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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

28th December

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European Wigeon: the pair were present and associating with the collection wigeon in area 35.

Common Teal: a pair were on the main lake by area 8.

Kestrel: the pair in area 32 were displaying and using the box that offers shelter from the prevailing winds.

Water Rail: the bird showed well this afternoon.

Tawny Owl: one was calling from area 40 this afternoon.

Little Owl: one was in a tall London Plane tree in area 25.

Redwing: 4 flew into the Leaf Yard Wood, area 40.

Chiffchaff: one was in area 31.

Goldcrest: 16 were seen on my walk around the park.

Long-tailed Tit: 65 in two flocks were counted.

Lesser Redpoll: 4 were in an Alder tree in area 31.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

24th December

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Bird news from the park is still the same as it has been for the past few weeks. The only slight improvement is that the Water Rail has been showing a little better from the rail ditch in area 2. I will have to make an effort to take his photo for 2012.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

21st December

I popped up to Norfolk to drop off some presents to my wife’s family members. It allowed me to pop over to Cley to try and get some better views of the long staying Western Sandpiper. Fortunately Tuesday was a super day with glorious sunshine for much of the morning. The morning was all I had, before having to get back and take my wife out.

I arrived at Cley at 7.45am with the light gradually improving. As I changed my footwear and put my many layers on, that I hoped would protect me from biting NW wind, the Pink footed Geese were departing the reserve having roosted there overnight. It is one of the spectacles of visiting Norfolk, either here, The Wash or  Horsey Broad. As the skeins of geese departed I was delighted to pick out a lone Ross’s Goose, that I later found came in with the birds the previous evening. For the birder who gave me that info he was an hour late getting to Cley and it was one of his targets. I headed off to Daukes Hide and after 30 minutes and with the sun just above the horizon someone picked out the little American sandpiper, though fairly distant, it did at times come closer affording great views though a little to far for my camera lens.

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The Western Sandpiper is the birds 2nd from the right

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They really do look Golden when the sun shines on them

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Turnstone do what it says on the tin, turning stones.

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Marsh Harrier

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One of the 1000’s of European Wigeon that feed on the reserve

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Even with a strong WNW wind blowing the sea was very quiet, bird wise.

Having enjoyed a pleasant morning on the North Norfolk Coast I returned to my wife, with the intention of going for a walk at Winterton. The weather however closed in and we decided to visit her sister and then drive along the coast road from Lessingam to Marham. It appeared very quiet, though having given my wife instructions to keep an eye out for the geese flock we drove slowly along the road. I pulled off the road just before Waxham Sands as I had seen some Pink-feet drop down behind an embankment embankment. Marsh Harriers were quartering the reeds by their roost site. I then noticed some necks moving along behind a grass pathway. They turned out to be 3 Tundra Bean Geese. They were possible the ones that I had seen a few weeks ago, near Sea Palling. We then carried on to Horsey Wind Mill and again stopped to scan. There was nothing on my side of the road, I asked Sally was there anything on her side. “A few geese” she said. I moved the car to give me a view of the field. In fact there were several thousand Pink-feet, 100’s of Golden Plovers and Lapwings. Towering over them there were 2 Common Cranes. The sheer number of birds and noise was really breath-taking. Unfortunately the dimming light made it impossible to capture.    

Sunday, December 18, 2011

18th December

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I do not mean to sound like a stuck record, but there has really been no change on what is present in the park. The only increase is that there are now 4 Lesser Redpolls, other than that the Water Rail, European Wigeon, Blackcap, Chiffchaff are all still present.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

10th December

At first it looked as if yesterday was going to be a one day.

1 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Siskin and then 1 Lesser Redpoll, luckily for the latter it met up with two others that were feeding again in Silver Birch trees by the bank in area 36.

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Lesser Redpoll with what appears like a pale crown

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Apart from these there was little else of note, the rail still being hard to see.

Today was again quiet so here are a few gulls to look at.

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Even though this Common Gull has a prominent ring on its bill, don’t be fooled into thinking that it is a Ring-billed Gull.

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Adult Common Gull (above) and 2nd winter(below)

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Argentatus Herring Gull

Argentatus Herring Gull (northern European race) larger and different primary pattern. 1st winter Herring Gull (below)

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Standing on the edge of the lake in area 9 often produces good views of Stock Doves in flight as they fly between the islands.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

7th December

Not an awful lot happening, not that I want any cold weather, but that is likely to be the only way we get any new visitors to the park.

Chiffchaff: one was feeding with a flock of Long-tailed tits and Goldcrest in area 36.

European Wigeon: the pair are still present.

Northern Pintail: the drake is also present and like the above coming to feed in area 35.

As things are a bit quiet here are a few snaps taken on a trip to Norfolk, where I managed to connect with the Western Sandpiper at Cley, alas no photos. 

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A canopy feeding Yellow-browed Warbler at Titchwell

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Green-winged Teal amongst 1000’s of Common Teal and at times really hard to locate, but not on this occasion.

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The photo below shows how the Green-wing differs from the Common Teal.

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The drake below caught his wing in water as he came in to land and ended up doing a cartwheel.

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Black-tailed Godwit (above) and Little Egret (below)

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Cley reserve and Pats Pool one of the areas that the Western Sandpiper likes to frequent, though in the last couple of days it has taken to spending time on Arnolds Marsh.

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More Pink-footed Geese come in off the sea, Dark-bellied Brent Geese are present in large numbers and if you look closely amongst the flock you could find Pale- bellied Brent’s as well.

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A strange posture

Friday, December 02, 2011

2nd December

Not much to report, but still a couple of goodies still present.

Northern Pintail: The 1st winter drake was present again today.

European Wigeon: the pair are still present and have began to mix in with the collection wigeon in area 35, so a close check for both sets of primaries is called for. The birds do tend to look a little more nervous than the resident one’s.

Tawny Owl: a male was calling from area 40 at 11.30am.

Fieldfare: one flew over Primrose Hill.

Lesser Redpoll: one was feeding on Silver Birch cones in area 36.

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Northern Pintail

Friday, November 25, 2011

25th November

Fieldfare: 30 flew NW at 10.50am.

Redwing: there were several single birds encountered on our walk around the park this morning.

Yesterdays we had a business meeting in Norfolk that allowed us a quick visit to the coast.

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Lesser Redpoll (Titchwell)

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Meally Redpoll (Titchwell)

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Coues's Arctic Redpoll (above and below)

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Snow Bunting

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Grey Partridges (part of a group of 11 birds)

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2 Greenland White-fronted Geese (right-hand side foreground), European White-fronted Geese (background).

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Brent Geese (good numbers were along the coast)

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Pink-footed Geese (flocks were seen battling into a strong head –wind as they flew in off the sea)

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Birds seen

Little Gull: 300+ flew west past Cley

Pomarine Skua: one flew west at Cley

Red-throated Diver: 30+ past Cley heading east

Little Auk: one flew west

Rough legged Buzzard: one at the western end of Holkham Pines

European White-fronted Goose: 65 feeding in a field by the road.

Greenland White-fronted Goose: definitely 4 possibly a few more in with the white-fronts but the flock took off when a tractor approached.

Meally Redpoll: 3 birds at Titchwell

Lesser Redpoll: 3 by feeding station, others heard flying over

Twite: 18 on the brackish marsh

Snow Bunting: one on the beach

Goldeneye, R B Mergansers, Eiders and Common Scoters on the sea at Titchwell.