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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Little Bittern

Little Bitter - photo by Steve Grimwade
Little Bittern site at Lakenheath Fen
Had a fun day in Norfolk yesterday. After dropping my brother and his friend off at Stanstead Airport at 05:00 am I headed to Norfolk. Just before Sandringham I noticed a Barn Owl on a sign and turned around. To my utter amazement it stayed long enough for me to get a few photos. Great start to my day!



En-route to Titchwell Marsh I picked up a few farmland birds including Corn Bunting, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Skylark and Yellowhammer.

Corn Bunting

Pheasant

Red-legged Partridge
Chaffinch
 There was a good variety of birds at Tichwell as always - 11 Little Gull was nice.

Little Egret at Titchwell

Pied Wagtail
Redshank
Next stop was Cley Marshes. Red-necked Phalarope on the North Scrape was a British lifer and 2 Little Stint seen from the East Bank was an added bonus!

East Bank - Cley Marshes
After a bit of back-tracking and another hours drive I stopped at Weeting Heath and picked up Stone Curlew for the year before heading for to Lakenheath Fen for a worth while twitch! A male Little Bittern has been calling and 'occasionally' showing for the last few days. I didn't hold out too much hope, having dipped 3 times in Somerset for this species. However, I was there and it was worth a try. Horror stories of 8 hour waits and 2 second sightings were ringing in my ears as I passed dejected souls walking back to their cars. This wasn't my story though. On arrival the bird was vocalizing continually, kind of bark, and only 3 minutes into the vigil it got up and gave a massive 5 second flight...brilliant! cracking view and no sun burn this time... 

Swallow Birding Holidays




Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Citril Finch


An absolutely MEGA rare bird turned up in Norfolk during our birding trip which 'slightly' changed the dynamics of the day. Jonno Dudley and I had been birding Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve and were heading to Cley Marshes when I checked RBA. Citril Finch has only ever been recorded in the UK once before - Fair Isle 2008, which meant that this bird was going to be very sort after.Citril Finch News

Sedge Warbler

Avocet

Grey Partridge

Chinese Water Deer
Our day started early and put us near NE of Chosleley drying barns near Titchwell around 08:30 am. Here we connected with 24 reported Dotterel! Nice scope views but distance and light didn't allow record shots. Grey Partridge showed here which is always nice to see. Titchwell had all the regulars for this time of year but not too many photo opportunities. After finding out about the finch we headed straight to Bunham Overy and a half hour walk.



On arrival there was already a good crowd gathered and luckily all keeping there distance while the bird showed; feeding on the ground. An amazing rarity that was only around until Sunday early morning then disappeared.  Cley Marshes was pretty quiet though we added a few more day birds. 86 species for the day. 






Monday, May 4, 2015

Bluebells



Spent an hour walking around Winkworth Arboretum this morning with Lori. 32 species noted - beautiful grounds if you like a walk in the woods. 


Mandarin

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Hudsonian Godwit

Hudsonian Godwit
Today I joined the Tice's Meadow Crew on a day trip to do a little birding with a sprinkle of twitching. We connected early morning with the MEGA HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Meare Heath in Somerset then headed to Greylake RSPB where we got brief but definitive views of a drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL + Yellow Wagtail and Raven.


Rich M, Rich S, Rich H and DAVE!

Great Egret
 After a touch of breakfast we headed out onto Salisbury Plain - birds of note included Whinchat, Grey Partridge, Wheatear, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting. 

Corn Bunting



Hare


Whinchat