Friday, 17 October 2014

Finally Birding

Since mid-September a raft of Westerly winds have seen migration in Norfolk slow to a trickle, but just in time for my annual 2 week mid-October holiday the wind shifted. Work meant that I missed trips for the Marked Shrike and Little Crake, but on 8th Oct I did get up to Burnham Norton, in some horrible weather to see the Steppe Grey Shrike, but rather distant.

After work on Sunday Laura and I headed up to North Norfolk to stay with friends but torrential rain on Monday meant there was no chance of a coastal walk. The day got worse as I returned home to find a puddle in our utility room, the roof was leaking! Tuesday was then taken up removing most of the tiles from our extension, repairing and re-tiling the roof. While up on the scaffold c40 Redwing few over and a flock of 22 Long-tailed Tit were in the garden. Wednesday was then spent pulling up the lino and soaked under floor insulation (the only upside was I found a tiled floor underneath). Thursday I managed to finally tidy up and it was only this afternoon that I found time to get out birding.

Being 1pm it was a bit late to head to the coast although a small fall of Pallas Warbler made it was tempting. I plumped for my normal circuit out towards Antingham Pond and back. In the fields I found my first migrants of the day, a flock of 50+ Meadow Pipit, further along another group of 9 flew over. I've only ever seen 2 Meadow Pipit on the walk in the past. Numbers of Blackbird and Song Thrush seem to have increased and a couple of Redwing were seen. Near Antingham Pond while doubling back along the road for a closer look at a group of 3 Buzzard drifting east (one looked very pale) I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler call. Despite waiting around, the tit flock I assume the YBW was associating with moved off without seeing or hearing the bird again. Nearer home a few Jay seemed to be passing over, but not the numbers of a few weeks ago. A few less common migrants have been found along the coast so who knows what the weekend and the rest of my holiday will hold.

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