Sunday, January 28, 2007


Went over to Felbrigg lake this morning not long after dawn to beat the early morning doggy walkers, no hoped for Goosander but I did manage a few Parish year ticks. The light wasn't too great first thing so I didn't attempt any pics.

Pochard 19
Mallard c40
Tufted Duck 4
62 Shelduck 1
63 Teal 4
Mandarin 11
Dabchick 1
64 Marsh Tit 1
65 Siskin 5
Grey Heron 3

Song Thrush visiting the garden

Got the moth year list up and running last night, no surprises but good to get reaquainted with these brilliant creatures:

1 Mottled Umber
2 Pale-brindled Beauty

Mottled Umber

Pale-brindled Beauty

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Barney's Back

Had a few things to do around home today, camera in tow,a prolonged spell in the garden this morning didn't result in any unusual fly-overs, a flock of 25 Lapwing west and 10 Fieldfare west being the only birds of note. Late this afternoon a Barn Owl put in a prolonged appearance hunting the meadow and the field that borders our garden, also during which a flock of thirty Pink footed Geese finally flew over the garden and on to the yearlist.

Robin bathing

Chaffinch enjoying the sunshine

Male House Sparrow

Female Blackbird contemplating twigs!

Barn Owl on old water hoser, a favoured perch

field quartering (3x free hand, too close for digiscoping!)

you int' seen me, right!

Taken during mid scoff of what looked like a Field Vole

Shows over folks, nothing more to see here so go back to your homes...

Finally this evening is the right combination of being milder, drier and not windy so the moth trap may get its first outing of the year, Aylmerton...let there be light!

42 Pink-footed Goose

PYL 61

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Howl at it!

Frustrated at not being able to get out with the camera, I had a bash at photographing the Moon tonight, in between the cloud breaks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New for the Year

Saw Woodcock this morning flying over in the twilight whilst on the Church track, and as I pulled in to the drive from work this evening a drake and two duck Mallards parachuted down on to the pond

60 Woodcock PYL

41 Mallard GYL

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Further Afield

With a bright winters day in the offering I decided to go a little further afield this morning, hoping to find some birds to digi-scope. My first stop was at Salthouse where I was hoping for some Snow Buntings to be feeding along the shingle bank (you have the sun constantly behind you here if they are) but alas I drew a blank, with the only bird of note being a Little Egret in flight then dropping,hidden, in one of the drains. I then went along to Cley and walked the famous East Bank. Looking across the reserve I re-collected some of the stunning birds I've managed to see here- Ross's (2) and Slender-billed Gulls, Red-necked Stint, Sociable Plover, Greater Sandplovers(2) Little Whimbrel, Pacific Swift, a hatfull of rare sandpipers and most recently the Black-eared Kite. Happy Days! This morning though it was very quiet and more disappointingly not a great deal was giving itself up for pic opportunities, especially not the Water Rail swimming across the corner of Arnold's Marsh! So I had to do with a couple of obliging (plastic?) geese and some scene shots.


Egyptian Goose

Pink-footed Geese...just like the ones we see over Aylmerton, except on the ground!

Over looking Cley reserve and Cley Eye field from Walsey Hills- note where all the birds are-where I'm not!

Looking out to the old Lifeboat House on Blakeney Point. In the early 90's I was lucky enough to spend a year working for the National Trust on their property between Cley Coastguards and Stiffkey, best job ever-lowest pay ever!

Back home a pooch -walk up the Track revealed a good flock of c550 Golden Plover, 15 Fieldfare west and two Meadow Pipit

59 Meadow Pipit

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Aylmerton's distinctive round towered Church

A walk over to Felbrigg this morning revealed, unsurprisingly, a fair amount of damage in the woodland, with some sizable trees brought down in Thursday's stormy conditions. The lake was relatively quiet with the usual Mallard, Egyptian, Canada and Grey-lag Geese, 9 Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck and at least 2 Mandarin drakes in the undergrowth. Around the lake a good roving tit flock included Nuthatch and Treecreeper.

56 Treecreeper
57 Coal Tit
58 Lesser black-backed Gull


Treecreeper not as obliging as the Robin!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Long tailed Tit

Just caught sight of what appeared to be wind blown polystyrene going past the window at lunch time (plenty of urban tumbleweed after the storms) but were infact a roving flock of Long-tailed Tits trying to make it in to the Hazel next to the house. I think they all just about made it!

40 Long-tailed Tit

PYL 55

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Several Song Thrushes heard singing this morning, at a very dark dawn. A later than usual start to work did not result in any hoped for Pink footed Geese overhead

39 Song Thrush

PYL 54

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Another quiet day here, Goldcrest in the garden first thing didn't stay too long as usual, also added Linnet and Kestrel. Nothing would give itself up to the camera on a chilly but crisp and bright afternoon save, the local Spoogies.

36 Goldcrest
37 Linnet
38 Kestrel

PYL 53

Saturday, January 13, 2007


A walk up the almost Quagmire like Track this morning proved fairly quiet, the most notable feature being the handful of Skylarks in full song giving a bit of mid-winter cheer. From the garden Bullfinch was new for the year, and amazingly a second adult male Marsh Harrier went over the fields putting all the gulls up, this one not as pale as last weekends bird. A definate case of 'bus waiting' syndrome here! Brown Hare put in an appearance briefly allowing just a record shot (aka rubbish!)

34 Bullfinch
35 Marsh Harrier

PYL 50

Brown Hare

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Owls That!

Manged both owls on the garden list yesterday morning, Tawny Owl calling from the back door and a Barn Owl watched quartering the meadow opposite

32 Tawny Owl
33 Barn Owl


(I previously counted 18 twice, hence the jump from 30 to 32!)

Sunday, January 07, 2007


A mild, grey day with a southerly wind, almost typical of British winters nowadays, I couldn't draw on too much inspiration to go very far today so I managed a few more year ticks.

23 Dunnock
24 Fieldfare
25 Redwing
26 Stock Dove
27 Skylark
28 Lapwing
29 Jay
30 Grey Heron

PYL 45

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Parish Birding

Added a couple more garden birds to the year list, all expected:

18. Pied Wagtail
19 Mistle Thrush
20 Robin
21 Great spotted Woodpecker
22 Moorhen

Walking up a very muddy track this morning managed to dip-in on a fine full adult male Marsh Harrier moving east. This bird had obviously gotten a few years under his belt due to his pale pearly grey inner wings and tail. This is our first January Marsh Harrier.

23 Marsh Harrier
24 Yellowhammer

Managed to get half way around Felbrigg Lake before the drizzle, then persistant rain, set in.
The Mandarin (11) were still present with seven males all perched up under the trees, managed a couple of pics but the light was awful and I didn't want to risk too much camera exposure to the rain!


showing an uncanny likeness t0 Yosemite Sam! ("I'll get that raabit!!")

Hatful of birds for the PYL :

25. Mandarin 11
26 Mallard 50
27 Mute Swan pr
28 Pochard 10
29 Tufted Duck 8
30 Wigeon 1
31 Canada Goose 25
32 Gray lag Goose 35
33 Egyptian Goose 10
34 Coot 1
35 Water Rail (heard squealling in the small reed bed)
36 Nuthatch
37 Dabchick
Rain stopped play!

Pochard (male)


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007 day three

Heard Golden plover (GYL18) calling last night as I put the bin out, and the cock Pheasant is back roosting in our hedge. There are appparently now 10 Mandarin Duck on Felbrigg Lake, there were just two about two weeks ago. They usually spend their time under the overhanging branches but if you see the male he's pretty unmistakable!

courtesy of Dean Stables at mostlymacro

Monday, January 01, 2007


Traditionally New Years Day is something of a must do in the birding calender, when lists start over again, resolutions are made to go out locally more, and is usually broken by visiting the more popular sites further afield today! I broke with tradition a little by not going very far at all! I've decided that along with a Garden Year List, I am going to keep tabs on a Parish Year List, just to add a little more incentive to bird a bit more, especially during the quieter periods. To that end then, the morning notched up the following for starters:

From Garden:

1 House Sparrow
2 Starling
3 Blackbird
4 Chaffinch
5 Carrion Crow
6 Rook
7 Jackdaw
8 Woodpigeon
9 Collared Dove
10 Pheasant
11 Red legged Partridge
12 Black-headed Gull
13 Common Gull
14 Great-black backed Gull
15 Magpie
16 greenfinch
17 Goldfinch

Also whilst walking the dog I noticed this tiny imprint in the mud, either a Muntjac or a crippled My Little Pony!


The Parish boundary approximately runs as below, as far as I can work out!

I do have it on good authority that the boundary runs down the middle of Felbrigg Lake, which is part of the Hall and Gardens, so I think that will be the greatest area of diversity compared with my garden Fountain! Roll on spring!