Friday, 27 February 2015

What Larks!

Since the day dawned bright, sunny and calm, I couldn't resist a quick run down to the Brecks: this is the time of year when good weather often encourages Goshawks to display. In the event - despite a seven mile hike around 'The Farms' - I never had a sniff!

Lots of Buzzards and Kestrels found the weather conducive to soaring, but not a single accipitor. I remember when Mayday was a cinch for both Gos & Sprawk: in the days when Linda & I made videos, we never failed to see both every visit.....

Some recompense came in the form of ground views of half a dozen Woodlarks and flight views of perhaps ten more. They were quite hard to photograph because of the constant overflight of pairs of F15s, which put the Larks up every time!

Couple of interesting sightings: another dead Polecat, this time just before Snetterton Circuit and, crossing a forest ride, what looked incredibly like a Pine Marten: except they don't occur in Norfolk!
 










Thursday, 26 February 2015

Med Gull a mile from home!

As the Tuesday Crew drove back towards Strumpshaw two days ago, I picked out a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, right by the A47 just past the McDonalds roundabout: perhaps it was the bird that hung around Thorpe Green over the winter...
Anyhow: it was there again today, as I drove back from the cash and carry. No chance to stop, but perhaps it will move down to Strumpshaw. It was with a huge flock of Black-headed Gulls.

Here's a picture I took of it the last time I saw it at Thorpe...
 


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Finches in the Brecks!

A morning spent down in the Brecks provided views of five different species of finch: Hawfinch, Chaffinch, Brambling, Greenfinch and Bullfinch! All of these were along the 'Orchard Ride' at Linford, where Nuthatch, Grey Wagtail and Firecrest also found their way onto the day list.

A move to Santon Downham was almost entirely unproductive, as was Mayday Farm, although several Buzzards, a heard-only Woodlark and a very early Peacock Butterfly at least kept us interested!











 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Men are from Mars....

....women are from Venus!
(According to  the 1990's best-selling relationships book!)
If you want to check your home planet, step outside and look west: Mars & Venus are really close together in the twilight for the next few days...


 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Short-eared Owls: how could I resist?

With a grey, gloomy sky and an hour to spare, I parked by Halvergate Bridge and, within minutes, was treated to reasonable views of a Short-eared Owl...

During the late Autumn / early Winter period, I despaired of adding a photo of these beautiful cat-like birds to the blog, so I'm making the most of the post-Christmas influx!
 




Saturday, 21 February 2015

Suffolk: birds and warbirds!

Linda & I were attending a mineral show in Essex, so we spent a day in Suffolk. visiting Ampton for Tree Sparrows and Muntjacs and Lackford for Kingfishers, Little Egrets, Goldeneye and Bullfinches.

The most astonishing thing, though, was the sheer volume of military traffic: fighters, personnel carriers, AWACs and airborne tankers: all a bit worrying!















Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Norfolk tick!

Martin Read and I spent a delightful day in the Brecks, enjoying the warmth on our old bones and a few decent birds too!

First stop was Ampton, where a ten metre walk put us in front of a flock of 25 or so Tree Sparrows, including a silver-ringed youngster. Overhead, Buzzards called incessantly and squabbled with the corvids!

A move up the road to the pig fields was largely fruitless: lots of gulls, but all the large ones were a kilometre away! Amazing to see large parties (30+) of Shelduck on the fields and in flight.

We travelled west to Santon Downham arriving five minutes too late for the Shrike. While we were standing around, however, we saw a couple of Ravens displaying overhead. At first we were a little confused by their 'ungronklike' call, but my photo (and expertise of ace birder Steve and his posse) were conclusive! I think I've seen a Raven in Norfolk before, but my records (from Buckenham & Horsey) weren't accepted by the CRC, so this was, I'm vaguely embarrassed to admit, was a Norfolk tick!

Lunch at Brown's then home via Salhouse. No sign of the exotic ducks, but a Chiffchaff was calling continuously from the willows.








 


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Back for seconds!

Linda was very keen to see the Short-eared Owls at Halvergate, so we left home early and 'bagged' the prime layby spot.

Within seconds a Rough-legged Buzzard flew across the road from west to east, allowing somewhat poor photo-ops: it seemed that the bright sunshine might encourage raptors out to feed....

In fact, apart from several Kestrels, that was the only bird of prey we saw until we left for home at 12.30! I  felt that the afternoon might have delivered the goods, but Linda had work to attend to, so we had to make do with the RLB and better views of the herd of Bewick's.