Thursday, 20 April 2017

Finally some Migrants

News of a Hoopoe on the edge of my patch was to good to ignore, so this morning dad and I headed for Mundesley cliffs. No sign of the Hoopoe, I suspect the news was released late with the bird in a private garden. Lots of other migrants were about finally making it seem like spring.

First walking towards the village it was clear hindrines were on the move we had over 30 Swallow, 6 House Martin and 2 Sand Martin all passing north. Checking the paddocks I spotted 6 Wheatear and while counting them a Short eared Owl got up out of the long grass just a few feet away. We continued up to the lifeboat shed with a large flock of Linnet, numerous Skylark and  small group of Meadow Pipit flitting about. Back towards the gas terminal I heard a Ring Ouzel and eventually located two on the cliff face. Another 7 Wheatear were in the fields and a Tree Pipit flew over. Walking back to the car 2 or 3 Whitethroat called from the brambles. Back at my parents a Willow Warbler seemed out of place in the two small rose bushes in their front garden.

Stopping get off at dad's allotment for some greens on my way home I found the two best birds of the day, a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker perched above the car before flying off calling to each other.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Common Lifer

We have been spending the Easter weekend in South Wales with family and although early in the Spring I decided I was worth a walk out from the house to look for Wood Warbler, the commonest bird missing from my new life list. I saw them when much younger but not listing.

I walked an nice area of woodland by the river soon seeing Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and hearing a rather vocal Song Thrush. I then heard a Wood Warbler,a called I'd brush up on. Dispite the trees still being a bit sparse of leaves it took me a while to locate this little lemon gem high in the canopy. I walked further onto an area of scruby heath which I suspect was old slag from the local mines. Here I disturbed a Ring Ouzel and saw my first Whitethroat of the year as well as various other common species all in spring song. I was perplexed by one call I didn't recognise which turned out to be the Ring Ouzel I've only heard alert and contact calls in Norfolk.

On Saturday dispenser some drizzly rain we all went for tea, cake and a short walk. The wildlife was limited but we all enjoyed watching two Dipper displaying and then feeding from the bridge.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sunday stroll

Last Sunday I visited Sheringham Park for the second time in a week as we meet friend staying nearby before having lunch. Being overcast it was much quitter both in terms of birds and butterflies. But I did get some really nice views of a Firecrest by the main path. During the week I saw my dirt Orange tip of the year and a Red kite over while at dad's allotment.

Today being my only day off this week I planned to continue with making a playhouse for my daughter at home. We did make time for a short walk at Walcott where 2 Sandwich Tern and a Little Tern briefly alighted on the groyne before continuing West.  2 Meadow Pipit appeared to come in off the sea, a White Wagtail was nearby and offshore a Skua was mobbing 2 further Sandwich Tern but with only binoculars it was most like an Arctic Skua. The Kentish Plover would have been nice to see but being mid afternoon, Easter holidays and in Great Yarmouth I decided just to get the paint brush out! A good decision it turns out as the bird disappeared for a number of hours.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Mothering Sunday Weekend

On Saturday I met mum and dad for an early mothers day lunch in Bacton and then had a sunny jaunt along the river at Ebridge.  Not a lot was along the river but 2 Red Kite circled overhead with two Common Buzzard. My first Red Kite of the year. Numerous Chiffchaff called along with a vocal Yellowhammer.

On Sunday Laura, Agnes and I had a picnic in Sheringham Park, somewhere I haven't visited since a child. Near the information center I spotted a female Brambling the only bird of note. The common birds were numerous in their song and while atop the Gazebo watch tower a Nuthatch called within a few feet at eye level. But was too quick for a photo. I also saw my first butterflies of the year two Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell.

Moving onto Salthouse to feed the ducks I scanned the marshes for early migrants without luck but driving on towards Cley a Swallow was on the wires another first for the year.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Railway Woods Norwich

Walking to work via the River Wensum and Railway Woods proved very productive as well as a pleasant way to start the day. The wood was alive with bird song calling Chiffchaff, Wren, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Blackbird making up most of the chorus. I heard and finally saw a singing Willow Warbler,  most likely my earliest record and then also saw my first Blackcap of the year. But the strangest bird of all was a Red-legged Partridge sitting on the woodland path before flying over the river into the reclamation yard a very unexpected city bird. Between the sluice gates and anchor brewery bridge a pair of Kingfisher whizzed back and forth and at least 3 Grey Wagtail bobbed along the waters edge. I guess it's now time to start work.