Friday, 22 February 2013

Felixstowe and Levington Creek

Yesterday afternoon Mum and fitted in a few hours of birdwatching. We headed to Felixstowe to see the Waxwings that had been roaming there. We timed it just right because as we went down Glenfield Avenue, we saw a flock of 50+ Waxwing in a tree down Springfield Avenue. I say we timed it just right because after about 3 minutes of photos, they all departed away heading to Grove Wood.

Stunning Birds

We then headed to Levington Creek, which Mum and I had never been before, so it was a new experience. We parked at Levington Marina, and followed the footpath onto the Creek. I was astounded by the number of Reed Buntings were about. I reckon there was at least 15 birds present.

A nice pair

We then met a bloke who directed us to a Mediterranean Gull on the shore, nearly in summer plumage, but too far for a photo. We then followed the path along the bank towards the lagoon, and we saw 2 Little Egret, more Reed Buntings a Meadow Pipit, a very twitchy Rock Pipit, and a possible Water Pipit

Rock Pipit, Cheers Jim

We then reached the lagoon, and we were maybe hoping for the resident Spotted Redshank to be on the lagoon. The only things of note were a flushed Snipe and another Little Egret. We had lunch, and moved on to the gorse bushes. I spotted a fairly big long-legged wader flying right over us. It looked like a Spotted Redshank but I wasn't saying anything until it called. Our luck was in as it proved to be the Spotted Redshank as it called and landed on the lagoon. We snuck up on it, but it saw us and moved on out of site. It was a brilliant bird. We then moved back along the bank and we flushed the bird again a bit further down the lagoon. Typical! It then flew back out onto the mudflats. Other waders and ducks of note were Dunlin...



Teal and Redshank..

Plus Grey Plover and Shelduck...


A great day with 4 new species taking the year total to 132. A brief visit to the patch on Wednesday afternoon didn't produce anything apart from a pair of Great-crested Grebes on both Needham and Bosmere. The Grebes were the only water birds at Bosmere apart from 3 Mallards. Disappointing :(
Happy Birding!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

I only wanted one, not 9!

I was with my Grandparents for a majority of the day, and in the morning, granddad took me to Christchurch Park. I was hoping to add Mandarin onto the year list, to make it 128. I had never seen a drake Mandarin before, and I wasn't expecting to see one. In total, we saw 6 Drakes with 3 Females. Incredible.

We have also never seen the resident female Tawny Owl, named "Mabel." We didn't even know where her tree was. We got directions, and found the tree, but she wasn't in, obviously skiving. LOL. Other birds about were Stock Dove, Siskin, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Jay.

I will update the Daily Sightings page after this post, sorry if you are frustrated about it not being updated. One of the highlights of the week so far was my first Tawny Owl of the year at Stowmarket Golf Club. It was on hole 17, where two birds were calling at 4pm, then one flew across the fairway. Not bad for a 127th specie for this year! Mum and I are going to Levington Creek this afternoon, and maybe a visit to Felixstowe to see if any Waxwing are around - 50 yesterday. 

Happy Birding!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

North Norfolk Coast

Yesterday Dad and I went onto the North Norfolk Coast to try and get some sea birds and winter passerines onto the year list. We started off at Salthouse, trying to see the Shorelark and the Snow Buntings. These both would have been lifers, but sadly the Shorelark was not present. I was fairly certain we weren't going to see that anyway, but at that time there weren't even any Snow Buntings about. So we walked down towards the Little Eye, to a bit of sea watching. We first spotted a Guillemot not to far out, and then a Black-throated Diver. We then got a few Red-throated Divers flying past, and another Guillemot. Then, I just happened to turn around, and there were about 30+ Snow Buntings!

Delightful little things. They were communicating between the car park, and the Little Eye. We found out that the Snow Buntings had been at Cley first thing, that's why we didn't see them first thing. We then got a Redshank, Stock Dove and the regular Turnstones....

We then got a large flock of Pink-foots over...

We then moved onto Cley, to go and see the Purple Sandpiper. We followed the directions that were given, and found the bird. 

We then moved onto Holkham, to see the Spoonbills, and maybe a Black Brant. First we drove to Burnham Overy, to see if the Rough-legged Buzzard was still about. We saw 2 Common Buzzards, but not Rough-legged. We skipped this challenge and went back to Holkham. We saw that there was a big Brent Goose flock by Lady Annes Drive. We searched through and found a Black Brant.

We then moved onto the Tower Hide, as we heard that that's where the Spoonbills were. On the way we saw Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Coal Tit. We then came across a large pond which held 4 Little Grebes, a Tufted Duck, and more surprisingly, a pair of Goldeneye!

With a Jay for company

We then had great views of a Barn Owl as the light started to fade...

We got to the hide, and could see the 2 Spoonbills on the scrape

They were joined by about 60 White-fronted Geese, to distant for a photo. 
Happy Birding!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Great Livermere Lifer

Now you might think it's odd that I do 2 posts in 2 days, but this is because Dad and I went for a quick 2 hours birding on Sunday, the day after the Thetford visit. We visited Great Livermere, to see the Brambling flock which I haven't got on the year list yet. It took us a little while to find the place, but as it was our first time of being there, it would. We started off straight away with a mixed finch flock, including a Lesser Redpoll, Brambling, Siskin, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and a Goldfinch.

We then caught onto this little beauty......

We then moved on to the lake, and it was full of Mallards. We spotted a couple of Shelduck on it though...

There were also an Egyptian Goose, 3 Barnacle Goose amongst several Greylags, plus plenty of Lapwing. I then picked up a Gull on the water, with a flatter head shape, and a longer neck. Dad and I were a bit stumped because we don't know much about gulls, so we thought we'd take a picture of it, and then id it when we got home (with my new 2nd edition Collin's Bird Guide!)

We have concluded that it was a juvenile Caspian Gull. With the flat head, and longer neck when stretching in the water does fit the id in the book. This is a lifer for both me and dad. We then moved back towards the bushes, were we picked up a very tame Goldcrest. But do you think it would stop for a picture? No. We then walked down to were you could get a view round down the path where the feeders were. We got a cracking Mealy Redpoll in one of the trees, with some Lesser's, and also a Marsh Tit on the feeders...

Mealy Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll

We then saw all the Brambling's coming down onto the path....

Phil the pheasant though kept spooking them off.

I then spotted a pair of Tufted Ducks amongst the Mallards...

We then moved onto the Pig fields, just to see if any rare gulls were about. In the end we didn't concentrate on the gulls, so here's what we did concentrate on...

Plenty of Shelduck

Also plenty of Stock Dove

5 Roe Deer were keeping a close eye on us

And a Muntjac kept camouflage with some Chickens? 

And some great Red-legged Partridges.

Happy Birding!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Dipper City!

On Saturday, it was another visit to Thetford and Lynford Arboretum yesterday (Saturday), but this time with Mum. We thought we'd bring Mum along is because she loves the Dipper, so for her to miss out on the Black-bellied Dipper would be a shame. I exaggerated on the video note, taking 4 excellent videos of the Dipper. I have put the 2 best ones after the pictures, that all have us have contributed on. Here are Mums.....

And here are Dad's......

And here are mine.....

We then went to Lynford Arboretum, this being attempt 2 of trying to get the Hawfinch. We started by parking in the Lynford Water car park, and walking through the arboretum. We past the little stone area were the feed is, and we saw Nuthatch, Marsh, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, plus a Sparrowhawk. We got round to the Paddock, and guys with scopes were looking towards a tree top were 2 Hawfinch sat. There were distant, but here's one of them.

We then walked to the gate to Lynford Hall, and found 4 very greedy Squirrels on the stumps.

We then went down the path that goes alongside the river, and caught a large flock of Siskins and Redpoll feeding....

Then there were a very tame Mute Swan...

We ended the day with a Marsh Tit posing for the camera....