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Thursday 28 November 2013

Bitterns in the Mist

An early start at Strumpshaw was slightly redundant, since it was far too misty for photography! Nevertheless, it was great to meet up with Mike, Brian, Kim & Norman (in no particular order!) and catch up with the craik! We saw two a Bittern making a long flight across the reed beds, but I won't show myself up by putting any 'snaps' on here!
A walk around to Tower Hide wasn't much better: just a few Snipe, lots of Shovelers and Teal and another Bittern. A few Fieldfares were in the riverside trees as we walked back...
As we were saying goodbyes until next week, Mike noticed a female Brambling on the feeders: first of the Autumn for all of us!Finally, when I arrived home there was a leucistic Collared Dove under the feeders!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

What a wisp!

I snatched an hour at Buckenham this morning, on the off chance that the reported GWE might be around. It wasn't, but I did see the largest flock of Snipe I've ever come across: over 30! There were plenty of Golden Plover, Lapwings and Wigeon on the grazing marshes which were continually put up by a pair of Peregrines. Only other birds of interest were 30 or so Bean Geese, several hundred Pinkfeet and a calling Water Pipit.
Met David - a really nice guy for an accountant!

Friday 22 November 2013


Well, being such a sunny morning, I couldn't resist: I tazzed up to Holt Country Park for another look for the Parrot Crossbills. Since the carpark was somewhat crowded, I thought I'd strike off on my own to check out the belt of trees to the south west. After a few minutes Richard Millington kindly whistled me over to say the flock was in the car park - what a nice person he is....

The views were less than wonderful, but I managed a few dodgy snaps and enjoyed chatting with extremely knowledgeable Suffolk birder Steve, who apparently used to be a frequenter of Strump / Buck. He mentioned that he'd seen three Red Kites at the Edgefield tip, so I stopped for a look on the way home. No Kites, but I'm pretty sure I found a Glaucous Gull!

Tiny 'grumble': I notice several popular sites copy my records at the end of the day (eg: the 30 Beans yesterday) Only Steve at 'Yare Valley Wildlife' has the courtesy to acknowledge his sources...

Thursday 21 November 2013

Beanz meanz.... Cantley!

Despite a very painful bout of Plantar Fasciitis (Ouch!) I decided to take a walk around the 'loop' at Cantley. Most noticeable feature is the delightful smell of beetroot and toffee apples from the sugar factory - I suppose the novelty would soon wear off if you lived nearby!
There were well over 60 Egyptian Geese on the marshes, but no sign of the recent Ruddy Shelduck: they did, however, attract a patrolling Peregrine.
As I reached the footpath that cuts across to School Road, I noticed a mixed flock of Bean Gese and Pinkfeet) for once they allowed a reasonably close approach (around 200 metres) There were probably around 30 Beans, which were soon joined by 1000+ Pinkfeet.
The walk back was enlivened by Golden Plovers and Lapwings, and a perky little Kestrel.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Twitchy twitchy!

Despite the freezing rain, Martin was adamant that we meet up and have a bash at the Parrot Crossbills at Holt Country Park. During two visits (interspersed by coffee and Black Brant at Cley!) we 'enjoyed' flight views of twelve Parrots over the car park. Other birds for the day included A Great Spotted Woodie at Holt and a coffee-coloured leucistic Brent on the Eye Field.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Good to be back!

Spent a very cold morning walking around Strumpshaw: no sign of Mark, Brian or Norman - perhaps they've been abducted! But Kim and Adrian were pleasant to chat with as always, and there were a few nice birds too! Jays, Fieldfares and Redwings were passing through in flocks and an obliging Bittern chugged past Fen Hide before the 'little men with scythes' arrived to scare everything away! An otter torpedoed through, giving good views, but no chance of a photo...On the riverbank, Liz / Elizabeth found two huge puffballs!

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Raptor help wanted!

Ok! What's this? I was driving towards Potter Heigham, just past the Oby turnoff, when I saw this large raptor in a cereal field right by the road. By the time I managed to turn around and return, it was flying away, gliding on flat wings and looking like one of the slim-winged Harriers... On the ground, it was very peachy, with a distinctly foxy cap. No pale rump, so it's probably a Marsh Harrier: but it just didn't 'feel' like one!