Saturday, 15 November 2014

Lowestoft and Gorleston - 9th November 2014

As this was my birthday birding treat, (my birthday was on the following Thursday), Dad took me to the east coast of Suffolk/Norfolk to see the 2 cracking Desert Wheatears, which would be great additions to my life list. We started at Lowestoft, and our plan was to bird around there, and then head up to Gorleston for the afternoon.

Several birders were on the sea wall, watching the cracking 1st Winter Male Desert Wheatear, hopping about on the sea wall. It was a cracking bird to watch. Penny Clarke was also there, so it was great to catch up with her too! Enjoy...

Meant to say 9th November 2014, not 9th October 2014 on the title screen. Oops!

We then went to see the long staying Red-backed Shrike, that had been present in the turbine yard. We joined up with Peter Ransome to try and find it, and within a minute, we found it in the brambles. Very hazy, but still good views.

Meant to say 9th November 2014, not 9th October 2014 on the title screen. Oops again!

We then went to Ness Point. We saw 5 Purple Sandpipers, which were new on the year list, but they didn't want to stop for a photo, which was a shame. 5 minutes of sea-watching produced 4 Red-throated Diver, 1 Med Gull and 3 Wigeon.

We then headed to Gorleston, and parked in Pier Gardens, and walked to the throng of birders. It showed brilliant, about 6 feet away on the sea wall!...

Come on! Done it again! Meant to say 9th November 2014, and not 9th October 2014! Last time guys, I promise!

That was the end to that day, but what a day it was. We finally know our way around Lowestoft! Only took 5 years. Hey ho! 

Happy Birding!!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

North Norfolk, A Mid Suffolk MEGA and a day of volunteering at RSPB Minsmere!

Wednesday 29th October 2014

This week was my half term week and the first day Dad had free so we could go birding. We thought we'd go for the Surf Scoter in Holkham Bay, and then wherever the birds take us. We arrived at Lady Anne's Drive at 11am, and as I scanned behind the flocks of Pink-feet, I picked up a Rough-legged Buzzard flying distantly towards Wells, its white rump very obvious. We got into Holkham Gap, and joined the small group of birders. Our first delight was a Slavonian Grebe, quite close inshore, and then we picked up the flock of Scoter. Bobbing in and out of view, the obvious white patches on the head picked out the cracking drake Surf Scoter, a lifer for both me and Dad! Great stuff!!! We didn't get any pictures though unfortunately.

We then headed to Cley, to try and find the Shorelark, but it had flown off by the time we got there, so we didn't waste the time, so we called into the Cley Visitor Centre, and got some cake. Yummy!!!

We then went to Burnham Overy Dunes for the rest of the day. We didn't see the reported Ring Ouzel, Whinchat nor any Lapland or Snow Bunting. We did find a brief Brambling, a flock of 200+ Golden Plover, and a Wheatear...

When we met David Norgate, he showed us a probable hybrid Black Brant x Dark-bellied Brent Goose that he had found. It was a nice bird to see, but it just didn't look right for the real thing!!!


After I played golf on the Thursday, Dad took me to see the cracking Hoopoe at Framsden in the afternoon. It was a great bird to watch...

Volunteering at Minsmere:

I was volunteering at Minsmere on Friday, being a guide on the reserve. I went out in the morning around the scrape with a couple of other guides, and we managed a juvenile Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull plus the usual waders/ducks. The gulls shot is just for the record...

In the afternoon, I was in Island Mere, and we got my first Goldeneye of the winter, the Great White Egret, 2 Bitterns and an Otter. An enjoyable day.

Very distant

Passing through Framsden to go to Cretingham to play golf, I enjoyed the Hoopoe again, and was delighted to show the bird to Mum. In the afternoon, an added bonus was an Osprey flying over! Brilliant.

Happy Birding!!!