Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sheringham Bird Observatory

Very quiet down here this morning with just a handful of Red-throated Divers at sea and 4 Teal going west. The three Little Gulls were still present feeding on the fields.

Little Gulls

Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Media

A grey, damp day here in North Norfolk. A walk up the slippery slidey Track this morning produced nothing out of the ordinary, though I estimate there must be at least 3000 Woodpigeons in the area which is quite usual at this time of the year. I took a brief trip along to Kelling at lunch time to see a reported Waxwing here but no luck. After a bit of messing about and asking around, I have managed to work out how to download video to the blog (albeit via YouTube) so this may prove to add a little more dimension and interest (not to mention getting rid of ropey flight shots ect.) so we will see how it goes

Feeding Pheasents

I have added video to last years posts for the Little Egret and Auk on Nov 4th, Black-eared Kite Nov 14th and the Common Cranes over Aylmerton on April 30th

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


The light went off around 11 o'clock last night, not as many moths as was hoped for but anything is better than nowt.

Pale-brindled Beauty 3
March Moth 3 MYL 5
Common Quaker 1

March Moth

Back to today and during work I bumped into a Marsh Harrier moving west over Sheringham Town, and managing to get home for lunch there were no fewer than 4 Common Buzzard soaring directly over the garden before moving off towards Rounces Covert

Meadow Pipit along the track

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday evening

Tonight- mild, dark and damp, is perfect for mothing. A great excuse not to endure Eastenders, a check just now produced 2 Pale-brindled Beauty, a Chestnut and a March Moth.

March Moth

Monday, February 19, 2007


Ran the moth trap for a couple of hours last night, though hardly balmy, six degrees was the mildest its been at night of late, so it was no shock that there wasn't a great deal in the box

Pale-brindled Beauty 2
Spring Usher 2

Just as I was packing up another moth flew in and was duly potted, this time a Common Quaker, much earlier than last year (March 29th) so was a pleasant surprise. The light when I arrived home late this afternoon was rubbish so I just managed a record shot.

4 Common Quaker

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sheringham Bird Observatory

Sheringham Bird Observatory is my local coastal patch and has been for the past ten years. Situated between Sheringham and Weybourne the 'patch' consists of private fields, a small wood with no public access and the coastal footpath. The area is birded by a small, dedicated group, who for the most part have an enduring passion for bird migration. I have spent many a Saturday morning there (although rather sporadically of recent)and this morning, was no different.
SBO recording area looking south-east

SBO recording area looking east along coastal path

Wind Force 1-2 W-SW Bright Sunny Visibility 5km
It was a glorious morning weather wise being mild, almost warm, with little wind and a sea like a mill pond first thing. Birds were present in enough numbers to keep interest levels up too!

Merlin -2nd c/y Single seen on two occasions, once chasing a Skylark until it took shelter in a pill box
Ringed Plover -4
Eider- 29 east
Mediterranean Gull -ad
Little Gull- 3 (2 2nd c/y + adult type) feeding on newly ploughed fields
Stonechat- 3 Taking advantage of ploughing tractor, along with hundreds of Black-headed Gulls!
Red-throated Diver- c 70 loafing in total with 26 on sea during one 'scan'
Great Tit- One west just in from cliff top
Glaucous Gull - The first winter type seen last week was scoped from here, it was on the beach at Salthouse!

Stonechat- Another species taking advantage of Tractors ploughing
Little Gull... 2nd c/y.....
...and an adult showing the distinctive dark underwing, just!

The morning ended on a sad note however on the discovery of this Badger on the southern border of the recording area that had obviously been in a collision with a car last night or early this morning. Would have loved to seen him scampering up one of the hedges rather than like this. :(

Friday, February 16, 2007

Luvley Jubbley!

With a later than normal start at work yesterday morning and a clear sky I managed to get some morning light on the regular dog walk up the track this morning. Initially nothing doing until on the way back a distinctive 'chup' call overhead secured 3 Tree Sparrows flying west fairly high calling away. Only my second parish record since moving here (the first being a pair briefly on wires in the street before flying west a couple of Septembers ago) there was no double edged sword syndrome as I wouldn't have seen them from the garden. They now equal the same number of records for... Richard's Pipit!

PYL 70 Tree Sparrow

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Took a trip up to Cley this morning, specifically to see a Glaucous Gull that has been present for the past couple of days as I haven't seen one for a few years. We dually arrived at the Beach Carpark and began to walk eastwards. This bird has been attracted to a dead seal that it has been feeding on regularly. We located the seal and waited at a reasonable distance for the bird to return, (it had been pushed further down the beach). We waited a frustratingly long time due to many so called 'birders' that were turning up and virtually standing over the birds food source, then 'scoping it further down the beach, instead of using a little bit of field craft (savvy) and standing away from the dead seal, allowing the bird to come in. Eventually enough people buggered off, in conjunction with a local birder telling them to *$"* off away from the seal and, hey presto! in came a fine 1st winter Glaucous Gull- just as it started raining-typical!

Glaucous Gull...veiws obtained crowding birds food source...

...Glaucous Gull...veiws obtained standing back from food source...not rocket science.

Back home and a walk up a once again mud filled track produced nothing of note. In and around the garden this afternoon 30 Fieldfare flew west and 6 Mallard (four drakes, including a white one!) were on the pond and the Wet Meadow.

Mallard drake

Mallard duck

Saturday, February 10, 2007


A grotty grey, bleak day here in Aylmerton put pay to any thoughts of digiscoping. A quick flit over to Felbrigg produced nothing new with Mallard c30, Teal 7, Pochard 3, Tufted Duck 2 and Mandarin 3 being only birds of note. The cover crops along School Road on the southern boundary are now pulling some birds in with around 40 Chaffinch and Greenfinch and at least 3 Brambling there this morning. Whilst trying to get a veiw of the latter on the deck (impossible!) a Sparrowhawk went over, my first in Aylmerton this year! Yesterday morning also produced a PYL bird in the shape of a very uninspiring 1st winter Herring Gull!

Brambling grotty day, grotty photo!

PYL 67 Brambling
PYL 68 Sparrowhawk
PYL 69 Herring Gull

GYL 45 Yellowhammer

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Oh so Quiet

Took my first visit of the year to my coastal patch this morning, it was VERY quiet with little to see or photograph, the only birds of note being Pink footed Goose 205w, Red-throated Diver 4e, Shelduck 5w and Stonechat 5.

Stonechat, female

Reed Bunting

Back home and a walk up the track produced pretty much the same stuff as yesterday though following yesterdays Bumble Bee, a Red Admiral butterfly fluttering east was early for the year.

Meadow Pipit in Aylmerton

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Blue Skies

A glorious day here, a bit chilly but unbroken blue skies all day. A walk up the Track this morning revealed that one of last seasons sugar beet fields still remains unturned, so it was no surprise to see Meadow Pipit 25, Fieldfare 10, Greenfinch 10 Skylark 15 and Yellowhammer 4 feeding out there, also a pair of Egyptian Geese flew in from the west. In the fields just south of the main road c250 Lapwing represented a decent flock here. The fields behind our garden again held good numbers of gulls, but still no Med Gull despite several searches, although a pair of Grey Heron did break the horizon up. As I finished washing the car a pair of Common Buzzard drifted west over the garden, but didn't appear to be going too far.

Grey heron complete with nice bright bill for the spring

Common Buzzard - going away in typical flight with wings held high

Woodpigeons, feeding on ivy berries

Common Buzzard GYL 44 & PYL 66

Also saw my first Bumble Bee of the year

Friday, February 02, 2007


Had the moth trap on last night for a few hours, the temperature wasn't too bad but it was far too clear and the moon too bright, was hoping for a bit of cloud cover.

Pale-brindled Beauty
3 Spring Usher

Spring Usher (not the greatest photo!)

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Woodcock flew over the garden Tuesday evening, constituting another garden tick. Slowly and gradually the evenings are starting to pull out and dawn is getting earlier. School Road, along the southern edge of the Parish is quite literally a rat run at the moment, there seems to be dozens just after dusk, coming out of the cover crops- loads of Barn Owl fodder!

43 Woodcock