Sunday, 30 April 2017
On Friday 28th April, a dash down to Minsmere in the evening from the south hide, many thanks to Mathhew D who put me onto the bird straight away looking through his scope the bird, a 1st summer Ring- billed Gull with pink bills and thick black band near the tip. I switched to my scope and watched the bird for 5 minutes as it preened stood along the top of a gravelly ridge. After 5 minutes I switched to the camera and then could'd find it and when Tony B and Daphne entered I couldn't show them the bird as it had gone! Along the north wall field, a Wheatear was seen plus 3 Red- legged Partridges. At Island Mere, despite 2 other birders moving around the whole time the Savi's Warbler heard twice and once when I was outside the hide on the path back, a female Red Deer stood barely 15 metres away. At 9.20pm, at home I heard a Whimbrel fly over the garden.
Saturday, 29 April 2017
On Sunday 23rd April an early start at Hickling just before Rush Hills scrape joining Ian & Paul from dereham we could hear the hard buzzing of a Savi's Warbler. It was seen in he bush and scaled up the bush showing although partially obscured at times. Moving onto rush Hills scrape, 2 Spoonbill stood on the back left mud, the left hand bird an adult the right hand an immature bird. Also a male Pintail seen plus 4 Dunlin. Also a Hairy Hawker seen flying over the reeds. walking around 100 yards further on the right a clear area by some cut trees branches and truncks and up to 2 Grasshopper Warbler seen reeling briefly they were often on the move. Back. 2 Cranes flew south and a further 5 Cranes seen flying very high up in the sky constantly circling higher an higher. Back at Rollesby broad the female Mandarin seen swimming in the water. At kessingland 7 Wheatear seen around Benacre sluice initially no sign of the Ouszels. But when a dog walker walked along the same path near the river Kessingland side, the dogs flushed 2 male Ring Ouzels and I could see them plus a third male perched in a bush, walking over I saw 3 male Wheatears the same displaced Wheatears from bencher sluice flushed by dogs again. I walked around the common and in a bush in the middle I saw the 3 male Ring Ouzels fly into the bush.
Saturday 22nd April on Rollesby Broad, no Eagle but Cinnamon X Blue-winged indeed Teal hybridand female Mandarin seen. At Horsey plenty (7) of Marsh Harriers little else again no eagle. Back at Rollesby ducks seen again plus up to 4 Common Tern and a Reed Warbler seen singing in a bush around 10 feet away from the fishermen steps just north of the Broad car park.
Sunday, 23 April 2017
On Thursday 20th April hot news from 3.30pm onwards meant it was hotfoot to Carlton Marshes, taking the western end, I saw Tony B & Neville L on the way up where I joined a few birders, Matthew D & others. The excellent Black- winged Stilt was feeding on the back pool. By the west side of the scrape a White Wagtail seen, it was always on the move as was a male Wheatear seen in the adjoining field.
On Tuesday 18th April whilst driving to Tesco Gunton at 7.30pm it was practically dark and a Song Thrush was feeding on the sliver of grass just by the Petrol station. On Friday 21st April, a fine male House Sparrow was singing on top of the hedge by the former bowling green at the Burrage centre at lunchtime and at 4.20pm always nice to hear and see and all too rare sight these days sadly.
Monday, 17 April 2017
On Easter Saturday 15th April, I travelled to Minsmere. 3 Wheatear were seen on the North field 2 males and 1 female. One of the males was quite close showing on the ridge. From the East Scrape, around 30 Black- Tailed Godwits seen, plus around 15 Dunlin. 3 Minsmere ticks today included A wonderful black Adder which was seen on the beach, a couple had seen a normal Adder here and I stuck around in the hope that I would see it. I didn't but I did find a wondeful Blackadder (no not Rowan Atkinson but a totally black snake (save for its face) initially initially looking like a piece of old tyre curled up on the path, especially when it flattened its body down to maximise the surface area of its skin to drink up the sun's rays. I managed to see this reptile for around 14X over the course of a couple of hours. Plus a Slow Worm also seen deep in the grass its head peering up was another first at Minsmere and 2 Common Lizards also sighted, perilously close to the Adder resting on a piece of warm wood. 4 Sandwich Terns flew overhead helpfully calling alerting me to their presence. 2 Stonechats , a pair also seen by the bushes on the beach by the sluice. The third Minsmere tick was a Male Mandarin on West Scrape with a female Mallard following him around everywhere. When I first saw him he swam over to an island scrambled up past 2 nesting Mediterranean Gulls, he then swam around the island closely followed by the female Mallard and then both birds flew right over the hide and over to the west.
Friday, 14 April 2017
On Sunday 9th April, news of an American Wigeon on Breydon had me popping over there and scanning from just past the hide, looking over the other side a very distant male American Wigeon was seen. After a while it flew much closer and swam even closer in the company of around 30 Wigeon. Whilst we were looking at it Steve ? found a male Kentish Plover running on a muddy spit, two great Breydon birds! Monday 10th April, a female Wheatear seen in the fenced off area at the Caravan park N.Denes this evening plus I couldn't fail to notice a big pile rubbish dumped in the weedy area north of Bird's Eye = Travellers still present. On On Friday 13th April, a walk around a cold and leaden sky at Carlton marshes the mood was lifted immediately with 2 Swallows flying over the field to the south of the car park and a Sedge Warbler showing well in a bare bush at the edge of the reeds along the path running parallel with Spratts water (around 8 heard in all) and a Willow Warbler showing and singing (around 5 heard in all) from the top right of a tree nearby. As I walked down to the scrape, half way down an excellent Short- eared Owl flew low over the path around 100 yards ahead and we saw it flying around the fields to the west and south of the scrape for the duration of my visit. I joined Chris M and he said he hadn't seen the LRP but I was lucky and picked it up straight away, a fine Little Ringed Plover and pointed it out to Chris. 5 Shovelor, 3 Gadwall, nesting Lapwing, the odd Snipe were also seen on the scrape, plus 3 overflying Swallows. As we walked back, just before dusk we saw 3 very suspicious looking youths loitering 1/3 of the way down the main path one lit a cigarette (hopefully not arsonists or junkies) and then taking the path to Whitecast Marshes then they came back 10 minutes later finally they took the path to Spratts water, past the turnstile they then ran into the bushes just to the west of the long straight path. Chris called the Police on 101.
Sunday, 9 April 2017
On Saturday 8th April, in the evening I briefly spotted a summer plumaged Black- tailed Godwit on the public scrape at Carlton marshes but dog walkers (with their dog on a lead) may have caused it to walk behind a island from where I was viewing and it disappeared! walking up the western end of the scape, we met gavin D and he pointed out a fine female Yellow Wagtail feeding on the astern end of the scrape. I spotted what i thought was a White Wagtail in flight and this was confirmed when Andrew said he had a White Wagtail on a western part of the scrape on a grassy island.
On Saturday 8th April, I started at Wrentham looking for the escaped Black Kite, no luck with that, although 2 Chiff- Chaffs heard, although I did bump into Paul & Jane F which turned out to be a very fortuitous meeting. Next stop was the Westleton area, an initial look I could hear 2 Wood Larks but I couldn't locate them, as I was sticking strictly to the public footpath and it was potential breeding habitat. Another southern area from here, I bumped into a Nature group he pointed out a good area for Adders, initially I didn't see any. I did see several Linnets, including 1 returning to a same area of gorse that I kept clear of. I met up with Paul & jane F, who had just seen ten minutes ago, a Raven going north, as we split up, I looked in the corner by a bench near a bracing area and was delighted to see a male Adder moving away to under a gorse bush. I called them over but was the only one toes it briefly under the gorse bush. Spreading out again, Jane called me over and we could see a Male Adder "hidden" in the leaf litter as it showed around 8 inches of its body clearly visible which was flatten to increase the surface area to warm up. Paul arrived and as we looked suddenly out of nowhere, or under the leaf litter o be precise a female Adder (with brown zigzag striping) appeared and curled around the male who now appeared and they both moved deeper into the bush. As we moved away, another male Adder (probably the original one I had observed) moved to our right. Paul then spotted a bird in the sky, he said I've got something here, I looked it was all black, Buzzard- sized (indeed when compared with a nearby Buzzard it appeared the same size) and a very obvious diamond shaped tail I said "It's a Raven!" it circled several times and then flew purposefully east and then south. It showed a jowly jowl, thick black beak. Splitting up again briefly behind an area of gorse along the northern edge, I spotted a fine Brimstone. Paul and Jane then took me to an area where they had seen Wood Larks. It was clearly a feeding area and not breeding habitat, as we walked along a public footpath bordering some bare arable fields with a few very isolated grassy clumps (around 5% coverage of the field) dotted about. Jane spotted them first, 2 fine Wood Larks and we were around 100 feet away from them and they fed totally unconcerned by us. After a while one flew up to a dead tree and staying strictly on the footpath, I managed to obtain a few shots from about 100 feet away (I enclose an uncropped pic, remember I am using a 500mm lens with 1.4 converter attached on a 7D Mark II with 1.6X crop and not a full frame camera); from the angle of the pic you can see its taken from some distance away as the perch was around 18 feet high) and still on the public footpath, it even briefly called for 10 seconds a bit of its sub song. It stayed on its perch for around 5 minutes, before it flew down to the arable field rejoining the other bird and again if anything, both birds were even closer to the public footpath than before, but slightly obscured by vegetation, and all 3 of us left not wanting to disturb either bird from the footpath where we had remained during the whole period of observation, we finally left both birds still feeding away undisturbed in the field. An Henham quarry road, I spotted a fine male Orange tip butterfly fly across the road.
Friday, 7 April 2017
On Tuesday 4th April, at 1.15pm after exiting Scrublands Health centre following a work presentation, on the roof opposite I spend a hybrid Hooded Crow, (1/4 Hooded Crow and 3/4 Carrion Crow) it then flew towards and over me. In the evening after work, a very grim evening around Lowestoft checked North Denes, Oval, Ness Point, Turbine yard and Hamilton Dock. Only bird seen was a Purple Sandpiper amongst 8 Turnstone on the promontory at Ness Point.