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Sunday, April 15, 2012

15th April

Regent’s Park

A couple of days away and I have come back with the raven hump, not really but there could have been a chance for me to connect with a new species for the park ( you will find out shortly what that was).

The wind over the past few days has been really against migrants heading up through Europe and through the UK, but they need to get to their breeding grounds so the only thing that will ground them would be persistent rain.

Below is a brief summary of what has passed through recently.


Raven: while talking to Birdman-Euston Dave’s attention was drawn to the unmistakeable cronking of a bird flying over. My wife gets embarrassed when I call to the Ravens of the Pembrokeshire and Cornish coasts when trying to get take their photograph. The significance of this wasn’t known to Birdman, where he comes from the birds are common. The last record of a bird in or over the park was in the 1850’s, though a bird in a shabby state was seen in more recent years, though it’s damaged plumage could have been due to being kept in an aviary.

Barn Swallow: several birds passed through heading northwards.

Northern Wheatear: 4 birds from the day before were still present the next morning.

Reed Bunting: the male was still present in the Wetland Pen.


Reed Warbler: One was in the English Gardens, area 22 during the morning.

15th: cold biting NE wind

Northern Wheatear: one was on the Cricket Tables, area 37 at 8.20am.

Barn Swallow: 2 singles flew north.

Grey Wagtail: 2 birds were again on or around area 7 and the bank near the Bandstand.

Reed Bunting: according to Dave a pair had been frequenting area 2 but may have been forced to move on possibly by the hiring out of the boats on the lake. These boats have in the passed caused several pairs of grebe’s to fail.

Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs are still present in good numbers, with still the odd Willow Warbler singing.




Little Grebe with a stickleback


Is two against one really fair



The weather on the Thursday when we drove up to Stalham (north-east side of the Norfolk Broads) was fine and sunny. Having a quick lunch I set off to see/find the Hoopoe that had been present at Waxham Sands Caravan Park. It was a bit of a walk, but approaching one of the birds favoured locations my attention was drawn to a bird flying out of the dunes. It was the Hoopoe, I watched it for a few seconds, grabbed a couple of pictures and then alerted some nearby birders who were looking the other way.  The bir flew a along way and I thought that this may have been my only view. The small group of birders then headed in the direction that the bird had flown, which was towards the caravan park, fortunately their are no caravans on the site yet. We came to a stop on the top of the sand dunes that overlooked the site. After scanning the area for a few minutes I picked out the bird someway off eating ants. We all enjoyed the bird for quite a while before I was attracted to a thermaling Red Kite, fairly scarce in this area. While watching this the Hoopoe exited without anyone seeing. Walking back to the car I stumbled across 5 Ring Ouzels, they were to far and to flighty to get a photo.

Friday was so showery that very few birds of interest were seen. It was just a case of driving and scanning the roadside fields.

Saturday’s forecast was more promising,  so I was on route to Cley at 5.40am, arriving at 6.30am. The sky looked reasonably promising, though the brisk NW wind would soon put pay to my hopes of getting some Marsh Harrier courtship display. The scrapes were quiet apart from Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Avocets, Ruff and a single Little Ringed Plover. Cetti’s and my first Sedge Warblers of the year were proclaiming their territories. Bearded Tits were heard, but keeping down low in the reeds and a female Peregrine worried the gulls at nearby Salthouse.

Overall a quiet time, but I wasn’t there for a birding break, so it was nice to see what I did.


Hoopoe Waxham Sands



Cetti’s Warbler



Bearded Tit female


Reed Bunting with the sun on his face


Marsh Harrier and then the sun went in





Little-ringed Plover


And that is why they are called Black-tailed Godwits

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