Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Recent local birding trips.

Since returning from my short trip to Norfolk I had to come down to earth and do some local birding.I didn't expect to see much because afterall we are into the poor birding months now.

I've been to Marsh Lane twice and to Brandon Marsh twice.The highlights what there were included a Red Kite at Brandon to the east of the golf course,Hobbies at both Marsh Lane and Brandon but both only stayed for a few minutes before clearing off the miserable so and so's,Green Sandpipers at both Marsh Lane and Brandon but both at distance and that's about it.

Only other things of interest were a Fox close to the Oak hide at Marsh Lane,a juvenile Blackbird in my back garden lying stretched out on a bush sunbathing(?),at least 50 large fish (carp ?) on the first pool on the right at Brandon that were cruising around very close to surface and the heat generated in the River Pool hide yesterday lunchtime reminded me of a Japanese world war 2 punisment sweat box in Burma.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Norfolk Trip - Day 3

Early Saturday morning I left the hotel and went to spend the morning at Titchwell hoping for a better day than on Thursday.

Things did not go well as I'd got all the way to the broadwalk near the beach and I'd not seen anything of interest but my luck changed because some Skylarks were on the field just to the left of the broadwalk showing very well.One even decided to have a dust bath right on the path.Never seen one on the ground before and what a cracking looking bird.A flock of several hundred Knot were on the beach some in Summer plumage.

On the walk back my good luck continued with a distant view of a Bittern flying on the west marsh.Bar and Black -tailed Godwits,a lone Little Gull,a female Red-crested Pochard with 5 chicks all on the fresh water pools.Best of all for me was a Summer plumage Spotted Redshank as I'd never seen one before in Summer plumage and what a cracking looking bird.

A few pics taken shown above.Click to enlarge.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Norfolk Trip - Day 2

On Friday morning after breakfast I drove across to Cley on the A149 and pleased to get through Stiffkey without meeting the school bus I arrived at the reserve car park at just after 9.00AM to find the wind if anything was blowing even stronger than yesterday.What a bummer!!!!!!

Had a quick look in the Bishop hide to find it empty and the water high.There were no birds of any interest to see so I decided to walk the east bank and what a battle it was against the wind.When I reached the dunes I'd seen very little and the few birders I'd met said the same thing "There's nothing about".

I then went back to the path that runs along the road and try and get some shots of the Marsh Hariers that fly over the marsh.I stayed there for nearly 2 hours battling against the wind and trying to get some shots of the Harriers of which there were at least 5 flying around but the miserable so and so's mainly kept a long way off.Managed to get a few half decent shots but the changing light conditions and the bloody wind made it very difficult.

After some lunch at the centre I went across country to the Montague Harriers viewing point near North Creek but as I pulled into the carpark I saw that there were no other birders there which was not a good sign.After about 30 minutes though I got a brief and very distant view of the male which was approx. 2 fields away up the hill.Other birders had arrived by this time but after waiting for another hour we did not get any further views and all shouts of "there's one over here" turned out to be Marsh Harriers.Some of the shouts were mine of course.

A few pics attackhed.Click on them to enlarge.

Norfolk Trip - Day 1

Early Thursday morning I went to Norfolk for a couple of days to see if I could get some decent shots of anything that was about.

Had a good trip and was walking around Titchwell before 9.00AM.That's where the good news ended because,even allowing for the time of year, the reserve was very quiet and it was very breezy.The only birds of note I spotted after spending all morning there were approx. 100 Black-tailed Godwits and a lone Little Gull on the fresh marsh, 10 Turnstones and a Little Tern on the brackish marsh.There was nothing on the beech.

Gave up at lunchtime and went to Thornam harbour and took the walk to the Holme dunes.This can be a rewarding walk specially at the dunes end but the wind was now very strong and the only birds battling the conditions were some Skylarks.

In the evening ,after some nice fish and chips in Hunstanton,I took a tour of my favourite Barn Owl spots but never saw a single bird.Oh Dear !!!!!!! Not a good begining to the trip birdwise but I did get a lot of excercise.

Hardly took any pics so only a few attached.Click on them to enlarge.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Brandon Marsh visit.

Went across to Brandon Marsh again Tuesday morning to enjoy the fine weather and try for some decent shots but it turned out to be one of those days when things go wrong on the photo front.All the decent birds either scurried off before I could raise the lens or they had the sun behind them.

There were loads of Warblers on the walk from the windpump round past the golf course but most were too quick for me today.No KF's seen at the west marsh pool or from the Carlton hide and worst of all no Hobbies when the day was perfect for them.

Good job I was on my own on the river pool path when I was convinced at the time I was rattling off shots of a pair of distant Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers only to find that when I checked the shots in the river pool hide they were juvenile GS Woodpeckers.What a clown!!!!!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Marsh Lane.

Went to Marsh Lane early on Sunday morning.The weather was great but there were no other birders there which was a surprise.

Besides several Sedge and Reed Warblers showing well from the causeway there was very little of note about.Well not till I got to the Oak hide where in the marsh there was a pair of Water Rails and three chicks showing very well (I learned later thre are six chicks but I only saw three together).It was tricky to get a decent shot of the chicks because not only did they scamper around a lot but the marsh is a bit overgrown and to get a clear view was almost impossible.Still great to see.

Also at long last got a Sedgie shot in flight.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Nice morning so off to Brandon Marsh.

Very nice weather this morning so off I went to Brandon Marsh.It was very warm,bright and with little wind when I got there.

Often when the weather is great and ideal for getting decent shots you find there are no birds about to point the camera at and so it proved today but it was very pleasant to walk round.

Other than watching a couple of Sedge Warblers gathering food for their young I saw very little of note until just before lunchtime when a couple of Hobbies turned up and started hawking over the East Marsh pool.As luck would have it they stayed the other side of the pool to me and never gave me a chance of getting a decent shot.

After lunch I headed to the Carlton hide with fingers crossed that they were still about.Luckily one was perched in the dead tree and the other was hawking over the Newlands.I didn't have many chances to rattle off some shots as the one in the dead tree only rarely came out off it's perch and the other was happy to hunt high up in the sky.Got one decent shot but that's all.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Marsh Lane.

I'm struggling to find something to point the camera at so despite the poor weather on Tuesday afternoon I went across to Marsh Lane.

I was hoping the Little Stint was still there and was in front of the Oak hide where it had recently been seen but the site book told me it had legged it or rather winged it the day before.

A brief visit did produce a Peregrin which soon shot off to the next county,a Common Snipe which shouldn't still be here (?) and best of all a very nice Dunlin which unfortunately stayed on a distant island.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Brandon Marsh Visit.

Fed up with being trapped indoors for a few days and although the weather was still not good I set off for Brandon Marsh on Monday morning.It was dull, a bit chilly and there was a breeze blowing when I got there.Not good for pics then!!!! but it was nice to be out.

A Cuckoo was calling out by the sheep field but I could not locate it in the trees and three Common Buzzards were flying around.It was very quiet on my walk round and all I saw of interest was a couple of young Wrens darting around in the bushes and a young GT Grebe that was too big now to hitch a ride.

All the hides were very quiet and even a walk past the Old Hare Covert failed to produce anything of note except a lone Hobby which soon flew off.

A disappointing morning really but it was nice to be out.