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Sunday, January 21, 2018

A shortened weekend in Norfolk

A shortened weekend in Norfolk

What with the weather being dull except for the Friday afternoon and the forecast of snow we cut short our weekend and came home on Sunday morning.
It wasn't a complete let down as I managed to get to Waxham late on Friday afternoon but thankfully the sun was still shining. The target bird here was a Hume's Leaf Warbler but where was it. In previous days it would wander along about 1/2 a mile of dune's where a band of trees and scrub was providing enough food and cover. Once out of the car I looked along the area and noticed 2 birders with bins and cameras raised. A quick 5 minute walk and the bird was performing just in front of us, feeding on the ground amongst the vegetation.

Hume's Leaf Warbler

The light was still okay when I left the Hume's so I thought I would call in at the Snow Buntings on the beach at  Eccles on Sea. It was only a short drive away and I can never get enough of these buntings.

Can you see the pinkies?

There were over 70 birds on the beach.

The Turnstone's are always worth a look at just in case their Purple friend has joined them.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Water Rails in the Rail Ditch so far in 2018

Water Rails in the Rail Ditch area 2

The weather so far this year has been more wet than cold, although we have had 2 nights where the temperature dropped below freezing this caused the ditch to ice over. There are still 2 birds present here and the one in the Wetalnd Pen can still be seen looking through the gap in the hedge. There is more good news to report a fourth bird is in the reed bed south of the Boat House Cafe. 
The 2 birds in the area 2 normally keep a healthy distant, the bird nearest the bridge being more dominant. There are times when they may accidentally bump into each other, if this happens both birds retreat into the reeds, the bird from the far end has to swim and run. The bird nearest the bridge has been seen eating small fish which he catches on the lakeside edge of his reed bed or sometimes he has been seen flying into the reeds on the end of Hanover Island. The other day I watched him struggling to swallow what I think may have been a small Perch, eventually managing too. Then some I wasn't expecting he uncovered another fish that he must have stashed earlier. I hadn't realised this was something they did, it does explain how he came by a fish I saw him pull out of some vegetation a couple of weeks ago. Vocally the birds don't often utter their pig like squeal but if you are familiar with their contact call you can here this quite often. 

Below are some slightly better images of the birds, mainly to dominant one

It's not often that the birds get this close to each other

The light is often tricky but this shows the bird using the feeding station

If the weather is cold I put some food on the ground but this can attract unwanted species such as Carrion Crow and Egyptian Goose so I don't do it daily.

These images show the bird eating 2 fish

The top bird is alert because the bird from the far end of the Rail Ditch has come down for some food.


They bird below I believe is a male as his undertail feathers are more contrasting and striking

I have included this photo showing The Birds of Regent's Park, written by Rolfe Green with drawings by Maggie Silver. If you are interested there you can pick up a free copy from the Parks Office, which is on the Inner Circle next to the top of Chester Road. The office is open 8.30am to 3.30pm weekdays only

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

We see the New Year in up in Norfolk

2017 ends in Norfolk and 2018 starts 

We spent 5 days in Norfolk but the changeable weather meant I was unable to get out as much as I would have liked. When the sun did shine I took advantage of the better light to take these photos

This adult Mediterranean Gull flew past Walcott 

Snow Bunting on the beach at Eccles-on-sea 

These and a 15 more Snow Buntings were feeding on the sandstone cliff face nearer Happisburgh

There are almost 50 Snow Buntings in this picture there were at least a further 40 on the shingle just a few strides away.

5 Bewick's Swan came in off the sea and flew over me, how considerate.


Leucistic Chaffinch


The gull in the middle struck me as being different to the others, unfortunately it flew off as I was getting out of the car to take a better look.

Grey Seals on the beach at Waxham 

This female looks as if she was injured in fishing netting