Friday, 7 November 2014

Nov 7th

1st winter male Desert Wheatear showing extremely well again on sea wall south of Links road carpark, seen first yesterday. Offshore a Little Auk flew north and a juv Pomarine Skua flew south with 3 distant Skuas north probably also Poms. Also 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Eider and 2 Pintail flew south. Yesterday a brief watch early morning from Corton benches produced 3 Little Auks flying north and a Lapland Bunting in off the sea calling.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Oct 5th

Early morning start provided great scope views of the Little Crake at Bittern Hide Minsmere. A lifer and my 353rd Suffolk bird. The hide was getting very packed so left after a short while to provide space, amid worries of a hide collapse...that hide is on stilts and is probably not designed for 50 odd people especially of my weight.. As for the rest of the period since my last update...well...charts looked bang on optimal, everywhere north of us was heaving with scarce, I went out twice daily..and only saw the odd Pied Fly and Tree Pipit. My only patch tick in a who;le month was a Gull.... (Caspian on groynes).

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Aug 28th

Icterine Warbler found in afternoon in bushes by the boardwalk at Corton New Sewage works. Showed well for around a minute before flying west into the taller vegetation near the main path and could not be relocated. Had a decent wing panel and seemed pretty large. Yellowish suffusion to throat and upper breast on an otherwise rather pale grey/green upperparts and whitish underparts. Orange lower mandible on a longish bill. Open faced expression. Blue-grey legs etc. Tried for another hours search in evening with no joy but Craig bounded up and let me know he had found a Juvenile Red-backed Shrike at the OSW (his phone was dead so I put on the news) I went off to see it and it showed pretty well often on low vegetation in the compound and also on the perimeter fence. It flew into the tammarisks to roost at 7.45. Also 3 Whinchat here. Also Pied Fly in the plantation. 2 Green Sands flew over Gunton. Yesterday Willow Emerald by the NSW pond and Grey Wag over plus 2 Pied Fly and 2 Whinchat at Gunton. On Tues a large Skua passage off the north beach saw an adult and juv Long-tailed Skua pass along with 2 Poms, 16 Great and 41 Arctics. 4 Manx went north, yearticks. A strong passage of Arctic Terns was also evident with 7 close juvs ided for certain but there were probably far more. On that day the first Pied Fly of the year was at Corton NSW.

Monday, 14 July 2014

July 14th

Mad scorch before work saw me connecting with the splendid adult Great Knot on the lumps at Breydon. Fortunately I was working at the closest school to Breydon today and thus wasnt late:) I was hoping to get it in Suffolk tho of course and this duly materialised after work when it showed well on the Suffolk side flats, becoming the best bird ive ever seen in the Lowestoft bird clubs recording area. Becomes my 352nd species in Suffolk.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

June 17th

Had been holding off on seeing the Rose-coloured Starling as I really wanted the chance to get it on the patch and had been working when it had been showing in the inland gardens. So I set up a vigil tonight at Hamilton Dock (within my patch) on the off chance I may be able to flukily scope it distantly around the yacht basin area where it had been seen the previous few evenings. I was surprised to be able to see a good chunk of that area and all distant Starling flocks were grilled with no luck. Suddenly I realised there was a very large gathering of Starlings gathered feeding on waste ground just inland of me on the western edge of Hamilton Dock. I scoped through them and after a while a vision in pink shone back at me. What a bird and so glad I actually got it on the patchbirding area. The flock soon then flew off and it was later seen by others back in the main harbour area. Earlier in the month a fine female Red-backed Shrike showed well on the old sewage works fence at Corton. However we are now into the lull period so dont expect many/any posts change there then you say.....

Sunday, 4 May 2014

May 4th

Back out to Carlton Marshes early morning after Corton drew another migrant blank, in hope of videoing the Egret and checking for raptors. The Great White Egret was still present and duly videoed nicely. People came and went and I stayed to scan for raptors, especially as a Black Kite had been seen flying south over Winterton earlier in the morning. I was with Peter Ransome but he left to get closer views of the Egret from the other side. Scanning over the distant area between Oulton and Somerleyton I picked up a large raptor with unusual jizz coming in from the north east distantly. Putting the scope on it it became clearly very interesting. It was flying with low set wings bowed downwards. As it turned to show its tail it was clearly a kite with gently forked tail. The tail was not particularly long and certainly not deeply forked and appeared brown not reddish. The wings appeared more compact and somewhat broader than Red Kite, the white under lower primaries were not really noticeable as i would have expected on Red Kite, this was surely a Black Kite. I looked in my phone for Peters number as i zoomed in to 60 mag, but as the phone was new i realised i didnt have his number. I raised my hands as I was watching it but he clearly wasnt watching me. The Kite was being mobbed by many corvids and was twisting around its tail in aerial manouvres, always keeping its wings low and somewhat bowed down. At times it went below tree level and i could make out pale greater covert bars slightly contrasting with th rest of the upperparts. It was getting more distant all the time as I watched it as it flew westwards towards the back of Burgh St Peter, maybe even in the direction of Haddiscoe and I finally lost it behind the tree line. I tweeted out the sighting after i had watched it for around 4 minutes in total. Then another raptor appeared right over my head, a stonking Red Kite, showing very long and very deeply forked tail and very obvious white under lower primaries, providing a wonderful comparison with the Black Kite fresh in my mind, the jizz and structure were really quite different, with the Black Kite being far more compact and less rakish. My first 6 pointer of the year, taking me onto 157 sp, 202 pts.

May 3rd

Out at dawn again. Not much doing at Corton, just 2 Curlew in the church field. Went to Carlton Marshes. On arrival at the scrape there was a pure white back of a bird asleep partly obscured among reeds, which I thought looked interesting maybe a spoonbill or something but I dismissed it as probably a Mute Swan as there were 20+ present nearby. For the next hour I waited at the watchpoint to see what may drop in. A couple of Cuckoos and a reeling Gropper noted. Then a large birding party appeared on the far side of the scrape having walked up from the organised dawn chorus walk, including Andrew Easton and James Wright. 10 mins later as I was scanning towards Oulton I received a phone call from james Wright...."can you see the Great White Egret..?". Raising bins to the scrape there it was out in the open in full view..a Great White Egret...which had clearly just walked out from its resting position. With no phone call I would surely have "found" it within seconds..I could hear much hilarity occurring from their side as we realised I had been denied 6 pts. A great bird tho and it remained on site all day showing well to many. Patch gold was noted in the form of 3 Avocets flying over the scrape and off eastwards, by no means annual and many havent seen one in Lowestoft before. A fine close Hobby rounded off the morning nicely.

Friday, 25 April 2014

April 25th

Nice bonus Jack Snipe seen this evening flushed from Gunton Warren after being found by James Wright. Thick fog all day. Recent patch highlights have included a singing Nightingale last weekend at Corton and a couple of self found Ring Ouzels at Gunton and Carlton Marshes. Patch yearlist now on 146 sp 183 pts, pretty good going and I still need a lot of the waders etc. Well up on last year for sure. Still not catching Horsey yet id imagine.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

March 19th

Dusky Warbler seen on the patch this evening. Found by Andrew Easton at Oulton Marshes it showed well by the southern Dutch tearooms path calling frequently. About a month ago I heard a tack that I thought sounded good for Dusky Warbler in a clump nearer the river but had no further sign in 10 min wait. So it may well have wintered in the less frequently watched areas of the site. Also 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Cettis Warblers present. Patch list now on 119 sp 148 pts, a very good start but still lagging well behind Tim Hodge at Horsey.

Monday, 17 March 2014

March 15th

Sporadic updates continued(roll on the spring..) Patch yearlist now on 118 sp 145 pts, pretty good to be honest and well up on last years patch. Mainly due to me recording nearly all of the common dross this time, it really is a good patch for varitey and common species. Today saw me latch on to an anticipated Red Kite in sunny skies and light WNW conducive for passages of this species in Mar/April. It was seen well flying south inland over Corton at 9.40, independantly also seen by Craig. Other highlights since last update have been 2 Stonechats at Corton and er...lots of common dross such as Sparrowhawk keeping the list ticking over nicely...

Monday, 3 February 2014

Feb 2nd

Couple of visits to Carlton Marshes this weekend. Saturday was quiet but Sunday saw me seeing a bonus Little Owl in an ivy covered tree by the silos at the car park. I didnt think I would see one on th enew patch, tho they were at the same spot last year. I had looked a few times this year with no luck but Jane texted that she had seen it and I was straight there. Thats the great thing about patch birding, even the common national birds such as Nuthatch and Little Owl give you a buzz when you see such scarce patch birds for the year. Tried out the camera a bit more as the sun was out and was particularly pleased with this Robin shot:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Jan 26th

The new patch boundaries are indeed proving more productive for species as predicted. The PatchBirding total currently stands on 98 species 120 pts, which is about 10 species up from last year at the same stage. Birds such as Bearded Tit, Water Rail, Little Egret and Cettis Warbler are the difference but I still havent seen a Sparrowhawk or Bullfinch. The boundary change may cost me Yellowhammer and Little Owl but the gained species like those above from Carlton should more than make up for it. Highlights on the patch so far this year have included Glossy Ibis, Siberian Chiffchaff, Velvet Scoter, Great Skua, Firecrest, Nuthatch, Little Gull, Purple Sand and Eider.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Jan 1st 2014

Limited time available due to attrocious weather setting in at midday. Targetted the new patch and fortunately the Glossy Ibis was still present and viewed from the new boundary edge in flight, then settled down to feed by the viewing platform on Oulton Marshes. A Cettis Warbler sang here. Missed the Bewicks Swans reported in the area despite walking briskly out to the Carlton Marshes viewpoint, a bird I didnt see at all last year either. 11 Purple Sands fed north of Ness Point and a Rock Pipit was noted in Hamilton Dock. Tried Corton Woods for Firecrest and heard a possible but couldnt see it. 2 Goldcrests and a Treecreeper noted here. Better weather predicted tommorow, when I can have a better look around.