Thursday, 24 May 2012

It's pointless..... ?

24 May 2012
Well is it pointless, Blakeney Point that is ? of course not there is a Point albeit it covered in mist and while the rest of the UK basked in wall to wall sunshine , Blakeney Point, was there, as ever, no sun, lots of mist and coats required. Many would say on a day like today.... a pointless walk, but from my viewpoint it was great !
The thing is, it's a rarity proven hotspot, it has history, it's a long walk, and it's pretty much yours when you get there, overall it's a different world, and one I like.

I teamed up with "mind the gap" (if you knew him in the 70's), now know as "Al". Davies. Long time friend and now voling at the Point, helping to look after the Little Terns. I hadn't been to the Point for ages so it was great to have a guide, catch up on old times and do some birding. We spent five fine hours walking and birding. Ok not much about, but we were in it, and who knows what might have dropped in.

Our first migrant was a Whinchat at Yankee Ridge.
We also saw Marsh Harrier, plenty of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, Little and Sandwich Terns and a Spotted Flycatcher also at Yankee Ridge. As we walked from the ridge this immaculate (though probably not welcome from a Little Tern viewpoint) Kestrel was hunting the Sueada

 At the Point we saw another Spotted Flycatcher, a couple of phylloscopus warblers and a fine Black Redstart. A few Swallows added to the migration feel. A cup of coffee with the National Trust wardens and guardians was most welcome, then the walk back along the seashore, it was out there somewhere as we could hear it though not see it.

Some six hours later and I was driving back home inland, one mile away from the coast and the sum emerged as did the temperature, rising to 24 degrees back in Pentney.

My thanks to Malc, the National Trust wardens and Blakeney Point (it's a lot like Lundy but that's harder to explain).

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Birding ?..... no idea

22 May 2012
All attempts at doing some birding have been regularly thwarted recently. Pressures over the house sale and the shop are taking their toll on getting out. However in an attempt to keep me interested this Red-legged Partridge was virtually on the doorstep at work this morning. Nice, but with Bee-eater, Icterine Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher all within spitting distance (well close by) it doesn't quite cut the biscuit. Still a day is planned on thursday for a walk to Blakeney Point - just watch something unplanned ruin that !

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Sunny and no rain ... What ???

16 May 2012
Yup this was the day that the forecasters said would be sunny, no rain and the best day of the month so far ! Well it was sunny so in the morning a visit to West Acre. The scape was very quiet with just five Gadwall, four Shelduck and Morehens than you could shake a stick at. The walk back to the car park was more productive with Hobby overhead and Whitethroats singing all over the place. The sun drenched fields had Linnets and Skylarks. As we ( Sam and I ) meandered back, the high pitched trilling of some Long-tailed Tits caught my ear and in the bushes we saw a family group being fed.
 A couple of young birds here showing the duller plumage of the adult and dark chocolate coloured facial mask, and below the adult (left) with a young bird.
The adult birds were having a hard job keeping up with feeding their five offspring. 
An interesting thing about Long-tailed Tits is that their very long tail, over half the length of the bird, is the longest tail of any British bird in proportion to its body.
Fed and fluffy

A Great Spot watched all the commotion
and overhead one of some six Buzzards seen that morning, they are becoming more common round here at last.

That's it back to the rain now.....

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

So birding for a change

15 May 2012
The last week or so has found me on the coast doing a spot of birding. Titchwell has been windy and quiet, West Acre has been incredibly quiet and Pentney has been equally dull. However I did get an invite into a local garden near the shop and managed to slip out of the shop for twenty minutes, and luckily the Bramblings were still present.
 The garden had five Bramblings in the last week and one had a completely black head, but for my twenty minutes I had to suffice with just three birds - fantastic.
Interlude with a Greenfinch
and back to the Bramblings
 Here a picture of a Robin after it's swallowed a golf ball
 The reserve at Titchwell has been quite disappointing for large numbers of birds recently. But perhaps I've just been at the wrong time, only managing a hour before work. Gadwall in flight below.
 However only a couple of days ago and by the visitor centre a true migrant, my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year.
 And finally some migrants moving through Pentney with this Whitethroat appearing in the garden. It is now singing daily from the bushes in the field behind.
 and then suddenly a Hobby belted overhead
 Back down to the coast and Avocets are well into breeding
 In the last two days there has been a major influx of Swifts and House Martins.
 Our garden Robin standing guard
 and today at Titchwell the Bearded Tits were showing reasonably well
 and finally a moderately summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit