Monday, 21 October 2013

Oct 21st

Went to Castle Marshes in evening but no sign of Ruddy Shelduck which is just as well, considering my BOU listing attempts.... 4 Gypos and 2 Stonechat the only birds of note. Checked the Alder Carr at North Cove for Redpolls and drew a blank. Did manage this nice shot of a Chaffinch tho... Yesterday viz mig south along Corton railtrack early morning produced 21 Redpoll sp and 30+ Chaffinch.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Oct 17th

Today was a crazy kind of day. The wind had switched to the west after a good period of easterlies, I wasnt expecting much at all...but it turned into the best day of the year... As I wasnt expecting anything I didnt even check Corton and headed straight to Ness Point to test out the camera on possible waders etc as there was nothing better seemingly to do and I wasnt called in to work today. Whilst videoing 2 distant Purple Sands I got a text from Rob Wincup saying a Great White Egret was flying south over the Denes. O well I thought..that would have been nice....3 mins later I realised wth I am actually south of him at the moment..and started scanning the skies frantically to no avail and I had missed it (smacks forehead. However my continued scanning did pick me up a real bonus patch year tick in the form of a ringtail Hen Harrier that came in from the sea and headed south west over the town in the direction of Carlton Marshes. Rob then tweeted again that he was watching a Yellow-browed Warbler on the Denes. I quickly packed up and made my way there and enjoyed views of it in sycamores by the 2nd shelter belt north of the Oval. 2 Redpolls flew south and we mused that there must be at least a Pallas`s around here somewhere as we were somewhat missing out on the action further north in recent days. I then checked Belle Vue Park where a nice Firecrest was located near the steps by the ravine. Next stop Corton Woods where 2 resplendant Firecrests were showing well low down in the usual Holly tress at this known regular site, with birds often wintering.A Treecreeper and 2 Chiffchaffs were the only other birds of note, the recent large Thrush and Robin numbers had now largely departed. Richard Smith then tweeted that he had had a definate 2nd Yellow-brow on the Denes then a possible Pallas`s Warbler seen briefly. I made my way back there wondering what on earth was going on...common migrants all clearing out but scarce waifs showing (Rob Wilton even had a YBW walking his school kids to the pool!)..bizarre. I searched the Flycatcher Lane area for a while with Richard and Rob and heard what I considered to be the Pallas`s Warbler on a few occaisions but we couldnt get on to it. A text then came through from Craig Shaw that he had found 3 Shorelarks at Corton so I made my way their for a valuable patch yeartick vowing to return to try for tyhe Pallas`s. The Shorelarks showed well near the central path between the 2 stubble fields but I didnt want to get too close in fear of flushing them so only manage this shot plus some decent video footage. Carl and Ricky had a Jack Snipe here later but I made my way back to the Denes, adamant that there was a Pallas`s to be had. Meeting Jane and Rob we searched diligently. After a while a bird called from bushes on the slope north of the Oval which we were pretty convinced was a Pallas`s Warbler especially after checking xeno-canto via the mobile. We were so adamant we stayed at the same spot for over an hour convinced it was in that bush! Always trust your gut feelings. The bush remained silent...for a long time..we stayed. Craig Shaw joined us on his Dog walk and the lucky devil then picked out the Pallas`s Warbler at the front of the bush. It gave nice views to those absolute gem of a favourite, with flashing yellow rump and median crown stripe seen well. A real case of perseverance pays off and we were elated. I ended the day at Corton disused railways line where finally a Redpoll wasnt just flying over but was in full view in the top of a tree..Mealy..get in. Yet another Firecrest was also seen here, rounding off a fantastic day.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Oct 16th

Good viz mig this morning with 170 Goldfinch south, 4 Swallows south, 2 Rock Pipit south,3 Reed Bunting south, 2 Grey Wagtail south, 10 Siskin south, 30+ Chaffinch south plus 30 or so around the church hedges with 30 Greenfinch. Many Blackbirds were in evidence with smaller numbers of Redwing and Song Thrush. Next stop Gunton railtrack where many Blackbirds and Redwing flushed out as I walked along. Unusually a Treecreeper was feeding halfway along the track. 2 Bramblings were with a Chaffinch flock.

Oct 15th

Hobby showed well hawking over the old sewage works, my latest date ever. A female Marsh Harrier came in from the sea mobbed by corvids, a decent record for Corton. 20 or so Skylarks were in the stubble with 2 Reed Buntings and a Grey Wagtail over.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Oct 14th

No work today so I thought id better make the most of it and count migrants on the Corton patch. 2 Great-grey Shrikes were present in the Radar Lodge/Broadland Sands area. A very smart Siberian Chiffchaff was located at Corton disused railway line, very pale and grey and giving off the unmistakale "lost chick" peep, showed brilliantly low down. A good comparison could be made with the 2 abientinus type and 12 Collybita type Chiffchaffs also present. The Lesser Whitethroat from yesterday was still present but again I struggled to get clear views of it. However it probably was an eastern type, with very pale brown back and white outer tail feathers. No chance of a photo to clinch it tho. 9 Blackcaps were noted in the Corton area. In the morning 4 very robust Crossbills flew south over the railtrack, so large looking I had to double check if they had wingbars in case they were Hawfinches before they called! They called pretty deep...another one that gets away... In the alders of the plantation 4 large looking pale Redpolls kept flying over and calling, I couldnt get a perched view unfortunately but they were quite probably Mealies. A good Goldfinch (50+) and Siskin (40+)and Chaffinch (20+) passage south occured early doors with the bonus of 6 fine Bramblings with one stopping to linger along the track. 3 Fieldfare, 20+ Blackbird, 20+ Redwing and 30+ Song Thrush also went over. Good numbers of Song Thrush flushed out of the usual spots and there had been a noticable increase in grounded Blackbirds. The Lapland Bunting was still present in the stubble. When flushed out it flew round a bit then perched on the perimeter fence. The bird was distant and the sun was right above it making it look like a sillhouette. I took a few shots tho although seemingly impossible by shooting at crazy exposure then a mega crop I was able to just about get an identifiable image:

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Oct 12th

As predicted a good arrival of migrants today. Many Robins, Song Thrush and Redwings in evidence. Saw 2 Great-grey Shrikes: one on Gunton warren early morning then one in the MoD compound at Corton in the evening. A Lapland Bunting was in the osw stubble. Ring Ouzels were noted at Corton Church and Gunton Warren. A Snipe sp probably Jack was seen briefly in flight at Corton. A Goldeneye flew past Corton, my first of the year. A pale abientinus type Chiffchaff was seen at Corton railtrack.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Oct 11th

Strong North easterly winds after gale northerlies produced a decent seawatch as predicted. In easterly based conditions I now know the best vantage point seems to be from Gunton cliff from the car where its still, dry and has a high view. A hoped for Leach`s Petrel gave good scope views halfway out and rested on the sea on occaisions as it went north slowly. A northerly passage of Auks was evident from this high viewpoint moving just beyond the white water and 30+ large Auks were seen along with a Puffin. 3 Sooty Shearwaters moved north. 5 Great Skuas and 7 Arctic Skuas were noted. 6 male Eider and a female Red-breasted Merganser went north with a good passage of Brent Geese (150+), Wigeon (50+, Common Scoter (70+) and Teal (30+. 3 Little Gulls went south and 4 Med Gulls were seen. Gannet passage was decent with some incredibly close birds inc one juv just off the groynes. A Brambling was noted at Corton railtrack and a few Redwing and Song Thrush were noted in sheltered spots.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Black Darters

In evening raced to Corton New Sewage works to witness the Suffolk record numbers of Black Darters. At least 10 males were present no doubt blown in by the strong south easterlies of previous days and now showing in calm conditions. Andrew also had a Vagrant Emperor at Gunton beach today, clearly theres been an influx of foreign insects.

Oct 6th

Still pretty quiet. Just a few Firecrests at note including a few regularly at Corton. In sunny weather tried some photography today at Breydon and Lound. At Lound 11 Redwing and a probable singing male Firecrest (not seen) were noted then a very pale Buzzard flew over which I managed to video with the new camera, a video grab appears below. It had a noticable pale rump and tail and had me scrambling for Colins and checking Dutch birding, their bird was still there and this was only a Common. Quite a few Canada Geese are now at Lound having been absent in early part of the year, along with the omnipresent Greylags:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Oct 1st

Day off work due to NUT strike, so gave the patch a grilling, counting the birds as I saw them in my notebook, as I tend to do when I expect stuff. Of course ive expected stuff all week in these easterly winds, but its been pretty poor, probably as theres been no cloud cover or rain to ground things. Firecrest: one seen well in conifers by Corton OSW, 2 along Corton disused railway line. 4 additional crest sp heard but not seen during my rounds at Corton were possibly this species. Wheatear: one along clifftop by Corton old sewage works. Another in the grassy Potters field at Hopton. Lesser Whitethroat: one seen well at Corton disused railway line, dont worry of course I checked it for eastern features, it appeared to be nominate. Song Thrush: 28 Corton area, 7 Gunton. Robin: 21 Corton area, a small increase on recent days. Chaffinch: 12 Corton area. Chiffchaff: 6 Corton area. Meadow Pipit: 11 Corton area. Jay: 4 Corton area Bullfinch: 3 Corton disused railway line. Coal Tit: 2 Corton disused railway line. Blackcap: 3 Corton disused railway line. Siskin: 2 south Corton disused railway line. Green Woodpecker: 2 Corton area.