Search This Blog

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.

DSC_0609

Lesser Redpoll (Titchwell)

DSC_0617

DSC_0669

Meally Redpoll (Titchwell)

DSC_0676

DSC_0700

Coues's Arctic Redpoll (above and below)

DSC_0705

DSC_0756

Snow Bunting

DSC_0761

DSC_0596

Grey Partridges (part of a group of 11 birds)

DSC_0573

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

DSC_0788

Brent Geese (good numbers were along the coast)

DSC_0736

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

DSC_0883-1

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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

23rd November

I awoke expecting clear skies, that was according to yesterdays forecast for today. Unfortunately I was greeted with a misty murky sky. The only good thing to come from it was a drake Pintail.

DSC_0388

DSC_0407

Drake 1st winter Pintail in the murk. It was flushed from area 36 and instead of flying off circled the area several times before dropping down on to the main lake. You can tell that it is a 1st winter due to the lack of long central tail feathers, short scapulars, drab two toned bill. If you compare it to the photos below of an adult from the collection. Pintails do not breed in the SE especially in the London area.

DSC_0564

The pair of European Wigeon are still present, mainly on the main lake, though still hopping over the bridge and feeding in area 36.

DSC_0472

DSC_0497

Sunday, November 20, 2011

20th November

I popped up to Norfolk this weekend to see my wife's mother in Stalham. I was hoping for a dry weekend, which I got, however I wasn’t expecting to wake up to fog on Saturday morning. It was patchy, with clear slots, this persuaded to push on to the North Norfolk Coast at Salthouse. The closer I got the clearer the skies became and although the sun hadn’t quite risen above a piece of wispy cloud but soon would. The coast was then bathed in glorious sunshine, the temperature though was only 6 degrees but a few layers would keep the chill out. Time was short as I had to be back to buy lunch and then go for an afternoon walk. My target at Salthouse beach car park was to be Snow Bunting, but they haven’t started feeding them yet and the flock of around 60 birds were very mobile. The sea was relatively quiet, but Red throated Divers were flying by and some were very close inshore, as was a female Common Scoter. Two Whooper Swans flew in off the sea and a few Skylarks had also made the journey across the sea. The conditions were calm but a slight headwind may have been the reason that three birds having gotten within 400 metres of the coast turned around and looked to land on the sea before turning around and coming a shore. I spent an enjoyable time here with only 4 other birders stopping briefly before heading off. I also had a distant Slavonian Grebe looking splendid in it’s winter plumage, a very contrasting bird, compared to the similar Black-necked Grebe that tends to look dirty in comparison.

DSC_0033

Red throated Diver 

DSC_0051

DSC_9823

DSC_9894

DSC_9915

Common Scoter (female)

DSC_9768

DSC_9780

Snow Bunting

DSC_9800

DSC_9958

DSC_9993

Redshank

DSC_9997

DSC_0015

DSC_0008

DSC_0067

Shorelark on private grounds and a bit distant

During the afternoon my wife and I had a pleasant walk over Winterton Dunes, a very unique habitat. We didn’t see many birds the I was hoping to see Short-eared Owl.

DSC_0090

DSC_0108

DSC_0117

DSC_0144

DSC_0163

DSC_0168

DSC_0189

DSC_0192

DSC_0197

DSC_0199

This morning I looked out of the bedroom window and the visibility was poor with dense fog. I ventured out at around 8.00am but the fog was everywhere. It wasn’t until 9.50am that it began to brighten up and the sun broke through. As time was short I popped down to Waxham and the coast road. The fog was still on the coast but 200 metres inland there were patches of bright sunshine. Driving down to the coast I spotted three geese on there own, this arose suspicion in my mind and turning around and pulling of the road I sneaked up the side of a farm building. Though distant the birds turned out to be Tundra Bean Geese, a nice little find. From here I continued along the road towards the sound of distant Pink footed Geese. We had seen them yesterday but I didn’t stop. I pulled up by the entrance to a farm track, one I have always felt tempted to wander down. The geese were some way off and numbered at least 2000. It was hard to scan through them as there were bodies and necks everywhere. The farmer then pulled up behind me and I thought he was going to ask me to move. I was okay he was going to get some bales of straw and warned me that the birds were going to be spooked. That’s alright I told him I can get some flight shots. The birds did take off and checking through them wasn’t easy but I picked out White-fronted and Barnacle Geese. When the birds returned to the ground I picked out a couple of Greenland White-fronted Geese.

Check through the photos to see what you can find. 

DSC_0206

Tundra Bean Geese

DSC_0216

DSC_0218

DSC_0301

The farmer puts the geese to flight

DSC_0309

DSC_0326

DSC_0333

DSC_0339

DSC_0341

DSC_0351

DSC_0291