Saturday, 29 September 2012

Once Again

Having to have a bit of a wait to get into the house last night, I had a little migration count. I spotted a single Sparrowhawk drifting in the wind, along with several House Martins, numbers reaching probably 100. Another great sight was a flock of 5 Meadow Pipits going south with the hirundines. Dad had 2 Jays playing golf today, with a Kestrel and plenty of Chiffchaffs on the course. Happy Birding!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Jays out of the Window

Just a quick update was that on Wednesday morning, on the school bus, we were driving and I spotted 17 Jays come out of 2 trees. I couldn't believe it, just counting them as they came out.

Another interesting fact that a Collard Dove egg shell was sitting on our path, I looked up, and a Collard Dove was sitting on the satellite dish on a nest.

A bit late in the year surely

The Chiffchaff is still lurking near the bus-top now, and a sparrowhawk is putting in a regular appearance too. A Jay at the bus-top this morning, flying about and eventually landing in our garden, incredible.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Blog Post, at Last!

On Sunday afternoon, after coming back from Golf, I was in the garden hitting a tennis ball on the side of the house with a racket when I heard the alarming call of Meadow Pipit coming over my head. I looked up and saw 6 of them flying over towards Ipswich. These were firsts for the garden, so this will be updated on the Garden List page, so look out for that.

Then, I came home from school on Tuesday and Dad said that he had seen 6 Curlews fly over the house which I was absolutely gobsmacked at, and this is actually the first ever wader specie ever to be observed near the house. Superb!

Friday evening, we were watching the Masterchef Final, when a grey fury friend ran across the fence, followed by his mate. They were Grey Squirrels. 

The local sparrows weren't bothered at all.

Grey Squirrel Friday evening

Grey Squirrel Saturday Morning

Saturday was a golfing day, with a bit of birding in with it too. I got off to a good start when a couple of Jays came up from the roadside. A few Bullfinches were in the roadside bushes. I didn't get off to a good start with a double bogey, but followed that with a par regained myself. After being 4 and 3 over par at different points, I managed to regain myself both times to come level par. And I finished level handicap so that was great. Going round, a calling Little Owl was unusual, and a big passerine flock containing Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit and Bullfinch. The final action was a fantastic Buzzard that flew right over our heads and we got great views.

The Chiffchaff proving to be quite elusive in the garden now, but I reckon over 20 were at Cretingham yesterday, so they were good to watch. Always, I was checking for a Yellow-browed Warbler as there was over 70 in the British Isles yesterday. 

I also collected another egg shell yesterday, which dad thinks it could be a partridge or pheasant. I shall put a picture of this on next week. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Recent Sightings

Not much to add in this post, but just a few recent sightings and some catch-up on British Bird News. Yesterday, Dad and I got back from seeing my Nanna and Dad spotted a massive bird of prey going over the house. I raced in, grabbed my binoculars and my camera, and had a look. I think it was probably a Buzzard, although it was a long way away by the time of id. It may have even been an Osprey, because it wouldn't have been the first time.

Thursday evening, at 7:30 I filmed this outside my bedroom window...

A Probable Pipistrelle Bat.

Also, the Chiffchaff was seen on Friday and Yesterday during daylight, not singing yet, that being a good sign of a all year stayer?


Hopefully going Golfing this afternoon, so an update on that if anything unusual is seen.

Plenty of Pectoral Sandpipers are dominating East Anglia, with ones at Titchwell, Cley, Salthouse, Hickling Broad in Norfolk, and Minsmere in Suffolk. Also, the Barred Warbler at Holme Dunes, Norfolk, with a Glossy Ibis in Cambridge. We are tempted to go down Minsmere way to try and catch the Juvenile Montagu's Harrier that's hopping about on the coast if it still lingers. The Spanish Sparrow is still putting in a few less appearances at Landguard, Suffolk, but that's looking tempting too. Happy Birding.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Whats Happened to the Greenfinches?

Sorry about not posting as much as normal, but that will be the case now because I am back at school. If your wondering, I am having a great time back at school, and have still got plenty of friends, even with me giving them a bird update from the holidays. A vast majority just say "Moysie, I'm not interested in your birds!" I find that very hurtful. Jokes. Anyway, enough about school, lets get on with the birds. This is not going to be the most amusing of posts but it is worth looking at.

We have had a burial session for birds this last 2 weeks in the garden, because unfortunately, we have had 2 dead Greenfinch, and a very rare visitor to the garden was a dead Whitethroat under the Red tree, home to the past Willow Warbler. Here is a picture of one of the Greenfinches...

This exact bird was seen roosting and twitching in a bush over the top of this picture, so he obviously fell off the branch and died here. This disease is caused by trichomonosis. It has affected Chaffinches as well as the Greenfinch, but not as much. The other bird found dead was under the feeders. Why can't they be like this bird here...

Here's a video of a Greenfinch that doesn't look in a great condition, maybe carrying trichomonosis.

Check out this link for information on the Greenfinches decline - Greenfinches Decline

Moving on from the sad to the living birds, and highlights in the garden have been a group of 6 Magpies...

Here's one of them

Also, plenty of Starlings have been about, with a flock of about 100 flew over to roost.

A small flock of Starling on the roof

Also, the local Chiffchaff has been putting in appearances in the evenings. 

Chiffchaff in Garden

Highlights going to school have been a very low Common Buzzard, and plenty of Woodpeckers.
Happy Birding.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Mystery Butterfly Plus Some Others

This butterfly was in our front garden near our Buddlea plant on the wall. The unfortunate thing was that it didn't open its wings. Help!

 Some other butterfly's that our regular..

Red Admiral

Small Tortoishell

Now this was one of about 5 moths that was on our Buddlea plant one evening, but are quite regular at about 8pm...

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Norfolk - Last Day

A 6am start in the morning is never easy, especially when you've had a late night. We made the effort Saturday morning to reach Cley at about 8am. That was about right, and we parked in the East Bank car park, and headed straight up to the beach. The winds weren't like Friday, strong north. So, there weren't any Skuas or Shearwaters here. What we did see though was about 100 Gannets, a flock of Spotted Redshank, and the odd Dunlin flying past.

Gannets flying west

Other birds at Cley that morning were a single Spoonbill, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier and a possible Osprey at Arnolds Marsh, but nothing was on the board so it was a no.

We then got a text from our "rare bird alert" Jim that a juvenile Red-backed Shrike was seen yesterday at Gramborough Hill, at Salthouse. We didn't know if it was about today, but we couldn't even find the place. But it didn't matter, because the Shrike wasn't there on Saturday, because it got chased off by some dogs!

We thought we then move down the coast towards Blakeney, trying to get a trip out to the point. We tried Beans Boat Trips. They didn't do trips out to the point for a stay, only for the seals. So we went on that (they done trips out to the point a week later for nesting birds sake). Here's what we got.

Oystercatchers at Morston

Common and Grey Seals

All very cute!

We then moved on to Titchwell, and we had a look in the visitor center to see what was about. The highlight  had to be a Purple Sandpiper on the buildings on the Beach. This lifted my head right up. I had always wanted to see one of these birds. So, we got straight up to the Beach. When we reached there, thee was about 30 people watching out to sea - not at the sandpiper? We got there and saw that the Purple Sandpiper was hapily feeding on the building, so people would think that it was not even there. I was mega chuffed! Pictures, a Video, what more can you ask for....

Purple Sandpiper at Titchwell Marsh

Another first was a very distant Arctic Skua that a man spotted, and he only just managed to see it through his scope, let alone my bins! A quick video from Sunday morning as some Turnstone's, a Common Gull and a Yellow-legged Gull was on the rocks amongst other Herring Gulls.....

Common Gull at Sea Palling

Yellow-legged Gull at Sea Palling
When looking at this bird through the scope, it had yellow legs, then it flew back out to sea.

Turnstone's at Sea Palling

Monday, 3 September 2012

Norfolk - Day 1

Arriving at Sea Palling on Thursday, with the wind and rain nearly blowing our static caravan away, not much to produce for Thursday afternoon. We did go out for a bit of a drive for start, driving through Waxham, but no further. In case your wondering, we did stay at Sea Palling, at the Golden Beach caravan park. This day was just a settler.

Friday was a sea watching day, but we didn't understand that getting up at about 6 in the morning was a key feature, so as you would expect, we didn't see much. We headed all the way up to Sheringham, and finished up at Cley in the afternoon. We stopped off at several vantage points, and with my first Common Scoters of the year seen at many of the sights, I was well pleased.

Common Scoters at Sea Palling

Common Scoters off Sheringham

Turnstone at Sheringham

During the day, we stopped off at Waxham, Sea Palling, Happisburgh, Cromer Sheringham, and then Cley in the afternoon. We arrived here at about 2:30pm. We parked in the East Bank car park, and walked along the East Bank. The pinging of Bearded Tits ringed our ears, as only fleeting glimpses were seen. A group of about 15 Curlew were on Arnolds Marsh.....

Curlew in Arnolds Marsh fields

We reached the large pool on the right going towards the sea. This held some Teal, Gadwall, Mallard, and  Black-headed Gulls. Not much, but the main highlight on here though was the big flock of about 100 Black-tailed Godwits.

Black-tailed Godwits at Cley

Little Egret at Cley

One of the local Spoonbills flew past the East Bank behind us while watching out at sea, and a Dunlin flew in land. Another sighting was my first Grey Plover of the year fly over the reserve , then, the Godwits came to rest...

The long line of Black-tailed Godwits on the stretch of Mud

The last action of the day was a Marsh Harrier flying over the East bank