Saturday, 28 February 2009

Surfbirds, February

Rank: 1
Name: David Norgate
Nationality: Norfolk
Total: 171
Highlights: BOU + 4 25/1 Rough-legged Buzzard, 21/2 Red Kite, Hooded Crow, 15/2 Ferruginous Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Great Northern Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Guillemot, Black Redstart, 14/2 Black-necked Grebe, Woodlark, Goshawk, 12/2 Cattle Egret, 8/2 Penduline Tit, Green-winged Teal, 2/2 Ruddy Duck, 25/1 Black-bellied Dipper, 24/1 Great Grey Shrike, 21/1 Barnacle Goose, 13/1 Jack Snipe, 11/1 Green Sandpiper (Dipped Killdeer), 10/1 Iceland and Caspian Gull, 9/1 Smew, 6/1 Tree Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Slavonian Grebe, Water Pipit, 4/1 (Ross's Goose) 2/1 Common Crane, Taiga Bean Goose, Waxwing, 1/1 Glaucous Gull, Hawfinch, 5 Owl species See:

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Salthouse and Cley

Just three Snow Buntings were present today, along with one (possibly two) Stonechat. The Glaucous Gull looks even worse! Eleven Red-throated Dover and three Great Crested Grebe were on the sea. Three Pale-bellied Brents were with the flock along Beach Road.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Another Good Day Out West

First stop was Hoe Rough, but only Green Woodpeckers could be found, with added colour coming from 2 Kingfishers and c 20 Siskin.

Onto Kings Lynn, along the Roydon road, where I had forgotten that a Great Grey Shrike had been seen until it appeared in a roadside bush! Unfortunately it had flown a distance by the time I returned.

The Kings Lynn area held a brief Shag, flyover Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail and 10 Grey Heron in a field. I rarely find roosting Barn Owls, so to find to together was very satisfying, as were two Stonechat. A third Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier were also seen.

From here I set off to continue to hunt for the Rough-legged Buzzard(s) and this time I was doubly successful. Although distant the imm/fem bird was seen well enough to see the salient features. More interesting was the second, much paler bird, which was really striking - with seemingly reduced black on the underparts, possibly a male. Also here was a much friendlier ringtail Hen Harrier, Marsh and at least 10 Buzzards, including 8 in the scope together. Whilst waiting for the raptor show my attention was given to hares, pheasants and planes!

I headed back south and tried to find Stone Curlew with no success, but 22+ Tree Sparrow were seen, as well and two more Buzzards and another Barn Owl.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Bonus Birds Day

We failed to find the target birds of the day, but others eclipsed the misses. We started at Sheringham Park and failed to find our two target bird. However, whilst nearing the end of our visit, news broke of a Hooded Crow at nearby Beeston Regis. The status of this bird has changed dramatically over recent years (to the extent that one observer on site stated that they were now rarer than Radde's and Blyth's Reed Warbler!) This was the first 'twitchable' bird for many years and an excellent addition to the year list! Twitchable is a little excessive as it was only 'available' for 40 minutes.
From here we continued on to Thornham (via Guist / Great Ryburgh, hoping for a reported Red Kite amongst others - I had previously stated that it was a good Red Kite day (before reports started coming out) but Little Egret was the best bird). There was no sign of any Lapland Buntings, but at least 20 Ruff, including two 'flagged' birds and other waders. We decided to try again for the rough-leg and was rewarded when 'my driver' found a Red Kite drifting NW over Shernbourne. At least 7 Common Buzzards were seen around, but still nothing resembling a rough-leg!
Although there had been negative news, I still had a short hunt for the White Stork near home. There was no sign, but an Egyptian Goose stood proudly in the supposed field!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Glaucous Gull Take Two

Tried to see the Dipper again but failed, so went to Cley to see the gull again and also to see the geese near Langham, which included two Barnacle and two Tundra Bean.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Titchwell and the Broads (!)

A slightly later start had me searching round the NW again in hope of finding the increasingly reported Rough-legged Buzzard, but with no sign (although it was reported again west of Wolferton on the Sandringham Estate during the morning) and dull and damp conditions I decided to look elsewhere. I finally saw the male Black Redstart, where a Grey Wagtail and Peregrine was also seen. I had a look off Hunstanton, where c2000 Common Scoter haboured 7 or 8 Velvet Scoter. Red-breasted Merganser and a single Guillemot were also seen, along with the resident Fulmars. From here I moved to Titchwell, were an extended watch over the sea was rewarded with single Red-necked Grebe and 4+ Great Crested, a Great Northern Diver flew west then turned and continued out to sea (2 Red-throated Diver, also). 38 Goldeneye and 17 Mergansers were counted. Around the reserve were 6 Avocet, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, 16+ Snipe and the Water Pipit.
This visit was interrupted with news from the Broads. After an 80 min drive(!) I arrived at the sensitive site (please do not ask!) to join another observer checking the large flock (3-400 diving duck). 2 Scaup were soon seen and, after a short wait, a female Ring-necked Duck moved out of the reeds and into the throng. The birds were constantly moving into an inlet and then suddenly reappearing for short periods, during which time frantic scanning continued until the drake Ferruginous Duck was seen. A wonderful sight and well worth the long journey!