Saturday, 12 November 2011

Holme Sweet Holme

A days birding in you know where with Brendan G and Dave J.
First stop was Holme Dunes. We parked up in Thornham Harbour and headed over to the dunes at Holme NWT. We were soon onto a male Desert Wheatear, see poor quality pics below. The light was really bad and coupled with the way the bird was camouflaged in the sand and shingle getting a good shot was not easy. Either that or I have "all the gear but no idea!" The Desert Wheatear was feeding with a Northern Wheatear along a shingle ridge, they appeared to be eating live mealworms. I can only assume someone had put the mealworms out earlier that morning.
Also noted at Holme were the following; Bar Tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Knot, Long Tailed Duck (m and f), Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Eider, Peregrine (m and f), Red Breasted Merganser, Red Throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe (3), 50+Little Gulls, Guillemot, Pomarine Skua, Gannet, Goldeneye, Teal, Wigeon, Great Crested Grebe, Fieldfare, Redwing, Brent Goose, Reed Bunting.

At Holme lots of Thrush's were coming in off the sea, a birder standing next to us alerted us to a Peregrine persuing a Blackbird. The Peregrine attacked the Blackbird knocking it into the sea, the Blackbird managed to get out of the sea and began flying again, this time the Peregrine came back and knocked the bird back into the sea at the same time flipping it onto it's back. As the unfortunate Blackbird lay dazed and confused in the sea the Peregrine came back and plucked it from the water and took onto the beach. No sooner had the Peregrine started to devour it's prey when another Peregrine a somewhat bigger bird and presumably a female appeared on the scene. It landed next to the smaller male Peregrine (tiercel) forcing it to give up it's prey. Both Peregrine's then flew off when disturbed by dog walkers, the female taking her prey with her.
Another Blackbird was flying in off the sea when it was subjected to some persistant mobbing by a gull. The exhausted bird landed on the beach only for a dog to come and have a go at it, luckily the dog owners called it away. The Blackbird remained on the beach for a while but after a short time it had disappeared.

Next stop was Titchwell. We parked up in the overflow car park and made our way towards the visitor centre, we had just reached the main car park when another birder alerted us to 7 Waxwings perched in a tree, we had brief views before they flew off towards Thornham. We made our way onto the reserve where we noted the following; Chiffchaff, Cetti's Warbler (several calling), Pintail, c1,000 Golden Plover, Avocet, Water Rail, Brent Goose, 3 White Fronted Goose, 20+ Little Gulls, Short Eared Owl, Knot, Bar tailed Godwit, Red Throated Diver, Red Breasted Merganser, 25 Eider, 2 Scaup (f), Goldeneye, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, Little Grebe, no sign of Yellow Browed Warbler.

From Titchwell we made our way to Choseley, here we noted the following; 11 Grey Partridge, Red Legged Partridge, c300 Pink Footed Goose, 4 White Fronted Goose, Marsh Harrier.

Whilst at Choseley a message came through of a sighting of Yellow Browed Warbler at Titchwell, so we made our way back there. On arrival we saw 10 Waxwing fly over the car park. Then a pager message of a Hoopoe at Holme had us back in the car and heading back to Holme. Here we joined around 30 other birders but in about an hour and a half until darkness fell we could not locate the Hoopoe. We did manage to connect with 3 possibly 4 Barn Owl, 3 Marsh Harrier, Kestrel. One of the Barn Owls was mobbed by a Marsh Harrier and at one stage a Magpie also got involved in the fracas.

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