Sunday, 27 January 2013

Thetford Area

Today we went round Thetford Area to see if we could see the Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford, and maybe a Hawfinch at Lynford Arboretum. After a bit of trouble trying to find the place, we got to the car park eventually. We saw a bloke with a massive camera lense pull up too, so we decided to follow him because we thought that he was looking for the Dipper too. We followed him over 2 footbridges, and then we saw it. We (Dad and I) couldn't believe how close it was......

Here are some digiscoped pics that Dad took....

I did take a video, but I took this from the first time we saw it on the day, and it was closer later on, but I didn't think of doing another video, so I'm a bit annoyed at myself, but here it is. It's a bit difficult to pick out, but it's there.

Other birds about in the area included about 200 Siskin's flying about, a Muntjac, a Goldcrest and a delightful Jay. 

We then moved on to Lynford Arboretum. We didn't get any Hawfinch's, but this is what we did get......

Swans and ducks. There was a Little Grebe there too but not photographed

Several Marsh Tits

And several Nuthatches

We got both Firecrest and Goldcrest, plus a Bullfinch. We moved on to Santon Downham, where we got even more Bullfinch...

That was it for that day, but yesterday - Saturday - We went down Rendall Lane, near Saxham Street in Stowupland to see the massive Skylark flock in the fields (for more details on how to get there, see "Daily Sightings" page). It was incredible.....

We did the Big Garden Birdwatch yesterday - all sighitngs on "Daily Sightings" page, but highlights included 8 Long-tailed Tits, plus a Goldfinch. Frustratingly, fly over birds don't count, because we could have had Fieldfare, Collard Dove, Black-headed and the resident Common Gull all added onto the list. 

Talking of Common Gull, we had 2 birds flying around the back garden together this morning, so that was nice to see. We were going to go out birding yesterday, but in the end we didn't. We were going to see the the Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham, and the Great White Egret at Wymondham. There you go! Happy Birding!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Barton Broad and Stubb Mill

Another 7 species was added to the year list after Dad and I visited Barton Broad and Stubb Mill (Hickling Broad) making the list total 110. By the 7th January last year, I had only 64 species! Anyway, we started off the day going to Barton Broad, and going through Repps we saw a Whooper Swan fly across the road which was a bit of a surprise. We got to Barton Broad, and were greeted with a flock of Siskin with a few Lesser Redpoll amongst them. We got to the viewing platform, and got onto the juvenile Scaup that has been lingering here.

There were also plenty of other birds here, like Goldeneye....

Canada Geese....

A couple of Pochard

Great-crested Grebes....

And plenty of Tufted Ducks...

We then moved on to Hickling Broad, at the raptor roost where it is known as Stubb Mill. We were the first to get there, and arriving at 2:30pm gave us plenty of time to scan. These are all videos because it was too dark for photos!

A male Hen Harrier

4 Common Crane coming into roost

And a delightful Barn Owl

We also picked up Grey Partridge, 3 Merlin, 2 Stonechat, 10,00+ Pink-footed Geese with 2 White-fronts, 25+ Marsh Harrier, a brief Woodcock and an Egyptian Goose.

It has been an active week in the garden. We have had regular Long-tailed Tits, the Common Gull and a Fieldfare in the tree - a first that has landed in the garden. This morning in fact, we had another Fieldfare in the garden, incredible.

School was closed yesterday, so I was working with Mum, but we did get a look in at the patch for 5 minutes at Needham Lakes, and shocked to see 5 Wigeon there. I never knew they came there in the winter. Brilliant. Bosmere was frozen, so nothing on there. Also some Common Gulls at Needham Lakes too.

2 of 5 Wigeon

Happy Birding

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Stour Estuary

It seems ages ago that Dad and I went on the Stour Estuary. In fact it was the 5th January. Anyway, we had a great day, and I collected 18 new species for the year making my total 103. When we got onto the boat and got rolling, it was very misty, but the birding day started. We started off with plenty of Goldeneye and Red-breasted Mergansers.

We then got a lot of Brent Geese

We then passed a group of Pintail and Wigeon, with a few Teal

Plenty of Great-crested Grebes roamed the estuary

We then spotted a delightful Shag

We then got 5 Eider in Holbrook Bay, the first sightings in about 10 years, but were only viewable through a scope. A bit further on though, a group of Goldeneye took up from the side of the boat, and a female Long-tailed Duck was amongst them. Very fleetingly, we got a view through bins, but it was soon past the boat. We had an Egyptian Goose fly past the boat too.

We also got plenty of waders like Turnstones....

And Black-tailed Godwits with some Bar-tails too, but his is a Black-tail.

We then came into Harwich Harbour, and the raptor spotter saw a Peregrine distantly on a blue crane....

Still got to post about the Barton Broad and Hickling Broad trip, plus the Thetford Area trip that was yesterday so keep posted. If you can't wait then look at the Daily Sightings page. Happy Birding.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Dad's Birthday

Dad decided to go to the Broads for his birthday, and we started off at Strumpshaw Fen. We started off with some Teal at the Reception Hide.

We then got some Snipe over Fen Hide, and also a Marsh Harrier

I then got a brief Cetti's Warbler over the reedbed at Fen Hide, and we missed a Bittern too. We then got about 60 Pink-footed Goose over the wood by the meadow...

I then got my first Jay of the year before moving on to Buckenham

We arrived at Buckenham, and walked out onto the marsh, and already we saw the Taiga Bean Geese, but they were quite distant..

Digiscoped effort

Scanning the fields we also picked up some White-fronted Geese, Barnacle and Canada Geese, Lapwing and a solitary Ruff. The unmistakable part of the marsh though was the amount of Wigeon. I scanned for a possible American Wigeon, but no luck. Here some that me and Mum took...

Over 600 Birds

We met my cousin Jim again and he took us to Claxton Marshes, to see the Short-eared Owls. Well, we got 3 birds hunting over the marsh. In the video, near the end, you may see the Barn Owl hunting in the background. Enjoy!

We finished the day off by going back to Strumpshaw Fen, to see if there were any Woodcocks, Chinese Water Deer, or Barn Owls. We saw all 3 things, including the Barn Owl very close past, 2 Woodcocks flying around where we were standing, and me and mum jumping out of our skin with the harsh barking of a Chinese Water Deer about 10 yards behind us! Thanks for reading and happy birding.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A New Years Treat!

This is the first of my 3 posts that I need to get done about the first week of January's Birding. Well, on New Years Day, we headed down to North Warren in the morning, and Minsmere in the afternoon. If you looked at the Daily Sightings Page, you may have gathered what we saw that day, but for those of you who haven't, I won't spoil it for you now. I get on with the pictures and videos then. We started off the day with a Pheasant with an Albino bird in Coddenham.

We then got to North Warren Car park, and a nice surprise was a female Stonechat in the grass

We then got to the path across the field and we parked our scope mid-way down, and scanned for the Red-breasted Goose (and the three feral birds) amongst the Barnacles. Well here's what we got.

I believe that this is the wild bird but I'm not sure.
I'm not that fussed to know which one is the wild bird in these two photo's because I know it's one of them. These are 4 individual birds. The wild bird was a 1st-winter, and the 3 feral birds were adults. We also saw White-fronted Geese.

And Barnacles...

And then we saw some ducks, including some Pintail, but a little distant.....

And we finished with some Lapwings...

We then moved onto Minsmere, and we started with food in the cafe, then we moved onto North Hide. We didn't see the Waxwings in North Bushes, but some ducks were added to my year list including 4 Smew..

There was 4 birds (another Redhead), but she wandered off!

Then we went to Island Mere, meaning we missed out of the rest of the hides due to flooding. We didn't go up to south levels either to see the Bean Geese, because of time. We got a few Marsh Harriers and missed a Bittern by 30 seconds :( 

We then got 3 cracking Bullfinch's!

We got to Bittern Hide at Dusk, and with 4 Bewick's Swan flying over, we didn't expect to have 2 Otters fishing on the lake and river...

Happy New Year