer was seen only just eluding the camera by seconds and I found a trail of Wood Ants but sadly couldn't find their nest. A Treecreeper was also seen here and finally back at Aviemore. Tim and I in the evening went for a final visit (for me, Tim sneaked another visit the next morning when I was taking pics of the Cairngorm hotel. We saw in the silver birch just above the lake, 2 relatively confiding Bullfinches first a female and then a peachy coloured male, which I managed to get a few pics of. We also saw 2 Spotted Flycatchers here. Walking around to the left hand side, I saw a close female Red Deer, she seemed enormous and Tim walking up disturbed her and she ran up the hill. Willow Warbler seen here and again we heard Wood Warbler singing. A Treecreeper flew across the road and scaled a tree at the front of the Catholic Church grounds. Back at the Cairngorm Hotel we were delighted to see the Bagpiper back outside the front entrance from 8pm!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Day 5: Scottish Highlands & Islands: Speyside, Martens & Badgers

First stop was the Cairngorm lower car park for a Black Grouse lek, we saw 1+ Red Grouse but sadly no black. We arrived about 7am maybe too late? A pair of Ring Ouzels, a male seen by a patch of grass was joined by a female. watched by another couple. Suddenly a female Sparrowhawk shot through and disturbed the Ring Ouzels that flew up the bank. An emergency meant we had to stay around Aviemore and at Craigellachie we heard singing Wood Warbler, walking back towards the entrance 4 Bullfinch were seen including 1 fine male. Tree Pipit was also heard. At Lochindorb, 8 Red Grouse seen close to the road and 3 Common Sandpiper on the loch but strangely no sign of the BT Divers. At Loch Ruthan, a male Wheatear seen, Willow Warbler, 2 Little Grebe and 3 fine summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes seen mainly distantly but 1 came across was seen from mid distance. 2 Common Sandpipers seen on the rocks briefly close to the hide. Back at Craigellachie in the evening, 2 Tree Pipits seen in trees just before the road tunnel, a Peregrine was heard, when 2 high flying Ospreys drifted over. Finally by the pool, a female Goldeneye seen plus an another Osprey flew over the pool high up in the sky. A Grey Heron seen by the left hand end of the pool. That evening, we went on the dusk watch, we assembled near Loch an Eileen, we were met by John, a jovial Scot who reassured us the Martens had been showing well the previous evening and he showed us around 30 young Red Deer stags fenced off in a field, before we entered the hide. Unfortunately I was beaten to the best spot in the hide by a couple determined to take these 2 spaces and they were very unsportsmanlike in jealously guarding this area the whole time we were in the hide, which really didn't enter into the spirit of co-operation required. I took up the next best spot overlooking the area to the left where there was a path leading down from the woods. John the ranger went outside and started putting peanut butter out and nuts etc, We were initially sceptical about whether we would see the Martens, but amazingly within half an hour of entering the hide and 10 minutes after John, the ranger had come back into the hide, the light was fading and the first Pine Marten ran down the path and briefly stopped right in front of me and I managed to get one fortuitous shot of it (see accompanying photo) as it momentarily stood in front of me. Fantastic! he then proceeded to feed on the goodies on the table right in front o the hide. It was near impossible for me to get any pics as the couple were jealously guarding their seats and not allowing me to get pic. But later on another 3 individual Pine Martens visited mainly to the table area but also to the area around the back but by this time it was too dark to get any sort of picture without flash, which of course was not allowed. We were also visited by 6 Badgers, first one around the table and then one going up a tree to take some food and then 5 around all together.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Day 4: Scottish Highlands & Islands: Speyside

On Monday 9th May, we were up early and in a local Pine woods we saw Siskin, Tree Pipit singing and a Wheatear and Mistle Thrush in a field. Whilst travelling back along the road, on a tree to the left we spied 2 Red Squirrels bounding about in the trees and we took some pics from the car before they bounded across the road and let onto a fence on the right hand side before bounding off into the forest. Next stop was Cairngorm travelling up to the higher car park we parked with only 3 other cars present and I spotted a male and a female Red Grouse feeding around the picnic area the other side of the car park. Walking up past the ski lift fencing, I heard and spotted a fine male Ring Ouzel singing from the fence edge end, it then flew up to the ski lift tower and started singing from there. We then walked for about an hour when John & Tim raised their bins ahead of me and pointed. By a tiny stream leading down to the path, I saw first a magnificent male Ptarmigan and then a female feeding around the heather by the stream. The male was greyer above, complete with a fetching red eyebrow with white below and fantastic characterful white feather feet perfectly adapted for walking around in snow. The female was browner speckled above and again white below with the fantastic feathered feet and legs. The male was slightly more wary than the female always staying the other side of the stream although he did once join the female to drink at the stream. The female however was much more confiding. Tim & I sneaked closer and obtained many pictures of these fine mountain specialists when Tim left the birds became even more confiding with both birds drinking from the stream and the female crossing and walking up to me down to 4 feet! I had to back off a bit as she was getting too close for pics! Slightly further up a group of Reindeer seen feeding, on the right side of ground & they were later all seen lying on a small snow drift covered bit. The others carried on walking and I saw and heard a flying Snow Bunting complete with a "tinkling" call. It flew past so I wasn't able to study the plumage. Further up with the others way in the distance I joined a couple by the rocky scree where they were viewing 2 pairs of distant Ptarmigan. I also saw around 2-3 on another rocky scree. They flew around and was rejoined by Tim & John. We also and sensationally inadvertently disturbed 2 Mountain Hares, that ran a few yards away from us. One was almost completely brown save for the white tipped legs and black tipped ears. Whilst the other had a lot more white on its underparts. They initially ran up the mountain and stopped, before the browner individual ran round back down again and stopped not far from me where I was able to get credible mid distance pics before it ran right again. From there we drove to a nearby roadside Loch and saw a Little Grebe, 2 Greylag Geese at the back water and swimming left up to them partially obscured by a bush in the foreground were 2 excellent summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes. They promptly dived but were seen on and off swimming at the back. A visit to Loch Garten revealed the male Osprey sitting on the nest and the female Osprey sitting in a tree nearby until she flew back in and displaced the male. He flew around and as we departed the hide he flew overs circling ever higher. On the walk to loch Malachite, a male Sikin seen and several more heard, no sight nor sound of the Crests but near the Dragonfly water, I heard a Spotted Flycatcher singing and saw it briefly in acrobatic flight. Early evening a visit to Craigellachie revealed 3 Tree Pipits singing and perched in trees in the mid distance. The screaming of a Peregrine was heard when an Osprey flew overhead and joined by another bird, and it later flew over the pool. Also on the pool was a female Goldeneye. Whilst a Song Thrush fed on the lawn by High Lodge. Every night we went along to the Cairngorm Hotel for an excellent meal at very reasonable prices and the icing on the cake was a chap in full tartan regalia playing bagpipes outside the front door from 8pm, absolutely brilliant!

Scottish Highlands and Islands: Day 1, 2 & 3: Journey up, Isle of Skye & Speyside

Just back from an outstanding holiday at one of my favourite holiday destinations, Speyside and we also visited the Isle of Skye Thur 5 to 12 May 2016. Three quarters of the usual Scilly team drove up to Skye where we initially had brilliant sunny weather. On the journey up I had a brief sighting of a Whooper Swan(with extensive yellow on the bill) on a Loch and several Hooded Crows seen c8. On the journey up we stopped along the shores of Loch Lomond and the opposite side of the road I saw a singing Wood Warbler and the other side in a silver birch wood another reasonably close Wood Warbler was seen singing plus 2 Treecerreepers scaling the trees too. We also heard a Tree Pipit singing. We then went straight to Applecross where I had been informed by several people it was really easy to see Ptarmigan. We drove up to the summit and parked by a carpark either side of the road taking the track up to the tower. All we saw were Meadow Pipits. There was no sight nor sound or evidence ie. droppings of Ptarmigan anywhere. However we already had company at the top by a French speaking film crew who had been all over the summit and surrounding area. We arrived on Skye to brilliant sunshine but our only full day on Skye was sadly overcast with occasional spells of light rain. Driving over the bridge we saw 2 Red Grouse, at least 2 Buzzards, we saw 6 Hooded Crows. We stayed at Staffin, a really picturesque crofting community (what you would expect for an offshore Scottish island) overlooking a bay. Our stay got off to a great start when I saw a male Twite, a brown bird with forked tail and pink rump flew north east across the garden viewed from our room, later on a walk to the local community centre for dinner, we saw a Twite fly and settle distantly in a field and a Cuckoo calling seen perched at the top of the middle Pine in a group of 5 Pine trees. We also saw 3 Rock Doves flying past the croft fields or local garden they looked like pure birds but none posed for pictures! By the street before the harbour we got off to a good start with a Hooded Crow perched on a lamp post. We bordered the MV Stardust II hoping for close encounters with Eagle, however we didn't realise that a competitor boat went out at the same time and basically stole our birds. I spotted a Grey Seal poking its head out of water briefly. It's very disappointing when these boats can't o-ordinate with each other and we had paid £25 each for the privilege. Over some sea cliffs we saw 2 distant Golden Eagles fly over. As we approached some cliffs we were joined by the other boat and beknowst to us they had already thrown a fish out and suddenly out of almost nowhere, a large adult White- tailed Eagle flew to their boat grabbed the fish in its talons and flew off, giving great views for them but not quite so good for us! It perched on a large rock and fed on the fish grasped in its talons giving us some good perched views of this species. John spotted a Black Guillemot flying right and another Tystie seen later too. Around 20 Shags flew over the sea, 6 Guillemots and 6 Razorbills flew by. Also by the cliffs were up to 15 Rock Doves, genuine birds flying out from the cliffs and flying left. On the journey over, I spotted a group of 10 Kittiwake mostly adults with at least 1 immature amongst them. We then visited another White- tailed Sea Eagle nest perched on top a tree. Our Captain threw a fish out but the Eagle had already eaten and instead we were treated to a Bonxie flying in and settling on the sea and feeding on the fish. We were also taken to see a colony of 25 Common Seal resting on rocks and seen well from the boats some of the seals were swimming in the sea too. At another Loch, we saw both a male and female Red- breasted Mergansers swimming around the left hand edge of the Loch. A male Stonechat. Another Loch revealed 2 Red- breasted Mergansers another pair plus a fling 'Commic Tern', Just past castle we wandred around an estuary and saw 5 Swallows on perched on a wire fence. On the estuary, 4 Eider seen (2 males and 2 females) swimming around. Meadow Pipit seen feeding on the near rocks plus 2 distant Common Terns flying around a small rocky island plus 2 Common Sandpiper seen too. Finally driving past Loch where the road skirted the edge of the Loch, we saw 2 magnificent Red- throated Divers swimming close to the edge and one bird was calling its eerie wailing call. Photos were taken but the light was abysmal (as it had been all day). Finally, a visit to the north of the island a look out to a windy sea revealed 2 summer plumaged Great Northern Divers, 3 fly past Fulmars, 3 Black Guillemots and 10 Gannets. Just past this we stopped and saw another summer plumaged Great Northern Diver on the sea plus 2 Black Guillemot. On Sunday 8th May, at Staffin first thing, a Cuckoo flew east. 2 Rock Doves were also seen on the entrance path where the cars were parked but soon flew off. At a Loch, a Red- throated Diver seen distantly, another male Stonechat on a nearby bush. Common Sandpiper on the Loch edge and a Buzzard on a close Pylon which flew off when Tim stalked it, whilst I discovered a confiding Green- veined White butterfly clutching tightly to a blade of grass. On the journey over to Speyside, at a stop just before Rogie's Corner by some birch woods, we heard both a trilling Wood Warbler, heard a Tree Pipit and saw a Willow Warbler. On Speyside, we were welcomed by very sunny even summery weather, and at a local village, we saw Lapwing, Mistle Thrush and Pheasant in a field. Nearby at a loch, we parked up and took the lower track by the loch side and spied both male and female Goldeneye on the water. On the island in the middle, a large double bed-sized Osprey nest revealed a female Osprey sitting on the nest whilst a male Osprey was continually flying around. Unfortunately, as it was after 2pm we were looking into the light. A Song Thrush was seen feeding on the grass by the graves and a male Blackcap heard. At High Lodge motel at Aviemore, where we were staying for the next 4 nights, we saw and heard an overflying Siskin.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Butterflies galore!

This morning on Thursday 5th May, Green Hairstreak, male Orange Tip & Holly Blue butterflies enjoying the warmest day of the year so far in our garden. The Orange Tip always flying, whilst the Green Hairstreak is content to settle on our Hebe and Rose bushes and the Holly Blue occasionally showing too.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Garden Visitors return

On Tuesday 4 May, 8 House Martin flying over the house this morning as I stepped out ready to go to work, a great start to the day! Plus 3 Linnets, 1 male & 2 females hopping on the pavement, when I arrived home from work this evening plus 2 Swifts flying south- east over the house and Fallowfields rough ground area, my first for the year.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

House Martin is back!

On Tuesday 3rd May, at 8.50am this morning, I heard a "prrt" call and it was wonderful to see a House Martin flying around the house and prospecting 1 of the 3 House Martin nests under our roof eaves this morning. Welcome back!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Ring Ouzel in stubble field

First thing this morning a dash down to Kessingland, revealed a fine male White Wagtail on the path walking down but sadly no Hoopoe. But a Wheatear was seen flying away I met Rob Win & Maurice B we had a calling Yellow Wagtail fly south and a Whitethroat singing from on top a bramble bush my first of the year. Next stop was Corton MOD stubble field not really sure where to look, I scanned from the road checked the Lodge no sign. A later tweet from Jane had me back there, this time pinned down to the hedge bordering the southern side of the field, I saw Margaret walking back and Paul & Jane by the cliff path, as I walked down the footpath, I suddenly disturbed a very fine male Ring Ouzel which must have been perched up in the bushes as it flew east chuckling, it was a fine male. I sat down waiting for it to pop out when up popped Craig & the 2 "Sheps" immaculately behaved as ever. We set up by the hedge and was joined by Paul & Jane and OFB later and the male Ring Ouzel hopped out and showed really well constantly feeding we saw it tug up at least 6 worms during our vigil. A dog walker brazenly walked up to the bird and was virtually on top of it when the Ouzel flew all the way to the Lodge compound before it flew back to the hedge when OFB returned we slowly walked up half way to the bird following the line of the hedge and the bird showed quite well feeding by the edge of the field before another birder walking up inadvertently flushed it and it flew back to the Lodge compound again.

Carlton Marshes

on Saturday 30th April, a House Martin was heard calling near the house but not seen. on Carlton Marshes Scrape initially a beautiful sunny evening, on the Scrape viewed from the west end, I saw 2 White Wagtail- one feeding fairly close at the western side showed well through the scope another seen further straight out, joined by Rene, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 1 smart male flew by the cattle whilst 4 female flying around the scrape, a House Martin flew overhead, Whimbrel, sp Dunlin & 2 Little Ringed Plovers flew around including 1 close in at one stage, plus a fine summer plumaged Dunlin, it showed well plus Yellowhammer perced on the wires overhead + Cuckoo & 8 Groppers heard.