Monday, 30 March 2009

Repeat Performance

Pleased to find a pair of Little Ringed Plover at a local breeding site today (with another bird seen elsewhere). Little Egret and Green Sandpiper were also noted nearby, before returning to my raptor spot. Sis Marsh Harriers were seen today, including another female and another which I can't decide if it's a young male or an old female (the bird below) but that is now 7 birds. The Harris Hawk was present again, interacting with the harriers, as well a Buzzard today. Two other Buzzards were also seen , along with Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. A single Sand Martin was seen, along with two Swallows (following the bird seen on Saturday - the highlight along with a Water Pipit and a hybrid goose (well it was a highlight for my companion!) in 14 hours out of the house!)

Friday, 27 March 2009

Raptor Fest

11 Raptors, 5 Species, 1 Inland Site and all before 8 am.
I was planning to walk around Beeston Bump, but when I saw two male Marsh Harriers grappling by the roadside, I became transfixed for about 80 minutes. In all (at least) five Marsh Harriers were seen, three adult males and two adult females. The birds were constantly interacting and occasionally sky-diving and one pair was even noted copulating. The most surprising bird of the morning turned out to be a Harris Hawk (identified after going through a number of other possibilities!) It, too, interacted with the Marsh Harriers and the corvids gave it a hard time as well. A pair of Sparrowhawks displayed over the woods and a third bird was seen. A male Kestrel and a single Buzzard completed the set. A Little Egret was also present.
An evening return produced two of the male and one female Marsh Harrier, as well as two Barn Owls that hunted at opposite ends of the same field.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Another Working Day

Decided to have an hour looking out to sea before work and was rewarded with my first Gannet of the year(!) as well as 7 Fulmars flew west. A single Red-throated Diver flew east (as well as a Fulmar and possibly the same Gannet!) The most interesting sighting, however, were two Wagtails that flew in off, with one landing on rooftops, proving to be an adult male Grey Wagtail. I assume the other was, too.
Lunchtime had me taking pictures of 5 Waxwings in Weybourne, unfortunately the light was awful!
A brief stop at Guist on the way home produced two sky-diving Marsh Harriers, the first I have seen there this year, and also one Little Egret.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Spring is Still Trying!

News of a Spoonbill at Titchwell got me out. As soon as I could see the Fresh Marsh the distant white blob of the Spoonbill was noted. Good, but obscurred views were had from the Parrinder Hide as it occasionally woke from its slumber to preen. Nothing was seen on or over the sea, although the winds were still quite strong from the WNW. As the winds died down my first Sand Martin of the year flew west. There were plenty of Black-tailed Godwits and Avocets and 4+ Snipe were showing well.
A Corn Bunting was with Yellowhammers at Chosely

Sunday, 22 March 2009

A More Successful Day

The day started around Wolferton, where a male Golden Pheasant was heard calling deep in the Rhododendrons, but it wasn't seen. Later brief, but good, views were had of a different adult male, which showed the green throat of the 'obscurus' form. From here we popped into Kings Lynn to see the white Blackbird. It showed itself well, being the first pure white (but not albino) one I'd seen. News of Stone Curlews had reached us and after a brief search a single bird was found. Around Lynford a pair of Firecrest were located, with the male singing. After trying to find some other gravel pits in the area, we came to Sparham Pools, where an early singing Blackcap greeted us as we got out of the car. At least three Chiffchaffs were singing and six Goosander were on the main pool.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Another Long Day!

With hopes of early migrants we started at Stiffkey, walking from the Campsite, through to Stiffkey Fen. Best birds were Common Sandpiper and Snow Goose on the Fen. The goose flew in alone, and swam around actively calling. I sometimes think singles get a bad press and would be interested if anyone has seen this bird around this winter (someone said they had seen it y'day and suggested one had been seen at Cley). A Black Brant was found on the return journey and a Chiffchaff was in the wood. At least 3 singing Chiffchaffs were at Wells, with 5 Crossbills overhead being the highlights. An adult Mediterranean Gull graced the Harbour. Our tour was interrupted with news of a Hoopoe near Thornage, but it couldn't be refound (three Buzzards and a Grey Wagtail were the highlights. We failed to find Firecrests throughout the day, although another two Mediterranean Gulls were seen at West Runton - the usual adult and a 1st winter bird. Kelling was quiet, except for the Red-throated Diver that flew in whilst we were there.

For you Diver and Frog lovers. Peace!