Sunday, 23 February 2014

North Norfolk Trip

Saturday 22nd Feb 2014.
A trip to North Norfolk with Paul and Brendan. On route we decided to keep a "day list" which we started just the other side of Ely (Cambs). All of the following were seen from the car before we made our first stop. Buzzard, Rook, Mistle Thrush, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant, Black-headed Gull, Starling, Magpie, Tufted Duck, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

We had an idea our route to Norfolk might take us close to Welney so we decided to take a slight detour to view the fields hoping for some wild Swans. At first we found just a few Mutes but then in a field near Ten Mile Bank about a dozen Hoopers were grazing. Also on the telephone wires in this area a Corn Bunting. Added to our "day list" in this area were; Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Red-legged Partridge, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Corn Bunting, Fieldfare, Whooper Swan, Little Egret, Great Tit, Stock Dove, Pied wagtail, Mallard, Robin, Greylag Goose.

Next up was a spot of kerb crawling around the Wolferton or Golden Triangle, near Sandringham. Again no luck with Golden Pheasant although we did add a Great Black Backed Gull to our day list seen in a field near to Wolferton.

We then headed for Titchwell next with a stop at Choseley. 2 nice male Brambling were the best birds seen here. Also added to our day list at Choseley; Common Gull, Yellowhammer, Golden Plover, Dunnock, Lapwing, Greenfinch, Brambling, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Oystercatcher.

At Titchwell nothing too exciting, Velvet Scoter probably the best on offer. Added to our day list at Titchwell; Curlew, Redshank, Blue Tit, Avocet, Shelduck, Teal, Wigeon, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Moorhen, Coot, Gadwall, Shoveler, Brent Goose, Pintail, Snipe, Cormorant, Turnstone, Sanderling, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Kestrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Grebe.

Next was a stop at Holkham Pines. No sign of any Rough-legged Buzzard, over 100 White-fronted Goose the best here. Also added to our day list at Holkham; Marsh Harrier, White-fronted Goose, Egyptian Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Ruff, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk. Interestingly on a quick stop between Holkham and Wells on route to Holt Country Park we noted a Small Tortoishell!

At Holt Country Park or more accurately Edgefield we failed to see any Parrot Crossbill in the hour and a half we were there. We did manage 3 Common Crossbill including a male that showed well for about an hour. Additions to our day list here; Common Crossbill, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit.

Our final stop of the day and a decent one at that was Stiffkey. Hen Harrier (2m and 1 ringtail) and a male Merlin were a nice end to our day. Well done if you managed to get all the way down to the bottom of this post! Paul F's the pics below.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

RFB uncropped pics

Some uncropped pics of yesterdays Red-flanked Bluetail.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Red-flanked Bluetail north of Marshfield, Gloucestershire

A couple of hours in the Shire Valley, Gloucestershire with Paul F this morning. The Red-flanked Bluetail stayed in cover most of the time so photo opportunities were fairly limited. However, I did manage the over-cropped pics of my usual standard below. Also added to my year list here were Raven and Grey Wagtail.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Keyhaven/Pennington then Shatterford

Another day in Hampshire with Paul F. First stop was Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes. Lots of birds on offer here. The best of which were Slavonian Grebe and Great Northern Diver. Other birds seen here; Collared Dove, Bullfinch (of course!), Curlew, Ruff, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Magpie, Blackbird, Oystercatcher, Greenfinch, Redshank, Dunlin, Canada Goose, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Pintail, Wood Pigeon, Linnet, Golden Plover, Robin, Brent Goose, Little Egret, Coot, Turnstone, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Red-breasted Merganser, Lesser black-Backed Gull, Grey Plover, Carrion Crow, Great-crested Grebe, Goldfinch. Then over to Shatterford for another look for the elusive Great-grey Shrike. On route at Lymington we saw 4 Little Grebe from the car and also nearby Jackdaw and Rook. At Shatterford we headed for Bishops Dyke and as last week no luck with Great-grey Shrike. Quite an unproductive walk until we reached Denny Wood where things picked up slightly with Redwing, Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Marsh Tit. Then on the walk back across the heath a Stonechat showed well and as an added bonus it had 2 Dartford Warbler in tow. Time for home now and a Sparrowhawk somewhere near Aldershot was added to our day list.
A good day with Ruff, Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser and Marsh Tit all year ticks.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Scotsbridge/Stockers/Troy Mill

First stop Scotsbridge Mill near Rickmansworth. No Grey Wagtail but birds of interest; Herring Gull, Ring-necked Parakeet, Little Egret, Green Sandpiper, Red Kite. At one stage the Green Sandpiper was being chased by a Magpie. At Scotsbridge I bumped into Geoff Chapstick he declined my offer of a lift to Stockers as he was keen to use his bus pass.
The walk along the track towards Stockers Farm was eventful as a runaway horse headed straight for me. A young girl was in hot pursuit and for a split second I did think of trying to halt the horses progress. Then common sense and fear intervened and I got out of its way! Thankfully it stopped near the pumping station where horse and rider where re-united.
At Stockers Lake lots of flooding and a couple of trees down. No Grey Wagtail near the lock keepers cottage. Goldcrest and Red-crested Pochard (9) were additions to my year list. I met Paul and a quick chat with Geoff Lapwing and Tony H before a brief visit to Troy Mill. As at Stockers heavy flooding at Troy Mill meant very limited access, only a Kingfisher of note here.

Paul's Kingfisher at Broadwater below