With several commitments this weekend (an anniversary, a party in Croydon and Taxi-ing my lad and mates around!) it didn't come as any great surprise to me that Norfolk should have had its best weekend for birds for several years! On Saturday, after the previous days abysmal weather, such goodies available were Red-flanked Bluetail, a 'sticking' Sabine's Gull, 3 Grey and a single Red-necked Phalarope and several Great-grey Shrike, all of which I watched unfolding via my bird pager from south London!
So this morning I was up and down my Sheringham coastal patch, ever hopeful. It turned out to be a very quiet morning with few highlights- 1350 Pink-feet west, a single Northern Wheatear, a couple of Little Gulls, 2 Arctic Skua, 2 Arctic Tern and a trickle of wildfowl. The excitement level was raised briefly with news of a Sabine's Gull heading our way less than a mile away but it failed to materialise.
After lunch I had to taxi the lads over to Bradfield, which conveniently happened to be just around the corner from one of several Great-grey Shrike that are in the county this weekend. The bird was soon located and showed well albeit a little distant, hunting insects from the overhead wires.
Salthouse was the next stop to join the twitching hordes gathered around a bush waiting for a Blyth's Reed Warbler. The bird eventually showed briefly, truly a birders bird, being small, brown, skulking and nondescript, it may have shown a little better if the majority could have managed to keep quiet for more than two minutes! On the way home I called back in to Sheringham where a Spotted Flycatcher was seen feeding voraciously.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Back at home I checked out the moth trap that I had running all last night, among the usual suspects of Yellow Underwings, Rosy Rustics and Square-spot Rustic, new for the year were Lunar Underwing (2), Beaded Chestnut, Small Wainscot, Brown-spot Pinion (4) and a fine Red Underwing.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Decided to take a wander down to Salthouse this morning as the weather conditions were certainly not condusive to anything rare coming in from the east (maybe from the west though.....)
Anyhow, a nice group of waders had gathered on the sea pool west of the carpark including Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and a confiding group of 9 Little Stint. Also here a brace of Lapland Bunting flew west calling.
I was just settling into position on the shingle bank to digi-scope some more waders when over head a wader gave a call which just would not register in the old grey matter. A dry, almost rasping 'pprurrrr', looking up, a shortish billed but fairly longish winged and tailed wader zipped skywards its breast darkish with a distinct clear cut on to the white belly! Yelling 'Pec Sand!' the birder next to me just looked blankly into the distance! Following the bird in flight, it eventually pitched in on the far side of the pool, unfortunately making an alliance with a rather skittish Redshank, enabling a conclusive view of a bright, juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper (all the way from North America!) No longer than it was on the deck it was off again, eventually watched heading off towards Arnolds Marsh to the west. Presumably the same bird was later seen at Kelling.
Pectoral Sandpiper (complete with annoying fence!)
Pectoral Sandpiper with Redshank
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Have managed to get a few pics edited past few evenings, with a gallery now accessable under 'Trip Reports' in the left hand column of the blog. Anyone with any comments or more importantly ID's of anything unnamed (mostly insects) feel free to do so under the corresponding image.
I have still got a few more to add, mostly the stuff I have'nt been able to put a name too!
Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake...mean and moody!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It knows! It Bloody well knows!... The weather, that is! It knows to have a really good on shore hooley during the working week rather than at the weekend! I personally have missed out on untold number of good sea watches due to this phenomenon and cannot honestly remember the last time a classic occurred at a weekend! Yesterday (Monday) at least two, or fourteen (depending on sources!) Great Shearwaters were seen off the coast at Sheringham (these are very rare seabirds in Norfolk with very few sightings). So this morning I squeezed in an hours pre work sea watch from my nearest coastal site, West Runton. Relatively speaking it was very disappointing (mostly because during the same period 2 Great Shears and 2 Sabines Gulls were seen off Sheringham, none of which I saw at Runton!) with the highlights being a fine juvenile Long-tailed Skua going east looking all cold and grey shortly after a veritably glowing juv Arctic Skua, a Puffin east and lots of commoner species such as Gannets, Kittiwakes and Little Gulls.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Back from the annual family trosh after spending a somewhat serendipitous three weeks driving through Arizona. The trip was by no means planned as a major birding expedition but turned into a memorable taster of what this state has to offer, especially in the south-east, and whetting the appetite for a return! I still haven't edited all the photos I took yet nor identified everything! But when I have will try and put them in a gallery link... here's just a few to be getting on with..