Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blessed be the Barn Owl

A Barn Owl graced the meadow infront of our house for most of the day today, taking shelter from the gusting north-westerly during the middle part of the day. For me, Barn Owl is one of those birds that I'm just compelled to stop and watch no matter how many times I see them.





A good long walk around Felbrigg park produced a single Green Sandpiper but very little else, unsurprisingly with the wind gathering pace all the time, the lake holding an additional Teal and a pair of Gadwall, from last weeks birds.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Peregrine

Arriving back home from pooch duties, had the thrilling sight of an adult Peregrine taking several 'stoops' at the hundreds of Woodies in the field, just beyond the garden . Being unsuccessful it drifted off west over the rise.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mandarins

Made an extended afternoon visit to Felbrigg Lake today, mainly to see if there was anything of note going to roost in the small reed bed here. I stayed on until 1600hrs, when it was getting pretty dark and chilly, and for my efforts I amassed a grand total of 8 Reed Buntings! Not a total waist of time though because the pair of Stonechat from a couple of weeks ago were relocated north of the lake and within the Parish boundary! Also here just before dusk the Mandarin flock revealed itself in its entirety by swimming out to the middle, seven males and three females.

Mandrin 10
Mallard 40
Dabchick 2
Coot 2
Tufted Duck 5
Mute Swan 2
Grey Heron 3
Water Rail 1-2 calling
Siskin 8
Stonechat pr
Reed Bunting 8

Grey Heron


Mandarins



Little clip in the fading light
video



PYL 112 Stonechat

Sunday, November 11, 2007

West Runton

Had a spare hour this afternoon so I took the shortest route possible to the coast and visited the neighbouring parish. Still a few Little Auks offshore but more waders moving with small parties of Dunlin and singles of Curlew, Ringed Plover and Sanderling. Great sightings when out birding do not always have to be of rare birds, indeed some of the commonest birds can make a day seem special ,so here it was great to see at least 100 Shelduck in various sized flocks coming in off the continent, battling against the wind over a choppy sea-not a mudflat in sight! On the cliff top an adult and a second winter Mediterranean Gull were floating around giving good veiws

Shelduck on vis-mig... visable migration




Mediterranean Gull-adult notice pure white wing tips



Mediterranean Gull-2nd winter bird (last years chick) See the black in the primary tips







Kes ("Craig-David")

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sheringham Promenade

0730-1015 WNW 4 overcast, dull, sea choppy

Well, after the passing of this weeks tidal surge, and with it the associated flood danger, I was once again down the prom at Sheringham (minus all the beach huts and several yards of barriers!) where a couple of hours were enjoyed watching the birds heaving through!

Little Auk 41w 9e
Great Northern Diver 1e
Goldeneye 26w
Red-throated Diver 5w
Brent 20w
Wigeon 9w
Mallard 15w
Dunlin 7w
Teal 49w
Shelduck 14w
Guillimot 1w
Razorbill 1w
Black-throated Diver 1w
Red-breasted Merganser 1w
Common Scoter 9w
Purple Sandpiper 1w +present
Knot 1w
Curlew 1w

Little Auks.... no bigger than a Starling, these tiny alcids spend their lives far out in the upper regions of the North Sea near the Arctic Circle. Occationally they become storm driven, when the local large gulls tend to treat them like Chicken nuggets on wings!!













Goldeneye, males


Shelduck, adult and first year bird


Guess the in-flight Diver...discuss!

...going away-tell tell signs!

On the way home from sea-watching I thought I'ld nip into Felbrigg to see if the Lake held any storm driven goodies-huh! no such luck, but I did jam in on another Kingfisher, by the stream on the wrong side off the parish boundary but then flew over the lake to the right side, year tick!


Kingfisher





PYL Kingfisher 111

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Strumpshaw Fen

With a job at Strumpshaw village late morning, I took the oppotunity to visit Strumpshaw RSPB reserve, not far from Norwich. A fair selection of fresh water wildfowl were on show, with the most notable sighting being a Bittern seen several times in flight. Just as I was about to leave the bird I had come to see, Kingfisher, appeared briefly before whizzing off.


Cormorant drying off



Just for fun....there are six species of bird in this pic, can you find them all?



Kingfisher... I've always seen a Kingfisher at this reserve.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sheringham Promanade...again

Having to take the dog down the pooch parlour late morning (she's one of those that dont moult-just grows and grows!) I met up with Dad down the Prom and had a nice 1 1/2 hrs seawatch with some good birds, pretty much like everyone else this weekend!

Gadwall 2w
Brent Goose 154w
Common Scoter 260w
Little Auk 3w (two fairly close in shore)
Redshank 2w
Eider 3w
Goldeneye 1w
Teal 25w
Starling 120 in off sea
Black-throated Diver 1-2 (Seen going east then west)
Wigeon 8w
Pomarine Skua 1e (distant bird, poss juv)
Velvet Scoter 3w (tagged on too a group of Common)
Mallard 9w
Purple Sandpiper 2 still present

Dark-bellied Brent Geese arriving from the continent






Common Scoter


Velvet Scoter (end three birds)


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sheringham Promanade

Busy morning working around the garden, with the odd Siskin going over a couple of Brambling and a lone Pink-footed Goose east. Dad called yesterday to say that he'd had a couple of Purple Sandpipers down Sheringham, so mid afternoon I nipped down to the Prom where both birds were present and typically bold and confiding.

Purple Sandpiper one of our most charasmatic waders






During the day several reports of a good movement of Pomarine Skua's off the north coast came through on the pager, and though it was getting late in the day managed to lock on to a fine party of eight moving west incuding three light-phased adults with tail spoons-cracking sight! Also whilst here a Snow Bunting called going west, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Common Scoter and best of all, probably my favorite of all wildfowl, 3 Velvet Scoter which I managed to gat a couple of shots of.

Velvet Scoter... couple of females and a male I think



Friday, November 02, 2007

Titchwell

With an appointment at Holme-next- the -sea all morning it was only natural that a lunch break would need to be taken at one of several bird reserves in the area! The easiest of these to access with limited time is Titchwell, where I spent a pleasant hour along the bank overlooking the marsh. Nothing mind blowing, with a couple of Little Stints, plenty of Brent, Golden Plover and winter wildfowl.


Dark-bellied Brent Goose


Little Stints


Little Stint with Dunlin


Little Stint


Golden Plovers with single Lapwing



Gadwall in flight


female Teal