Friday, 17 October 2014

North Norfolk 2014 - 2 GREATS and 2 YBWS








On Tuesday 14th I had the best afternoon birding that I've ever had. I knew the condition were good and the reports from the previous day were showing good birds. I'd already decided I was going to my favourite spot - Burnham Overy Dunes. The birders I passed on the way out to the dunes were mentioning Raddes Warbler and Great Grey Shrike so my already quick pace turned into speed walking. There were good numbers of birds on the dunes and it was obvious there had been a fall. It's no exaggeration to say there was almost a bird to every bush between Gun Hill and the edge of Holkham Pines. The two most numerous species were robins and goldcrests. Experienced local birders were saying they'd never so many goldcrests. It took me ages to get to Holkham pines, literally not being able to put my binoculars down with so many birds to inspect. When I eventually got there I got the Yellow Browed Warbler I had so craved, giving good close views whilst busily feeding. I made my way back towards Gun Hill (pic of brick ruin) picking out Wheatear, Bramblings, Redwings, Song thrushes among the robins. I gave the Gun Hill area a good scanning - goldcrest, goldcrest, goldcrest... and with light fading I started to make my way home when I had another YBW giving great views. Bonus! But there was more to come. Scanning for Marsh harriers from the coastal path I got a Great White Egret in the fields. I was feeling invincible so carried on scanning on my walk back to the car. And, as if I could sense it was going to happen, there it was,  a Great Grey Shrike sitting on top of a bush sticking out like a sore thumb. It was distant but luckily on an accessable lane off the main path. I got to a safe distance and had great views of it til it was dark. 

North Norfolk 2014 - STEPPE GREY SHRIKE

How fortunate it was that the Steppe Grey Shrike in Burnham Norton stuck about for a few days for my arrival at Burnham Market (5 min drive away) for our family holiday. Could my luck be changing?...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Barred Warbler - Gunners Park

I was washing up this morning when the text came through, 'Barred Warbler definitely in Gunners!'. I peeled off my marigolds, grabbed my scope and hot-footed it to the scene as this was a lifer for me. The bird showed really well (despite my photo) feeding in the sun. Thanks to all involved. Well chuffed

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Fledged


Blue tit fledgling in our garden this morning. Hope it makes it. The magpies are sniffing around.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Bruny Island, Tasmania

Brown Quail
Tasmanian Native Hen
Dusky Robin
Flame Robin
Pink Robin
Scarlet Robin
Black-faced Cormorants
Pacific Gull
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren

And some records of the Target Species: Forty Spotted Pardalote…

Thursday, 24 April 2014

New Camera



My interest in my year list is Waning a bit so I've turned back to digi-scoping and hoping to find a local rarity. I've got a new camera (panasonic DMC-SZ3) which is coping with the light better than my struggling old Canon IXUS but too early to say if I'm happy with it yet. In the meantime, here's my annual pic of a Corn Bunting and a Pied Wagtail.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Wallasea Island - Peregrine pair

These pictures of a male and female (right) peregrines don't show the size difference between the sexes. The female was a brute of a bird in comparison and it's little wonder the male was keeping his distance whilst she tucked into her breakfast.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Duck mash-up

I went to Paglesham Lagoon this morning to keep my year list moving. This striking duck was floating around with the shovelers. A quick google search suggests a Shoveler x Wigeon hybrid. Surely not. I also flushed a short-eared owl, giving close views, a good look at a Rock Pipit and some smart Bar-tailed Godwits bringing up 81.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Long Reef

Red-necked Stint Ruddy Turnstones Pacific Golden Plover Grey-tailed Tattler

I had a loooong overdue trip to Long Reef today. It's well known as a good wader spot and so it proved this morning. After a nervous thigh-high wade across the reef at dropping tide the rewards were a nice - reasonably confiding mixed flock of 100+ Red-necked Stint, 4 Grey-tailed Tattler, c.15 Ruddy Turnstones and 18 Pacific Golden Plover.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Digi-Scaup

A quick run around West Canvey Marsh yesterday added this Scaup, stonechat, and a few others to my year list. With the pheasant I saw today, I'm up to 70.