short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Patching and a bit of Norwich Twitching!

So last weeks 2 patch visits were rather quiet . A few highlights being 2x very Vocal Water Rails, 4x Gadwall  ,3x Common Snipe ,4x Stock Dove ,3x Cettis and a Green woodpecker which decided to drop down onto the path in front of me,ok not rare but my closest encounter of this bird at the patch.

Green Woodpecker on Station Marsh Path
3x Common Snipe
 So that leaves me with just to mention a smart bird that I saw on Friday 21st. I got a phone call from Jake to say a Great Grey Shrike had been reported at UEA.Not being prescribed to any bird report alerts, this was very much appreciated and I happened to have just finished work off Bluebell road so was there in 10 minute's. I soon saw a few local birders all walking around the Lusty Hill area as I walked past the rugby pitches. I bumped into the finder who worked at the Uni and pointed me into the direction the bird had flown in. I soon was standing in a small gated off area with the handful of birders. I got my scope out and was pointed to where it perched, being harassed by the Blackbirds.You simply cant deney this is an absolute cracker of a bird and enjoyed watching it with a few familiar faces in Gary White as well as James Emerson who arrived as I was about to leave.  Drew,Micheal,Alex  and Jake turned up all getting good views of the Shrike as it flew out into the trees nearby.

Great Grey Shrike
  All in all a great bird and to see it so close to the city centre and to have given so many birders a nice local twitch.

 Happy birding

Friday, 21 October 2016

October- Trips to the cem and Twitching in Yorkshire ....

  So the last 2 weeks have seen plenty of great birds hitting the country and particularly the east cost l decided to nip off work early a couple of times, once on the 7th and then the 13th October and with only a few hours I headed to the closest good habitat on the east coast to me.  So I picked Great Yarmouth and the cemetery which is a great place for a migrant or two to drop into .  I was quickly standing and watching  a tree full of Goldcrests , heard a firecrest in there but couldn't  pick it up unfortunately . As I walked further round it seemed every tree had a shed load of Goldcrest and as I stood trying to pick something else out I bumped into local birder Tommy ( top bloke!)  We got gassin and were soon watching a Yellow browed warbler , & soon  2!  We made our way to the north section and as we did I picked up Yet more Goldcrests.
 As we continued round and other then a lot of Robins, chiff chaffs and yet more Goldcrests nothing more of interest was seen .
 My second trip on Thursday last week , it was  noticeabe for there being less Goldcrests but an influx of more Robins .  I was joined by Drew as walked round ( nice to catch up with yeh again fella) and we were soon watching a cracking male Brambling which dropped into treetop above us. Then in the south section we both watched as a Woodcock was flushed and flew across our view - Stonking bird in my opinion !
 Drew picked out a flying Med Gull and we both heard a calling Grey wagtail.  Nothing more of note although a nice Marsh Harrier hunting along acle straight and a large flock of Golden Plover 
    Now to something a little different . Yorkie ring me this Saturday evening telling me he was going to twitch the Siberian Accentor up in East Yorkshire and wondered if I fancied joining him? Of course the thought of spending a day with yeh best mate and seeing a cracking rare bird among other migrant  birds doesn't take much thinking about but it was the time he wanted to leave that made me stop and think again...... 2.45am!!!! I mean I've walked home from a night out at that time a few times ( few years back mind) but get up and leave off for a near 4 hour drive ? Madness or a fantastic idea?! I went with with fantastic idea and after speaking to my understanding wife  I agreed and was soon in bed and alarm set.

silly o'clock

We set of at 2.45 and had the road to our self virtually until we got towards Humber bridge when traffic picked up a bit. Plenty of birding chat was had in the 4 hour journey and even a bit of footy ( at least the hammers had won the day before to give me something to talk about ! ) and as we left Hull behind us and saw Easington sign posted we celebrated by breaking into song with a burst of "7 nation  army " , and before we knew it we was at Easington, East Yorkshire around 6.30am.
 We were quickly standing line waiting for the bird to appear as the sun Came up. As we watched a Spotted flycatcher there was a call out to say it's showing. We all gathered at the fence to it, Siberian Accentor!(british bird 270) Cracking little bird too.  It was worth all the 4hours of driving in the dark for sure. We gave it 30minutes and watched as the bird went about finding food , sometimes feeding really close to the fence line where we were all gathered. We stayed and chatted to the birders around us and decided to check out Spurn itself.

Siberian Accentor .no 270!

2 x very happy Birders

  As we arrived we jammed in on a Dusky  warbler which had been trapped and about to be released. Superb little bird and after watching it fly off and hankered down into some bushes. we walked round to the Crown pub car park. Nothing of note there but a Raddes was on show along the bank so we nipped over there quick sharp and was rewarded with great views. Spent a nice bit of time with this busy little bird but unlike most Raddes ive heard about this one showed occasionally well. Raddes Warbler was my 273rd british bird.While there a small flock Bearded Tits flew overhead. I then noticed something resting on the shoreline , a Female Redstart. We stayed for a while and enjoyed watching the Brent geese dropping in and the huge flocks Golden Plover going over head and had some  food and We decided to leave off and head to Ackborough for the Swamp hen. As we passed through Kilnsea we picked up 17x Tundra Bean geese at rest in the fields.

Dusky Warbler

Tundra Bean Geese

 As we arrived (10.30am) it decided to rain heavily but we put on the water proofs ( I lent Yorkie my West Ham united hat much to my pleasure) and walked down to view the Square pool area it had been regularly showing at. The rain continued for a bloody hour and then steadily improved . We joined another birder who was wet through and had been waiting there since 8.30am but no sign of it . We gave it till 2pm in which time 7 birders came and went and another dozen arrived . We wished the Cambridgeshire birder ( sorry never caught yeh name)  good luck and set off home .
 We spoke of how it would have been the icing on the cake to have got the swamp hen  but it's a harsh reality that birding doesn't always give u what you want when u want it . We put in 3 & 1/2 hours  through some bloody awful weather at times and only  a fly over Common Buzzard and Little egret to show for it but what we had seen earlier in the day  was one of the mega ticks of my birdwatching list and a couple of crackers joining it too in the notebook .
 We arrived home at 5.45pm tired but tell a lie we we're more then happy we were  BUZZIN! !
 Anyways,Cheers for driving Yorkie and thanks for the planning of the day out.  Can't wait to see the next mega hit and hopefully it will be in Norfolk and not mean setting off at " silly hours o'clock!" 
Happy birding 
Shaky ⚒