short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Friday, 25 April 2014


Quick patch visit in hope of views of the Whiskered tern seen at Rockland  yesterday ,( slim chance i know but u gotta be in it to win it, ay?)  gave me my first Whitethroat of the year, followed by a pair of calling Kingfishers which flew over and across the broad and perched in a tree, giving great views.
As I watched the many House martins and swallows over head a singing Willow warbler came from the tree besides me.  As I continued round to the marsh scrape I picked up 4x Blackcaps and at least 5/6 sedge warblers . On the broad a pair of great crested grebes and a pair of Gadwall. On the spit a single Oystercatcher and 3x Stock doves. My first grey lag goslings(3) and also a Kestrel over we're of note. 
But bird of the day and my 100 patch tick was a fly in Whimbrel! 
I watched it come in towards me as i stood at the cattle pen and then drop into the vegetation on the marsh -a really good bird for here. I waited in hope if it showing near the scrape  but i never saw it again .
A superb visit and now for that Whiskered tern to make a appearance :-)
happy birding, 

Monday, 21 April 2014

A Gooseander& more!

Patch visit gave me some much needed patch arrivals.
From the moment I stepped on the broad I could hear a  Sedge warbler along with the sound of a Martin over head. They were House martins passing through east bound along with 3x Swallows. I got to the broad & picked up my first Sedge warbler of year, a great view as it sung on top of the reeds. I knew these had arrived  here end off last week/over the weekend but was unable to get here. A great migrant which now took over, (along with the Blackcaps) from the Chiffchaffs and wrens as the main songster in town .
I picked up the now usual suspects on the spit: oystercatchers , stock doves,lapwings, moorhens & black headed gulls, actually the stock doves  were now numbering 8 which was a good total for this month here.
As I searched more a Common Sandpiper appeared among the vegetation -Cracking bird for this side migration .
 I made my way round, picking up a couple if singing Blackcaps , Reed buntings( not as many as this time last year) and blackbirds(noticeably x6 males which seemed higher then usual) and picked up 7x lapwings taking to the air from the marsh scrape, with 2x grey herons flying above. At this point it started to drizzle so I took shelter under a tree and heard what seemed to be a quietly singing Reed warbler. 
It was then that Sir Bradley rung me ( not the one from sky pro cycling  but the other famous one) to chat all things bird related and a bit of Manchester United ( shame to see them struggle isn't it, he says with a grin!). As I stood listening to the update of what's around and looking upwards, I saw a stunning drake Goosender fly up river over the broad and down to Whitlingham! Superb bird and obviously the same one James had picked up few days ago at whitlingham and in super plumage too. My second record for the patch.It appeared again later heading up river to postwick. I think if Jim hadn't of rung  me I probably would have still been  looking in that area for the Reed warbler .  
5x Sand Martins  were picked up as i made my way Round to bridge again along with 2 x cettis and another Sedge (2/3 in total)  all of which made it a good visit indeed. 
Happy birding 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Weekend driving is ace!

Yes that's right u did read correct, driving in the glorious sunshine is great, that is when u pick the birds up me and the family did. Well actually me & the misses as the little ones were tired out from playing in the pub garden!
First sightings was the regular pair of Stock Doves over Newmarket road and a mobbed Grey Heron over Limetree ave. At stoke I picked a beautiful feeding female Bullfinch as I stopped at a junction and then my first Swallow of the year at some Barns.  Then to as I got off the A47 a total of 6x Common Buzzards over head ( my second biggest count of this species ) . My last bird of the drive was again around dunston where a Kingfisher flew across the road and down into the stream . Beautiful day with some top pub grub , great play with the family and finished off  some cracking sightings , In a word....Pukka!
Happy birding,

Friday, 11 April 2014

Back at the patch

Trip to the patch was as usual a rewarding one
From the bridge i had 3 x common buzzards overhead in the blue sky along with a hunting kestrel along the broad edge
Then as I made by way to the marsh scrape I saw a male marsh harrier come over the river and heading towards where I stood. It came right over me , landing for a half a minute in a small tree along the railway line. I got myself ready for a picture but it took off and slowly made its way towards bungalow lane and then over  west wards. My first marsh harrier here since last summer so a glorious sight! Then a Marsh tit called away near by. I tried but failed to see it so that 100 th patch tick is going to wait .
Just a few lapwings on the shingle spit along with the usual
But a nice pair of linnets in the trees was a nice sight. singing away too while later seen on top of some scrub. Hopefully a potential breeding pair. My visit ended with a cracking view of a Cetti's warbler singing away and a cracking swimming Water Vole , only my 4 th ever sighting since watching the patch so a real treat.
 Luvly jubly as our favourite  rogue trader would say.
Happy birding

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Patch visit ....

Patch visit today in the beautiful sunshine with hope of catching up with willow warbler, blackcap and possible red kite. Well two out of three wasn't bad. At least 3/4 blackcaps seen but alot more heard from the Whitlingham side of river. Just the one  Willow warbler and a single Green sandpiper on the shingle spit. No sign this afternoon of any LRPs but just a single Pied wagtail on the marsh scrape.
There was  3x common buzzards overhead and a kestrel enjoying the weather as was the butterflies: lots of small tortoiseshell and brimstone . 
On the broad was a total of 62x Tufted ducks, 3x shovelers , 2x teal  and 4x great crested grebes among the usual. 
2x oystercatchers were bathing along with 3x lapwings also on the broad edge. 
A good day to be out birding the patch.
Happy birding