Tuesday, 27 October 2015

More Owls!

Short-eared Owl
All about the eyes!
Short-eared Owl at Holland Haven CP
Quite a day!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Short-eared Owls at Holland Haven CP

A few more images from the weekend visit to Holland Haven.

Shot-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl Holland Haven CP

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Siberian Stonechat Caister and a Rough Legged Buzzard at Holland Haven

After connecting with a couple of Short-eared Owls at Rainham last night and having two birds deciding to sit about ten feet from me I really regretted not taking the camera with me so I headed back this morning but the birds could obviously see that I was now holding said camera so decided to stay well away. After a while  I decided to give up on the plan and instead head up the A12 to twitch the Siberian Stonechat that was spending some time on the golf course at Caister. After collecting the Jims and steaming through the 124 miles we pulled into the beach road car park at the Lifeboat Station and walked the 500 yards through the dunes. A small twitch of around thirty odd people was in progress but nobody had the bird on our arrival then a flash of the orange rump had me calling it and the group were quickly scampering along the path to enjoy decent views of the bird sitting on the fence line before it decided to head back into the brambles to an area it used to launch itself from at every passing insect. We watched for a couple of hours before heading back down the A12 to Holland Haven.

Siberian Stonechat at Caister on sea
Our target here was the rather showy juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard but my attention was somewhat distracted by the Short-eared Owls hunting over the marsh. I took a brief scope view of the Rough-leg sitting in a bush and then set about trying to capture a reasonable image of one or two Shorties.

Short-eared Owl at Holland Haven CP
Short-eared Owl

A cracking and memorable day in the company of some great birds moving the life list to 364 and the year list to 266

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Wells wood alive with migrants

We headed to Wells wood Norfolk this morning pulling into the car park around 7.15am having enjoyed the usual Barn Owls on the way up. Paid and displayed we duly wondered off down the track listening for the reported Blyth's reed Warbler in the company of Lee B. The bushes were alive with Goldcrest and Robins. Overhead there was big movements of Redwing and Fieldfare. Blackbirds and Blackcaps were also present and a few small tit flocks added to the spectacle. News from a passing birder had us making for "the old toilet block" where the Blyth's had apparently been seen. We arrived with a small crowd and spend some time looking/listening but we only picked up Dunnock, Goldcrest and Robin.

Red-flanked Bluetail Wells wood Norfolk
As we walked along the track the Blyth's was reported but it would have to wait as we were now on route to "the drinking pool" and on arrival we were quickly enjoying the Red flanked Bluetail. It was dark in the area which didn't make for photographic opportunity so I fired off just a single record shot.(above)
We moved on missing a Great Grey Shrike as we walked the path. Goldcrests flitted about everywhere and as we approached a small group of birders we were told that both Hume's and Yellow-browed Warbler had been seen just before we arrived. A brief wait and then we heard the call of the Hume's before it flew up and over the track. The Yellow-browed then started to call from the opposite side of the track.

As we returned to the Dell area just south of the toilet block we joined another small group and waited for the Blyth's to show which it duly did. We watched as it moved about half way up the trees showing between branches but again the camera stayed in the bag for this one. So we've now had some good birds but the views had been pretty brief on all.

We returned to the car aware that our ticket was due to expire and made our way to Muckleburgh walking to the hill to find another gathering already circling a tree at the bottom of the hill. The Olive-backed Pipit showed really well and I even managed a couple of shots as it trotted about in the bracken.
Several Brambling flew over as we stood watching the Pipit.

Olive-backed Pipit Muckleburgh Hill
Olive-backed Pipit
Our final stop of this trip was Beeston Common where we enjoyed the Isabelline Shrike again and a fresh in Long -Eared Owl as it flew from it's roost after being mobbed by the local Magpies.

Isabelline Shrike
Lot's of familiar faces in Norfolk today all enjoying a very memorable fall 
Year list now 265

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Notable on birdguides

A nice surprise last night to get a notable from Birdguides for my image of the Sparrowhawk on the garden ornament from last weekend.


Monday, 12 October 2015

Images from Titchwell trip at the weekend

Common Scoter on the sea at Titchwell
Curlew Sandpiper from Parinder hide
Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Common Scoter
Turnstone at Brancaster 
And one more of Saturdays garden Sprawk

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Isabeline Shrike at Beeston Regis

So we're birding in Norfolk this morning. Barn and Little Owls were seen before we made Titchwell.
Geese are about in large numbers already and a walk to the beach and back gave great views of Curlew Sandpiper, Snipe, Sanderling, Eider, Common Scoter, Marsh Harriers, Golden and Grey Plovers ETC ETC ETC.
We searched for a reported Yellow-browed Warbler without success and then made a short stop at Brancaster to enjoy the Turnstones, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers.

The pager bleeps:  Radde's Warbler Holkham! and reluctantly we decide to let the pager ruin a good days birding a chase the tick but before we're half way along the track at Holkham news breaks of an Isabelline Shrike at Beeston Regis so we're back in the car and chasing the tick abandoning the Radde's for what we thought would be an easier chase and so it was as we pulled up opposite the common and within a few feet we were looking at a lifer as the Shrike sat out in a Hawthorn bush.

The Shrike
So just as we're packing up to leave for the two hour drive home a local tells us of a Pallas's Warbler showing on the golf course at Sheringham so he head a couple of miles down the road and within minutes of arriving we're on the little gem as it feeds in short Oak trees along the edge of the golf course with several Goldcrest.

Pallas's Warbler
Pallas's Warbler

Now with the lifer and a bonus year tick bagged we finally head home after a cracking days birding in Norfolk.

Year list now 259 Life list now 363  (The Shrike is thought to be a Daurian Shrike)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Sparrowhawk in the garden

Got home from work today to find a Sparrowhawk drowning a Collared Dove in my pond.

One less Collared Dove in the world!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Goldcrest fall at Landguard

We took an early morning run up to Landguard today and on arrival found the place alive with Goldcrest.
The little gems had literally fallen from the sky and every bush held one along with several groups feeding on the ground all along the beach. In foggy conditions the little Kinglets chase the light from lighthouses and can as today appear in big numbers. The only negative was the local Kestrel picking a few off but as the place got busier with birders and dog walkers alike the Kestrel seemed to keep a distance.
Chiffchaff had also arrived in good numbers as had both Blackcaps and Blackbirds. A Redwing, Firecrest, Lesser Whitethroat, Wheatear and Redstart made up the other notables although a group of Spoonbill did fly over but I must have been looking at Goldcrests at the time as I completely missed the Spoonbills. (I also missed Redwing and Firecrest in my state of Goldcrest overload)

No Yellow-browed Warblers today but a really memorable trip which will take some beating as a spectacle.
I also apologise now for the Goldcrest overload you're about to get below.

Goldcrest and daisy
Goldcrest (PS'd)