Sunday, 1 May 2016

Early morning

This is really a draft to look at picture quality - so no text - just a few pics

Saturday, 16 January 2016

2016 a start

Following a deficit of birdwatching and photography since Oman in November I had a day out yesterday with Oli on a bright sunny but very cold day. In fact it was bitterly cold and the combination of high tides and wind had most of the coastal sites underwater, no creeks for any waders and hence no photographic chances.

We started off at Flitcham for the ever reliable 8.15am Pallid Harrier. By 9am it was a no show. Just a flock of Linnets and some very cold birders.
There were a couple of Twite in this flock of Linnets a few days ago but without a scope and with hardly any of the birds calling it was impossible to tell

We moved to Thornham Harbour to have a look for the Twite that had been seen recently, but only managed distant views of a handful of birds, probably Linnets and so far away that we didn't even have the chance of stringing them as Twite. A Little Egret stood by the car park as some consolation.

From our double dip we decided to try the area just east of Cley for some Water Pipits that had been frequenting a Sugar Beat pad. En route and given the high tide we drove along the quay at Wells and the long staying Shag was sat near the Quay, but by now the weather had turned and the light was impossibly grey and dismal. Still a Shag in Norfolk is always a rare event:

It felt cold enough for one of these !

Onto Cley for the Water Pipits then - again no luck. A combination of tidal breach and flooding had presumably changed their habits.... so far three dips

As ever though a Little Egret was present.

With poor conditions on the coast and few birds to see we called a halt to bird photography.... well sort of.... now where exactly could we go to see some birds ? that we could photograph, some nice birds like.... Bearded Tits

What a stroke of luck the Bearded Tits were showing, and more......Black-tailed Godwit

and Avocet

Yup Pensthorpe !

A final call in at Flitcham as the day ended to look for the Pallid Harrier that had never been reported there much after midday did of course provide us with another dip. Even the Little Owl which had been present half an hour previously had disappeared and we were left with some distant Thrushes as darkness fell.

Not a great day for birding or photography, but nice to be out with a whole day at my disposal. Made more enjoyable with Oli's company and lots of bird and photo chat all day.

Here's looking forward to the next sunny Norfolk day which coincided with a day off (hopefully before May !)

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

With a little more light this time....

Back to The Marsh to try and get some better wader photos with some sunlight which makes all the difference. Gadwall, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Lapwing and Little Ringed Plovers

Two hectic months at work...

With very little time to blog or even go out birding. So just some pictures of waders down at The Marsh. Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret and Redshank. Hoping for more consistent postings in the coming months:
and very little time to blog. So just some pictures of waders down at The Marsh. Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret and Redshank. Hoping for more consistent postings in the coming months:

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Alan's garden Partie

Having had the excitement of the Tree Sparrows returning to the garden after a gut wrenching absence of four days it was nice to see Red-legged Partridges, just two, wandering about as though they owned the place.

I'd been been stuck in the garage for three days number crunching, it's the only place where I can spread out all my paperwork and not be disturbed, I was summoned to the kitchen window as Sam announced that the young Pied Wagtails had flown off but there was a Partridge in the garden again. I needed a break so emerged from the windowless garage to have a look at our local Frenchman....
But hang on a minute, that's no Frenchman, it's one of ours ! English or Grey Partridge and it's in our garden. I grabbed the camera, it was getting dark so shoved the iso through the roof and got some shots, through the window....

 So Alan Partridge in da house, or rather garden - nice !

Sunday, 10 May 2015

A fruity twist

Working in the shop this morning and a chap came in to ask if we had any news of the Citrus Finch, I kid you not. Asking if it was a Citril Finch I was told yes probably and that it had been seen at Burnham Market. I extrapolated that to Burnham Overy Dunes as more likely than Burnham Market and made a few calls. Then hearing that Marcus Nash had found the bird it was clear a major rarity was nearby.

For the rest of the day various birders came into the shop to show me their pics of a fine male Citril Finch which was at the west end of Holkham Pines. This was the second ever British record and the first mainland record for Britain the first having been on Fair Isle. So at 5pm I was off to Lady Anne's Drive and the walk to the dunes. On arrival at the spot, at the west end of the dunes, the bird was showing a way off and the generosity of various people allowing me to use their scopes meant I had some great views.

Given the distance I only managed a few record shots

Back home and things were doing well, with our Tree Sparrows visiting the feeders and our new resident Red-legged Partridges present
 we have found how it gets in and out of the garden, under the watchful eye of our giraffes !

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A grey and beautiful day

8 May 2015
A visit to Sculthorpe Mill in search of Grey Wagtail proved a success. A lovely sunny start to the day and arrival before the pub opened and the hordes descended allowed Oli and I to watch a pair of Grey Wagtails gathering food and flying to their nest to feed the young (at a respectful distance). Being the only people there watching these most elegant of birds and seeing their private life felt quite a privilege - we didn't hang around in case they felt disturbed and then headed over to Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve.

 At Sculthorpe we were looking for Water Voles and the recently sighted Water Shrews but both eluded us. We were however given a VIP preview of the new broad walk and hide - looks to be fantastic. So onto East bank at Cley en route to pick up books from Wildsounds. Too windy for the Bearded Tits which we had been told were showing well earlier in the week, but a Lapwing obliged with an aerial flyby.
 and a Grey Heron on the Iron Road at Salthouse was busy fishing.

 Plus the ever present Avocets chasing everything
 Sedge Warblers were being very un cooperative and every time one emerged we either were not ready or it was just too brief - always a bit of vegetation in the way. Nearby and one of Oli's friends had told him of a couple of local Nightingales, so we pitched up and spent a while listening to them sing in full sunshine mid afternoon - of course no chance of actually seeing them,
 and finally back to Great Bircham and a walk round the village pond where there are two Little Grebes, but they always kept their distance so we resorted to some more familiar Norfolk Pond life !
 Egyptain Goose
 Coots having a scrap - three against one ? No wonder it was dive...dive ...dive !
 and would any village pond be complete without one of these - Greylag Goose