short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Last bit of Birding before the end of year!

  Bank holiday Tuesday me & Caterina were invited to Matt & Gabby's house for a walk , followed by lunch. Matt owns a Farm in South Norfolk with plenty of land to investigate so i brought me Binoculars along to see what was about! Matt led the way around the Farmland ,along with Caterina, Gabby, plus little baby Ava who didn't last too long bless her, before needing some feeding & a nap,which meant the girls turning back, leaving the men to continue on!

The route which would consist of plenty of Hedge Rows, Wooded areas and of course lots of open fields . We quickly picked up, Pied WagtailCollar Dove,Blackbirds, Dunnock & other common shrub birds but the first real treat was a cracking view of a Goldcrest! It was just on the edge of a small wooded area , searching for food among some plants low to the ground (unlike my previous views, where it had been amongst tit flocks high up in the trees) . We were able to get up really close to this, Britain's smallest bird.,enjoying its very busy ,hyperactive life style, often hoovering for a bit, before grabbing what there was from under the leaves. A nice bird with  a great hair do!
 We continued on and while walking around the fields edge we flushed out 3x Snipe, 1x Woodcock , around 50x Red legged Partridges & lots of Common Pheasants. As we got towards the track leading to the old Barn sheds we noticed a bird filtering through the Hedge. A white rump was shown as it flew away, quickly followed by another and another. I recognised the quiet piping` call , and once getting the bins on it , i was indeed looking at a stunning Male Bull finch!  In fact 2x Male`s & 1x Female. We watched them from a small distance as they are known for being a very shy & secretive bird , in fact hard to see out of Winter season when the leaves come back & the hedge rows covered.  So it was really nice to catch up with my favourite British bird again and especially the Males gorgeous Rose Pink breast , against the Grey on the back- Cracking bird!
 We continued on , picking up Chaff Finch & Green Finches  and on coming towards the Barns , finding yet more Bull Finches!! I was getting a little over excited as i`d only ever seen 3 in one day before ,so was really made up, not only for myself  but for the species its self, as it was obviously enjoying the Farms peaceful & rich offering of food to be such good numbers. We walked more and in total counted  11x Bull Finches . Giving me and Matt some great views and plenty to talk about .
On way back up the drive to his house i got Reed Bunting in the trees & 3x Tree Sparrows amongst a flock of 40x House Sparrows- Another good bird not to be taken for granted ,as there`ve had a huge decline in recent years. All in all a good walk and a nice day list of 29 different species. I think me & Matt had earned our lunch!!!

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