short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A very late weekly round up and a super hours birding.....

  So my working days have started off each morning  with a quick butchers at the flock of Waxwings that have been resident at York street which happens to be round the corner from me. The most I've had was 17 and even little George got to enjoy there charismatic behaviour from the warmth of his buggy!
An unusual sighting on Saturday off Limetree ave with a flock of  7 x Stock doves feeding among some Wood Pigeons and a few Gulls on a small  green. I no off two pairs that bred round here in the summer but this was the highest count I've had around this way.
Now to the weekends action !
I was busy at work listening to the  north London derby on the old wireless when the Dog started going off. It was Jim calling to alert me to a certain Surf Scoter , along with a Richards Pipit and a Rose coloured Starling being reported on the coast. All three would be lifers for me so  I took the  bait & decided to pull my finger out and get done super quick and head off.
I decided to go for the Rose Coloured Starling first and depending on how easy it was to pin down I'd try to head for the coast for the other goodies .
Well on arrival I was greeted by familiar, smiling faces in Justin & Andy. They soon put me in the right direction along with some very handy info on where to park for the Surf Scoter  ( top blokes!)
There was already a small gathering and I was kindly told to look through  Mikes(birders are such friendly folk aren't they?!)  scope who  had it in view. Great views as it made its way along the fence and  to the feeders. After chatting to the lads around me about the surf Scoter , including James , I got itchy feet & nipped off.

Luckily Jim was there still and as I approached he greeted me with a view of a Richards pipit ( what a guy!)
I got brief views as it made its way along the coastal paths edge . Now to the sea!
The Surf Scoter was in among a flock of around a dozen common Scoters and wasn't easy to pick out  on my bins but lucky for me Jim was on hand again with his scope and I so had the bird in view. Having not had much time over the  last 3 months to get to the coast , this much needed visit gave me  3 quality birds to see and made up for a quiet autumn for myself .
It was simply a super hours birding and great to be amongst such friendly & helpful birders.
Happy birding

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Back out birding !

A damp and cold week at work which produced nothing in the form of birds until Friday where I had two calling Grey Wagtails along the river near the cock pub in Lakenham and later on that day a flock of 50+ Golden Plover over ,heading south. I also was pleased to see my letter had been published in this months Birdwatching magazine about the joy of watching ,with my son George ,the birds feed on our feeders at home .
 After a wet mornings work on Saturday I meet up with Matt at Strumpshaw fen . I arrived at a rather full Fen hide where Matt had already  picked up on the rather smart Water Pipit and kindly pointed it out. This was by best views yet of this species I've had. Matt told me how i had just missed out on 2 Bitterns in flight and that there were a flock of Waxwings outside. I picked them up soon after , 17 in total and very obligin they were too !

Poor light but that didnt bother the Waxwings
As we made our way up to the Tower hide we picked up a passing Kingfisher along river , a flock of Fieldfare, Marsh Harriers , redwings and a rather showy Cettis  . From the Tower hide we meet David who showed us the area the Jack snipe was last seen , so we begun to wait for it show again-Well it didn't, at least not for us , but there were plenty of Common snipe of hand ( 22 at one count) but not the Jack I wanted to see.Also  lots of Teal on the water with a good number of Shoveler and of course  the ever present Marsh Harriers overhead.
We decided to walk back and check out Buckenham marshes. We picked up a nice Siskin among a flock of Gold finches( my first of the autumn/winter and a huge amount of Wigeon along with the regulars but No sign of the hoped for Peregrine or Merlin . 
As we had a snack ,we saw that the Jack snipe was being reported again at the Tower hide so we made out way back there. 
Again seeing the waxwings on route ( what a striking  charismatic bird) .
At the hide I immediately checked out the area we were told about from earlier and there it was ,a Jack Snipe ,out feeding near the waters edge , but not for long as it disappeared behind the reeds and sadly not to appear again.
What was unusual was a Rainbow appearing over the fen as it got dark which made for a nice picture .
Rainbow over the Fen
We had a flock of around 40/50 Greylag drop in and at least 7, possibly 8 x Marsh Harriers coming in as it got dark and as we walked back we saw a Chinese water deer on the path, heard a couple of Water rails along with some Bearded Tits pinging.
A great afternoon and good way to catch up with me mate Matt too .
Happy birding