Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A snatched half-hour....

I was supposed to be adding WTE to the year list with my usual companion Martin, but was involved in a 'failed to stop RTA' yesterday, and spent most of the morning making a statement: the charming Police woman said that the chances of a prosecution were slight, it being my word against 'his'....

However, I took a walk along the river bank at Buckenham on the way home and jammed in on a nice herd of Bewick's (50+) one of which had a neck collar. Other birds included Buzzard, Little Egret and a distant tussling duo of Short-eared Owls across the river at Claxton. Now why couldn't they have been there when Linda & I were over there last week? LOL!











Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Long March....

Not a reference to Chairman Mao, nor to China's launch vehicle, but a seven-mile hike around the patch, in the hope of:
a) Losing some of the Christmas blubber
and
b) Adding to the patch total (Which stands at 90!)
In the event, I probably achieved the former, but not the latter, the only notable birds being Yare Valley regulars: Nuthatch, Little Egret, Buzzard and Marsh Harrier....





Monday, 25 February 2013

Rough-leg dip....

A drive out to Reedham was more in hope than anger: the temperature was just above freezing and nothing was flying over the marshes. A walk around Strumpshaw & Buckenham was a little more productive, however: I read on a certain birders' forum that people were struggling to find Linnets in the Yare Valley this winter - well, there were around 80 at Buckenham Station this morning!

Other interesting birds were Little Egret, three Marsh Harriers and a drake Pintail which only revealed himself when the Wigeon flock was put up by one of the Harriers...










Saturday, 23 February 2013

Soiree!

Our neighbours Sue & Peter hosted an evening of bird photography and gossip: very enjoyable, and nice to meet Rob Holmes & Johny Prochera, two extraordinarily knowledgeable birders. They regaled us with tales of Siberian Jays, Hawk Owls and birding in -30C temperatures: fascinating stuff!
I was gratified that the photos I've been taking with my inexpensive gear compare very favourably with Rob's! (Although not with the incredible architectural images of another diner, June....)


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Claxton revisited!

Back with Linda for another bash at the SEOs: we bumped into Norman and Brendan and immediately jammed in on a hunting owl: not very close, but great in the bins!
Other birds included a Barn Owl and some winter thrushes.





Tuesday, 19 February 2013

No prizes....

....for guessing where we've been for a couple of days! Lots of Kites. lots of Buzzards and lots of Parakeets!



Thursday, 14 February 2013

Who says the camera never lies? LOL!

This incredibly flattering photo of yours truly was taken yesterday at Claxton by Mark Ollett, revealing why he is considered one of the top Norfolk photographers!




Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A day out with the Big Boys!

Despite the fact that the forecast fine and sunny weather failed to materialise, a day in the company of two top wildlife photographers Mark Ollett and Brian Tubby was educational and enjoyable.
A freezing sojurn at Claxton produced just distant views of a single Short-eared Owl, with four Bewick Swans as back-up. And, as a sad coda to yesterday's Shag-quest, a search along the Norwich Wensum by Brian & me was unproductive: unsurprising in view of later news that the poor, misplaced bird was found dead.....









Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Too late for a Shag.....

Having to do the post before popping into Norwich, I was too late to connect with the adult Shag that has been roosting in the city centre: all I found at the 'usual spot' was a roach angler....
A walk around did produce views of the female Cathedral Peregrine and a very confiding Grey Wagtail at Bishop's Bridge, as well as the entertaining sight of a second angler netting a 12lb Pike.









Monday, 11 February 2013

Bitter!

A walk around Strumpshaw this morning left me with frozen hands (despite thermal gloves!)
I met Adrian & Nigel in Fen Hide, who'd just seen a ringtail harrier and four otters: I'd seen only a Buzzard....
As I walked towards the windpump, the ringtail Hen Harrier flew eastwards on the far riverbank: a welcome bird on an otherwise fruitless day!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Undipped!

A second bite of the cherry: this time with accurate directions and my good luck charm, MSR!
Fantastic views of this beautiful bird, followed by great close ups of Siskins and Redpolls at Linford.
Other 'goodies' included a pair of large accipitors and a Kingfisher (and a terrific smoked salmon sandwich at Mundford!)










Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Dipper dipping!

I recall now why twitching used to frustrate me! A morning spent wandering about the islands and sluices at Thetford provided decent views of various woodland birds, but no sign of the Dipper...
Following Monday's traumas, I now find I am rendered really nervous by the site of large, unmuzzled dogs bounding towards me: today it was a pair of rottweilers......






Monday, 4 February 2013

Ouch!

As I completed a five mile walk around Strumpshaw & Buckenham, I was badly bitten on the leg by a fr*gging Jack Russell that ran out of Strumpshaw Hall!!! The owner (a typical county barbour and wellies b*tch) didn't even offer a proper apology! I spent much of the afternoon having tetanus and antibiotic shots!
Very few good birds surrendered to the refurbished camera: just a flock of Whitefronts really....






Saturday, 2 February 2013

Cranes!

As I was loading the groceries into the car at Morrisons at around 11.15 this morning, these 9 Common Cranes flew over! When I got back home, my birdy neighbours Sue & Peter had left a message on the answerphone to say they'd seen them around Whitlingham Lane...


Friday, 1 February 2013

Great White!

Are we going to need a bigger boat? No: this was an Egret! Ben's timely advice about the flooding at the Fen was all the excuse I needed to follow the River Yare upstream to Marlingford to try out my newly-refurbished camera on the long-range Great White Egret that has returned for its second year.
Excellent bird! Back-up came in the form of Nuthatch and Treecreeper by the Mill, but no sign of the American Wigeon....