short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Janaurys Patch Sightings.......

  Will January started off cold and wet , with a lot of high water levels on the River Yare which meant a lot of flooding, particularly on the Marsh. Also a few light snow showers and couple of hard frosts but that said we escaped the worse of it ( up north had it quite bad with heavy snow falls).

Marsh and footpaths flooded

As usual the Broad was where the action was......
Shovelers counts of 30 on the 8th and around 16 on the 23rd with Pochard up to 46 on the 8th but dropping off to 19 by end of month.
Teal numbers as usual hard to count but around 37 on the 23rd was nice.
Tufted duck was around 19 but up to 34 on the 23rd. Gadwall were in highest numbers though with 45 at start of month and on 23rd up to 62 .
Also of note was 3x Little Grebes present on each visits and Lapwings seen on the 8th and 23rd, a count of 9 on the latter.
Highest counts of Coot were on the 8th of 26 and 2x Common Snipe were seen on the 8th.
A notable count of 14x  Mallards were seen on the 8th which was nice . Although common on Thorpe River Green just further along River never that many seen on the Broad during the day ( numbers do arrive on to marsh at dusk though )
Also 18 x Herring Gulls was of note ,gathered on the West beach of broad on the 23rd.
Great Crested Grebes as always present, an Adult bird and what looks to be a 1st Winter bird seen on every visit too.
Nice to see hear and see the Grey Wagtails still present with 2 birds seen on the 8th and 3 on the 23rd.

Grey Wagtail

The month ended cold but with sunny days and some picturesque moments given.  A added bonus was my beloved West Ham United went the Month unbeaten and up to 11th in the league (started the month in relegation position) so Moyes seems to be sorting it out a bit!
Happy birding
Ricky ⚒

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

December's Patch Highlights-A new species for the patch and more!

December had its cold weeks and some mild days which brought plenty of rain.  I managed to get soaked on one visit and extremely cold on the others but it had its rewards!

much of the marsh is now flooded. Wellies are a must!
As expected the broad was where most of the action was at, with good numbers of Wildfowl. 
One highlight was my personal  highest count of Shovelers for the year and possibly for patch in the 7 years I've been recording here.
On the 30th I had a total of 25 which is up on my personal highest yearly count which was 17 on the 1st of November , so all good.

Shoveler Ducks
Also of note the Pochards were still in good numbers with 55 on the 5th and up to 69 on the 12th. 
Teal were as usual hard to count as so many resting up in among the Broads edge . A total of  at least 51 on the 12th and 43 on the 30 th which could easily be doubled with so many coming out as I finished my counts typically ! 
Tufted duck numbers were lower then previous month but that said they do seem to favour Whitlingham broad and numbers at Thorpe Broad only seem to be high ive found from experience if a disturbance or event is on at Whitlingham. Highest count was on the 12th with 26.
There was most noticeably a influx of Gadwall on the Broad compared to Novembers counts. 
On the 5th there were 88 , 139 on the 12th & 102 on the 30th  . 
Little Grebes were seen every visit with 3 on the 12th  and at least 3x Water Rails were heard on every visit too .
Other things of note were 4x Lapwings on the 30th, 4x Common Snipe on the 12th and 2x Grey wagtails on each visit coming in to roost some where up river . 
Highlight of the month for me though was the male Bearded tit which had been seen around  the middle of the month (13th )and while resting up at home feeling sorry for myself on the 22nd ,after being very ill the previous day I was alerted that it was showing "very well" ! I tried to resist but after speaking to Justin on the phone  and then hearing James had seen it too I dragged me self down there. Arrived to see Justin who assured me it would be worth the efforts and true it was ! The bird spent around 5 minutes along the ditch in front of us giving superb views ! 
(photo curtesy of Justin  Lansdell) Male Bearded Tit - no.122 for the patch life list
This was my 122 species for the patch ,Thorpe Marsh/broad and one I wasn't expecting, so  you can imagine I went home very chuffed if not a little drained for me efforts ! 
Of note a Kingfisher dropped into the ditch where we stood and around 20+ Siskins were seen which was around 25 on the 30 th.
All in all a good month to be at the patch!
Happy birding and a happy new year to all