Saturday, March 31, 2007


A cool north-easterly blew for most of the day today, though it was fairly bright and occationally sunny. A pair of Common Buzzard showed well to the south of the village albeit distantly, before moving west and out of view.
Common Buzzard

Had the moth trap on for the duration last night with somewhat disappointing results, just three Hebrew Character in there.

A walk over to Felbrigg mid-morning did not result in the hoped for Sand Martin, in fact it was fairly quiet here with just a handfull of Tufties and a few Mallard. A Green Woodpecker did make an appearance feeding on some boggy ground but I believe was technically in Felbrigg, not Aylmerton! Also here some mating Toads nearly got squished on the main footpath 'til I moved them!
Green Woodpecker

Common Toad

Collared Dove

Friday, March 30, 2007


Since I was a kid I used to gauge the arrival of spring by the first summer migrant I saw (and used to celebrate with a big bottle of Coca Cola,as opposed to the usual soda stream!) So this morning spring arrived in Aylmerton in the form of a Chiffchaff, initially heard singing it showed mega-briefly outside the kitchen window, giving an excuse to celebrate with something a little stronger than Coke!

GYL 49, PYL 73- Chiffchaff

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Another brief mothing session last night, a few more numbers, but no more year ticks-

Small Quaker 6
Common Quaker 4
Clouded Drab 3
March Moth 1

Work took me to the grandure of Holkham Hall today and, both on the way in and on the way out, I managed to get drive-by veiws of two Waxwing sitting in a roadside tree! Maybe not that surprising seeing as they've been present for a number of weeks now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Not much from The Track this morning, Starling 60 east (presumably off-roost) and Lesser black-backed Gull 6 east also.
Had the moth trap on last night til around 11, a couple of familiar year ticks were nice to see after the recent cold nights.

Common Quaker 2
Clouded Drab 2
Small Quaker 1
Red Chestnut 1 MYL 10
Early Grey 1 MYL 11

Early Grey

Common Quaker

Small Quaker

Red Chestnut

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sheringham Bird Observatory

North-east 3-4 Sunny Cool.
Took a wander down here this morning, oblivious to the fact that everyone else (presumably) was on British Summer Time and I was still in GMT (thought I felt a bit cold!) The ringing nets were up in the wood but by all accounts things were pretty quiet, not surprisingly. Very little noted moving at sea, just Wigeon (3E) and a flock of Turnstone (13E). On the fields at least 4 Stonechat still present and a second summer Mediterranean Gull was patrolling before eventually parking up.
Skylarks in Spring Barley
Mediterranean Gull (2nd Summer, left hand bird, honest!)
...told ya!
Back home and very little of note in the continuing cool easterly, with a Common Buzzard over Rounce's Wood and old Mother Moorhen was sat tightly on the pond.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Too Cold!

An absolutely grotty day here in North Norfolk, with a cold north-easterly, a morning of constant drizzle and total low cloud cover all day. Took a walk around Felbrigg hoping to add to the Parish list but nothing doing here, only birds of note being a single Pink-footed Goose with Grey-lags on the lake along with a pair of Mandarin and a couple of Little Grebe. Was hoping for Great-crested grebe!

Canada Goose

Mandarin with Grey-lag Goose

Little Grebes

Nearly forgot, had the moth trap on briefly on Thursday night at 5 degrees (getting desperate!) and took grand total of 1 moth!

Clouded Drab MYL 9

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pond Tick!

Walked down the drive first thing and glanced at the pond, as I do every morning, but this time things were different. There, at our end (but swimming away fast!) were three Mandarin! Only the second species of duck I've seen on here (with the other Mallard) but always fancied one to drop in. I nipped back indoors to get the camera and managed some record shots as a stinging northerly whipped its way down the street conspiring to add camera shake to every shot! On my return from dog walk duties at seven they had already legged it, presumably back to Felbrigg from whence they probably came.


GYL 48 Mandarin

Monday, March 19, 2007


In between sleet showers this morning made a dash to walk the dog and had a pair of Canada Geese fly past the house as we set out.

GYL 48 Canada Goose

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Had Shelduck from the garden this morning whilst doing some essential maintainance off ladders (little bit breezy!) Also had a Common Buzzard flying low over the fields that tried its hand (or should I say talon) at taking down a healthy Brown Hare, landing briefly before the hare decided to run at the buzzard which it obviously found to its disliking as the bird took flight immediately! No, of course I didn't have my camera at hand at the time!
GYL47 Shelduck
Kestrel (female)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Norfolk Tick

No pics today but I did get a new bird for my county list which was long over due. Between appointments I passed one of the North Norfolk heaths, where after not a lot of searching I got good but brief views of at least two Dartford Warbler's, including a male in song flight. Also heard the distant mellow song of a Woodlark but didn't really have the time to pin it down. The addition of Dartford Warbler fills at least one of the glaring gaps in my county list (which I don't how many it is, but I do know what birds I've seen here!) with others being Black-necked Grebe (no excuse, just too idle to travel to see one!) Savi's Warbler (once fairly regular now getting very rare) and Cory's Shearwater (bit of a bogey bird, usually miss them by hours or minutes!)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Another day, another Broad!

Took a stroll down to Salhouse Broad during my lunch break today, nothing unusual here but the continuing good weather maintained the illusion of spring is here and winters gone! more Chiffchaffs singing here, a Common Buzzard displaying and calling and a couple of flocks of Redwings noted on the move.
Great-crested Grebe
Long-tailed Tit

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ugly Duckling? Not 'til you grow up!

Had three Lesser Redpoll fly west over the track this morning, buzzing away. This species is long over due on the garden list.
Lesser Redpoll PYL 72

Work took me to Norwich this morning, a Fine City! With an hour to spare between appointments I took a trip to Whittlingham Country Park, a stones throw from the city centre that could be miles from anywhere basking in the sunshine. The 'ahhh' factor was pushing the top of the scale in the form of an Egyptian Goose family (no, really!)
Also here plenty of distant Cormorants of who knows which race!
The most notable bird was an adult Yellow-legged Gull, that was again rather distant but seemed as happy here as it would around the western Mediterranean where they originate from (but are all over the place now!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Managed an hour in the garden mid morning where a total of 10 Common Buzzard were noted at one time! Initially picked a bird up over Rounce's Covert which was low and remained over that area, obviously holding territory and then spotted 4 up high to the south. 'Kettling' around (soaring in a group!) they built up to nine birds together, gradually getting higher before all shaped into a glide and moved off east and out of sight. With this sort of behavior I'm tempted to think that they may have been migrants rather than local birds. Also 12 Pink-footed Geese flew east.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Out and About

Had the moth trap on last night 'til 11 o'clock with 1 March Moth, 1 Chestnut and 1 Small Quaker MYL 8
Through work I travel daily all over Norfolk and sometimes beyond, and with today being a beautiful spring day I decided that I should start to carry my digiscoping gear with me on a regular basis. First thing found me down at Caister-on-Sea so with a few minutes to spare I headed down to the beach carpark where bang on cue a fine Mediterranean Gull could be seen on the local roof tops.
Mediterranean Gull
...and for those who may think this looks like 'just another Black-headed Gull', which one's the more handsome?!
By mid morning I had an hour to kill so I took a walk along the boardwalk at Filby Broad, where there were at least 3 Chiffchaff singing but birds on the water were fairly distant and sparse.
Great-crested Grebe
For the birders, the above Cormorant maybe passed off as of the race sinensis, and I have often heard people call them as such in flight as well as at rest, but it is now widely recognised that the white flecking around the head is not a reliable criteria for ID, with the angle of the gular patch (the yellow bit) generally being the best feature. This bird shows a fairly sharp angle so therefore is very most likely to be of the race carbo, with that of sinensis being much less so.
Butterflies were also out enjoying the almost balmy (16 degrees!) temperatures.