16th March

Hi after a long weekend up in Norfolk that proved quite rewarding with 110 species being recorded. The weather was wet for the first part of the trip through the Brecklands on the Friday. This meant that I had to rethink our itinerary. We did manage to get Hawfinch, Crossbills, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tits and 5 Waxwings before picking up the fourth member of the group. From here we headed to Lady Anne’s Drive Holkham hoping for some grey geese. I was amazed when none were on view. It could have been that I normally see them in February and by this time of the year they are on their way back north. Drawing a blank here we headed to Titchwell RSPB reserve, with the first thing on the agenda being a bit of lunch. After which we headed down the path to the beach, the water level on the fresh marsh was rather high so waders were few. Some Avocets were back and the odd Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit. Ducks included Goldeneye, pr Red crested Pochards plus some splendid looking drake Pintail. There was not an awful lot on the sea apart from a raft of over 1000 Common Scoter, when they took off we did see one Velvet Scoter before they quickly landed. Late afternoon was spent looking for raptors coming to roost at Stiffkey. This was a little disappointing  with only 1f Hen Harrier and 1f Merlin coming in. It could be that the cold weather we have experienced this year moved them on. We spent the evening drinking in The Railway Inn in Docking, before retiring to our nearby B&B. The following day we started with off at Salthouse and the Snow Buntings, before popping a long to Sherringham for the 1st winter Glaucous Gull, which showed nicely just above the breaking waves. From here it was off to the Norfolk Broads for Whooper and Bewick’s Swan, this flock had also reduced from the 200+ of three weeks ago to 30 birds. Our last port of call was Stubb’s Mill hoping for Common Crane, we only saw to distant birds and harriers too were disappointing with no more than 30 seen and no Hens or Merlin, though we did leave slightly early. The Sunday was spent back in the Brecks, no Hawfinch this time but plenty of Crossbills, Bramblings, 2 Woodlarks and one 1st year male Goshawk.   


I would like to thank Dave for these Snow Bunting pictures

snow2 DSCN7112




Birds present in the park today.

Smew: female still present, though spending more time around area 5

Sparrowhawk: A pair in area 1

Kestrel: Three were in area 25, so tensions were high.

Stonechat: A stunning adult male, was the second spring record since 1965.

Skylark: One flew over calling at 9.25am.

Linnet: One flew west at 11.50am.

Lesser Redpoll: One was feeding in area 26.


Female Kestrel above and stunning Stonechat below




Just to prove it is Regent’s Park, there is the Mosque in the above photo and the Elephant House in the lower.





Harry said…
I had a stonechat in my garden in Dulwich today as well!

And there was one at Wormwood Scrubs and one at the WWT Barnes, as well.
Debbie Pledge said…
I have been very lucky and had a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in my garden in Wembley for two weeks, using the feeder. Really close views. Not seen since Friday so I think it has moved on now.
Hi Harry.

Have you planted your garden out as heathland or coastal Cornwall. That is a great bird for a garden list.

Hi Debbie.
I hope all is well with you and what a great garden bird. It might not have moved to far away and if like the Great Spot here could bring its family to your garden. Have you heard any drumming?

Debbie Pledge said…
I am well thank you. My best ever garden bird. One of the notable features of the bird was how quiet it was. It never made a sound. The only drumming I have heard is Great Spot. Might listen to my CD again though just to make sure it is Great Spot.
castlehaven said…
Great Stonechat! By chance, had a 1W female on Hampstead Heath the day before yesterday, so they are all on the move...