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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Late May in Norfolk

I've just spent a few days in Norfolk, the weather started off reasonably but with chilly E-NE breeze by Sunday morning fog was slow to clear and in some places it never left the coastal strip. I was up there to meet my brother and long standing friend Mark(we met in 1969) for hopefully some serious birding. It was two weeks later than normal but as you know 2 weeks is a long time when it comes to bird migration. We saw hardly any waders apart from the regular breeders. The reed beds were fairly quiet, Reedlings kept in cover Bitterns booomed, although one did fly quite some distance over Hickling NNT Reserve. The only rarity and there were only 3 that put in appearances along the coast was a Black-eared Wheatear at Cart Gap. There was a chance that I could have made that if I hadn't headed to Kelling Heath earlier that morning. The bird was only seen by one observer for 10 mins, that would have been about the time it would have taken me to get there from my house. Never mind, another will be a long later.

Below is a pictorial review of 3 days that I managed to get some birding in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Regent's Park

Regent's Park 17th & 23rd May 

Migration has slowed as it always does in the middle of May. There is the chance that something exciting will turn up and if you scroll down through my recent photos you will see that I got lucky on a sunny stroll through the park with my wife.

 While a pair of Grey Wagtails were collecting insects from the pond by the Nature Study Centre another pair were feeding young near the Bandstand,

Swift's and House Martin's are back and hopefully breeding nearby. The House Martin numbers are very low, the most that I have seen together is 6.

 Somebody must have dumped this strange object on the main lake. It has spent the passed few days in almost exactly the same spot on the Bandstand Island. The Greylag was plucking feathers from a gander that came to close. 

 A Magpie was goading the female Kestrel. 

While walking around the eastern side of the Open Spaces I spotted this Red Kite.  My wife asked what is it and I said a Red Kite, she then said there was another one nearby. I found the bird she was looking at but it was no Red Kite it was a Honey Buzzard and the Kite didn't want to share air space with it and began chasing it.  Well that was a sight I thought I'd never witness over London.

While the above interaction was going on this pair of Common Buzzards were going through a courtship display. 

There are only 2 pairs of Great crested Grebe's on the lake, they both have only managed to rear 1 chick, that is if they survive. There used to be up to 6 pairs breed on the lake and rearing the majority of their brood. Nowadays possibly because there aren't enough suitable sized fish they are struggling.

 I have mentioned "inappropriate bird feeding" before, Heron's are not a sociable species and can inflict damage on each other with there sharp bills.