Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Jan 22nd

Ventured out into the snow scene again in morning. As I arrived at Corton benches a close grp of Wigeon flew south with 2 Tufted Duck types that I could only get bins on as they flew out of view. Not much moving today bar a group of about 30 Brent south and c.30 Red-throated Diver. 4 Song Thrush and a Redwing flew over. Yesterday 12 Skylark had flown south, a presumed hard weather movement. I looked on the rocks below the benches and pleasingly noted a Purple Sandpiper feeding with a small group of Turnstone, the first I have seen here but I guess they are regular just not checked for. Then parked at the church and walked to the old sewage works clifftop area. A bonus Grey Plover was mournfully calling as it circled the fields overhead. 20+ Lapwing were in the field and a Reed Bunting was by the old sewage works. A Common Snipe flushed out of the wet area and a Woodcock flushed out of the magic patch. Patch list on 91 sp 102 pts.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Jan 19th

Lound Lakes were mainly frozen but a samall area of water was present near the tree islands. A drake Pintail was unusual here and a Common Snipe flushed out from the bank, both weather related. My car then got stuck on the snowy verge by the car park. Fortunately a very helpful 4x4 driver helped tow me out after a great deal of effort. Yesterday apparently in a similar incident another car had to get a tractor out to remove his car when stuck. So I would advise anyone thinking of visiting not to drive down to the car park as its treacherous when the snow is there. In the late afternoon I saw the 1st winter Glaucous Gull on Oulton Broad, not on my patch but a nice Lizard land year tick. Last Sunday 5 Eider flew past Ness Point new for the year.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Jan 12th

Visited Lound waterworks to look for the 12 Waxwings reported yesterday. No joy but I did find a bonus White fronted Goose among the Greylag Goose flock. 3+ Redwing were also new for the year and Tufted Duck numbers had increased to 23 including the hybrid still. Offshore from Corton benches 2 Shelducks flew south along with 2 Shoveler new for the year. 12 Gannets and 20+ Kittiwake flew north and there were again good numbers of Cormorant and Red throated Diver. Patch list on 83 with 93 pts.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Jan 11th

Short seawatch again off Corton benches. Highlight was 3 Velvet Scoter close in going north. I then tracked them with the scope and they joined up with c.10 Common Scoter off Gorleston. Hopefully they will linger in the area. Lots of Cormorants and quite a few Red throated Divers were setled on the sea off Corton, quite possibly meaning the sprats are present there at the moment. 2 Brent Geese moved south, my first on the patch this year.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Jan 9th

Quick seawatch from the Corton benches produced a couple of patch yearticks in the form of 2 Great crested Grebe on sea and 2 Guillemot north. 30 Red throated Divers flew north along with one Gannet, c.20 Wigeon and c.40 Teal. 2 Kittiwake were lingering around a boat. My patch is overwhelmingly an autumn venue so I dont expect to compete well until autumn ends. It also relies heavily on birds passing offshore as I have no real wader habitat etc. I also miss marshland birds like Water Rail, Cettis warbler and Bearded Tit etc which Rob will get easily. However its the 12 pointers im after, and this site can be as good as any on mainland for those given the right conditions, the only chance I have of competing highly points wise.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Jan 7th

Stroll around Lound Lakes, the newly installed patch site produced a few ticks. Fieldfare, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush. 2 Common Buzzards scoped soaring over Ashby viewed from the causeway at Lound. Kingfisher seen darting across viewed from the causeway. A Hbrid Tufted Duck with grey back was noted among 15 Tufted Duck. c 50 Gadwall and 50+ Greylag Geese also noted. A Redpoll was by the feeding station by the causeway. Patch list moves onto 73 sp 80 pts.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Detailed patch map

After concern my previous map didnt quite include the Anglian Water lake at Gunton I decided to redo the map and get rid of the markers. I found I could actually squeeze in the productive part of Lound Waterworks also within the 3k, but dont hold your breath Lound never produces anything but does allow me to add the likes of Greylag Goose and Tufted Duck seen there the other day.

Jan 6th

Following a tip off from my main rival a fine Sanderling was noted in Hamilton Dock feeding on the sandy beach area. The Great Northern Diver was still showing incredibly well. Rob had also seen a Rock Pipit earlier so I hung around the dock for a while searching before deciding to walk the rocks north towards Ness point. To my delight the Rock Pipit was picked up on the seawall under the wind turbines. Then had a stroll through Corton Woods noting 2 Treecreepers, Coal Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, Siskin and 4 Goldcrest. Patch list now on 66 (73 pts)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Jan 3rd

After yesterdays washout, back out on the patch in better weather. Started at Hopton railtrack where a Stock Dove was noted with a small group of Woodpigeon, a good start. Inland of here c.20 Pink footed Geese were noted flying south from the roost towards feeding areas and 2 Mute Swan north were unusual for here. The stubble field here held 70+ Skylark and 4 Red-legged Partridge, its a shame the main MoD field was ploughed tho as im sure the Laps would still have been present. A Sparrowhawk was the first of the year. Next stop was Corton railtrack where I noted 2 Bullfinch, Siskin, Redpoll and a bonus Woodcock which flushed out from my feet in the plantation. Still no thrushes other than Blackbird noted however. Offshore from Corton benches 5 Red-throated Diver, 2 Kittiwake, 4 Wigeon and 30+ Common Scoter were present, the latter in 2 small rafts off the Hopton end, remnants of a larger flock present there last year, all appearing to be females. To add colour to the blog I include below 3 photos of birds on my patch when I had a DSLR camera. Ill try to get digiscoped images of anything decent this year, or borrow images from others (thanks Andrew Easton for the OBP posted earlier)
61 sp 69 pts to date

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Jan 1st

Spent a lot of the morning somehow helping Rob Wilton to add species to his patch list and not mine (he did the driving...)3 seperate Peregrines were the highlight though I guess it contributed to my Lizard yearlist so I wasnt complaining that much, even when he convinced me the White fronted Goose DIDNT fly over mid river into Lizard land at Castle Marshes. Got to my patch around midday: Juvenile Great Northern Diver showing well in Hamilton Dock. There always seems to be a decent bird at this site each Jan 1st. Shag also noted here. Nearby at Ness Point 3 Purple Sandpipers were roosting on the rocks at high tide. Offshore numerous Red throated Divers passed north along with 2 Kittiwake and an adult Gannet. An adult Med Gull was noted at Links road car park. A Chiffchaff was noted in clifftop scrub here. A search of Corton wood produced the usual common stuff but not the half expected Firecrest ( a past regular wintering site )though a possible was seen briefly but I couldnt get bins on it. Gunton Park Lake produced a totally unexpected bonus patch yeartick in the form of a Kingfisher. Nearby I had my first look at Gunton Pool (small pool over the road from Tescos, mostly obscured) and was pleasantly surprised to find it was productive with 4 Little Grebe, 3 Wigeon, 4 plus Gadwall, 2 Grey Heron, Mute Swan and 2 Egyptian Geese over north. The Grebes were nice as I had assumed these would be very hard to get on this new patch. So Day one after a very casual search produced 46 species (53 points)