Saturday, 29 April 2017
Headed down to Portland this afternoon to look for the eastern subalpine warbler, a subspecies I haven't seen before. In the 5 and a half hours I was here we heard it singing and calling at close range, and although it got claimed 3 times I never got any definite views. A bit fustrating but at least I didn't miss a full species tick.
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Sunday, 23 April 2017
While we were walking back to the car, we saw the report of a red-rumped swallow at Lodmoor, another bird which has eluded me several times now. There was no further sign when we arrived and there were few hirundines around so we headed straight over to Radipole in the hope of relocating it. However, while at Lodmoor we did notice the swan goose which has been up and down this stretch of coast recently.
There were no hirundines on the main lake at Radipole so we headed to the top of the Buddleia Loop. From here, we could scope large numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins at the north end of the reserve, but no luck with the red-rumped. A single House Martin was a year tick for me and on the walk back we had 2 Cetti's Warbler and a showy Reed Warbler. The usual hooded merg was still on the lake also.
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Friday, 14 April 2017
Edit: Reviews of the photos has shown that all other birds in the influx were actually european race birds including the 3 in Iceland, meaning that this bird doesn't meet the pattern of vagrancy.
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Monday, 10 April 2017
A look from the Fen Hide produced my first views of Sedge Warbler this year. The bird tables provided fantastic photo opportunities of the variety of species including Bramblings, Bullfinches, Reed Buntings and even a pair of Mandarins! Could spend a whole day in that hide!
Sunday, 9 April 2017
As there isn't much in the way of rarities in Norfolk at the moment I decided to spend this morning looking for the golden pheasant in the Wolferton Triangle. I saw the birds on Brownsea a few years ago, though I know not every birder is satisfied with these so I was keen to upgrade.
I arrived at 6:35am and drove a slow loop around the triangle to no avail before pulling over before the give way sign on the northern side. There was a great dawn-chorus, including singing firecrest and distant woodlark.
About 10 minutes later, a birder who was parked on the south side pulled up beside me and told me that the pheasant was headed towards me through the rhododendrons, and that it should be about to cross the gap further back down the road. Needless to say I quickly backed the car up and got to the gap in the vegetation. I only had to wait a few seconds before hearing its explosive call, after which the Golden Pheasant burst out from the vegetation and strutted across the gap. Views were breif and obscured, but I was estatic! and somewhat relieved that I wouldn't have to hang around all day.
Decided to park up and wander north, which proved a good decision as I soon had one of the Woodlarks I heard earlier in a song flight. Other highlights included a flock of Bramblings, 2 Lesser Redpolls and both Muntjac and Roe Deer.
I wasn't too far from Titchwell so decided to stop there next. This produced another group of Redpoll, plus 2 each of Garganey and Red-Crested Pochard plus my first Sand Martin of the year and a Chinese Water Deer. On the sea, there were brilliant number of Common Scoter, amongst which I picked out at least 5 Velvet Scoters and a single Long-Tailed Duck, plus 2 each of Whimbrel and Sandwich Tern.
News then came through of a kentish plover at Breydon Water - a species that I've missed out on several times due to one reason or another. I headed over but stopped to check the news about half an hour before I was due to arrive and read that it had flown off. Knowing all too well how breif kentish can be, I headed back home. 15 minutes after getting back, and of course it was relocated! and as I'm visiting family, I couldn't really drive all the way back. That makes 7 missed kentish plovers in a row now! One day...
Sunday, 2 April 2017
Lewis and I headed over to Posbrook Flood this afternoon for the stilt. On arrival, other birders pointed out a Barn Owl roosting in a hollow Tree. While we were watching it, a Water Vole appeared on the steam in front of us and gave great close up, though breif views.
We walked along to the main flood where the BLACK-WINGED STILT was sleeping on the far side of the water. Eventually it woke up and started feeding. It circled the whole pool eventually ending up close enough to get some decent record shots. Also of note was a female Pintail and 2 Mediterranean Gulls.