short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

October sightings at the Patch.....

  So autumn arrives and too the birds, with returning wildfowl along with some bird species gathering to roost and of course migrating birds.
 Starting with the broad and of note was the return of these 3 species of duck:
Shovelers on the 13th (2 birds) which increased to 9 birds on the 30th. 
Pochard - 2 birds seen on the 19th and increasing to 17 birds on the 30th.
Wigeon- single bird seen on the 26th , not always an easy bird to get here but usually one or two birds lingering if patient enough to search through the resting gadwall and Tufted ducks .
Also of note was the  Tufted duck counts- total of  32 on the 3rd ,91 on the 19th and a high of 133 on the 27th!!
Little Egret
A Little egret was present on the 11th and too a Little Grebe on the 27th . The later often seen on river but not on broad until winter so a nice sight .
 Gulls were as usual seen regularly loathing around on the Shingle beach or on water itself .Usually Black Headed gulls but on the n the 27th a notable count of 47x Herring gulls was of note.
 Onto the marsh flood and a notable highlight was a  Jack Snipe on the waters edge bobbing on the 11th . After I found one in spring in the same area I'm now hoping for more sightings of this smartly marked bird. 
Water Rail numbers were up from 3 to 4 birds on the 30th and a total of 4 x Common Snipe on the same date .
Common Snipe
 Now probably my 2 highlights of the autumn /winter .
Firstly the return of the pair of Stonechats, firstly seen  on the 27th (of note a single reported bird seen on the 15th) , this I assume is the pair that choose to winter here last year so I hope to be seeing these for the next through months !
Male and Female Stonechat

 Now to my other highlight which was on the 30 th . Chippy had mentioned that he had seen a couple of Grey wagtails over bungalow lane near dusk and along with a message Justin lansdell of where he suggested the roost was ,i set my self up in position as the light dropped.  Soon enough single birds came in and a small group of 4 birds . Total count of 11 Grey Wagtails roosted but possibly 13 (2 birds seen late which came from nearby roost area) . Great to see and have them roost at the patch .
Also of note at roost is the Meadow pipits. Always a good number here in winter and I counted at least 29 birds come into roost before dusk.
A quick mention to the Redwings which have been hitting the coast and trickling in across land ,with small flocks going head on most visits towards the end of the month. Also of mention  too is the Siskin which ive  heard and seen a few times but spending most time over in Whitlingham .
And to end this Round up off i'll end with a nice sighting on the 27th, of my favorite British bird , the Bullfinch. I had 3 individuals making there way through the bushes on the broad edge and always a a pleasure to see!
 So all in all October has been a great time to be at the patch !
Happy birding 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

North /East Norfolk coast.....

  So I met up with Matthew shore at the north Norfolk coast on 6th October and started off meeting him up on the "Little eye". A new spot for me & I quickly see why he enjoys it so much.  Great view point and nice location.  The winds were north west so not the best but not the worse at all so I scanned away . Matt had started early and already had a Sooty Shearwater and Bonxies among lots of Auks. I enjoyed the steady flow of Guilemonts along with Red throated Divers,Gannets and flocks of Wigeon and Teal.  Also a rather tired looking Turnstone sat resting on the shingle . 


We decided to check out Gramborough Hill for a bit but it was completely quiet of any birds other then some Stonechats.  
We decided to decide where to head next while we are lunch. Seeing there was a Red necked Phalarope at Kelling Quags, we decided to head straight there.  As we approached we scanned the south of the water . Couple of Common snipe and a smart Greenshank before I picked up a couple of Dunlin and a Curlew sandpiper. My first CS of the year and a nice bird indeed.  We continued round and was greeted with superb, close views of the Red necked Phalarope ! We enjoyed Superb views and too the 4 birders 
who were also there.  
Red Necked Phalarope

Red necked phalarope video :-

After half hour we scanned away and was soon on 2x Spotted Redshanks- a smart adult along with a Juvenile .
With me needing to be back in Norwich for 5.30pm I decided to pop into Cley on route home with matt.   Glad I did as the Little stints were putting on a nice show ! At least 20+ were counted .  Also 5x Juv Ruff (2 Ruff seen earlier at Kelling) bookended a nice day up on the North Norfolk coast.  Great to catch up with Matt and enjoy a new place too in "Little Eye".
Happy birding