Friday, 10 June 2011

A Singing Reed warbler - a Garden first for Bedford

8th June. It's out there somewhere! The view from the back window, with a singing Reed Warbler in the bushes behind and left of the green bench. Not the first Reed Warbler for the garden but certainly the first singing bird

A garden Blackcap in the hand - no nets involved , but no rings to hand either !

5th June.

A Blackcap that flew into the Kitchen window in Snettisham, but quickly recovered itself and flew into the hedge at the back of the garden.

Family groups of Blue and great tits visiting the feeders

Turtle dove Snettisham 2 June

Little Owls near king's Lynn 29th May

Having seen Little Owls in a number of places recently, an opportunity to go with with David when he helped ring a brood of 4 near King's Lynn was an opportunity for a close encounter ! The half term week spent in Norfolk produced a mixed bag of weather and no birding surprises, though Spoonbill was a site tick for the NOA's Redwell Marsh.

Back to the nest cavity in an ols Apple tree !

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Great Spotted Woodpecker Bedford

A very vocal and curious Great Spotted woodpecker at the nest hole, being fed by both parents and very near to fledging. At least 1 juvenile foraging in the area a week later and no one home at the nest hole. Filmed on may 27th

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Meanwhile back in Bedford ......

A rather windswept Grey Wagtail. Bedford River 24 May

This local pair of Wagtails usually brighten up the walk into town. A singing Cettis warbler at Priory Country Park had given brief views earlier.

Common Tern Bedford River 24 May

Black Stork Northants 15 May

A week-end spent in Bedford to entertain visitors took an unexpected turn with news of the BLACK STORK at Weedon In Northants.
Having had a leisurely dinner the bird had been present for some time before we stumbled across the news, so a quick change of afternoon plans - and suitable apologies to our understanding guests - and we were on our way. A phone call taken as we were within minutes of the site told us the bird was still showing - but just to prove how fickle life can be, we pulled up to find the bird had flown. Over an hour spent on site hoping it would be relocated proved to be wishfull thinking - though the local Buzzards tried hard to keep us entertained, and a fly through Grey Heron almost caused some excitement !!!
News that the Stork was still present the following morning meant a return journey - with the bird again flying before we arrived. As Black stork records are non-existant in Beds, Very Scarce in Northants, and Scarce even in Norfolk, the wait hoping it would be relocated gave a chance to catch up with friends from various counties in the waiting crowd - and fortunately we were to enjoy excelent views of the Stork after it was indeed relocated. In a scene remeniscent of a Whacky Races cartoon people began running to their cars and a rolling convoy headed back to the A45. After several wrong turns, u-turns and more than a little confusion we arrived at the new location - only to be met with tales of the bird flying off again !!! Fortunately these were premature as it was still in the field - but well hidden ! Excelent flight views were had and by following a footpath from the village we were able to enjoy prolonged views of the Stoprk on the ground and stunning views as it flew almost over our heads. The dilema of do I reach for the camera at this point, or just enjoy views that I may never get again fell in favour of soaking up the views - hence the rather distant and grainy shots posted of the bird on the ground. Nice in the scope but really too far for the camera.

Enjoying the views

A curious local wondering what alll the fuss was about !

Crowd Control !

The guilty culprit !

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Collared Flycatcher - Holme 8th May. A Norfolk mega on the home patch

It has always been a dangerous thing to let David stray out of sight, but it was my good fortune that he found Holme's second COLLARED FLYCATCHER with me standing within shouting distance - and that the bird stayed and showed well to an ever increasing crowd throughout the afternoon and evening.

Having volunteered to cover the Observatory for the morning, a Spotted Flycatcher was a welcome early sighting, but there was otherwise little obvious sign of mass migration. A report of a Wood Warbler along the approach track was confirmed by David relocating it, but it remained elusive. Abandoning the Obs for half an hour to join him failed to produce any views of the bird, so, with Sophie back to man the Obs, a fresh attempt to get better views was in order.

True to form ,within what seemed like only a few minutes,again David relocated the bird - and only my second Norfolk Wood Warbler gave excelent views to the small group around us. A nice follow on to the Wood Warbler that had also given superb views at Holme during last Autumns bird bonanza !

Wood Warblers are scarce migrants in norfolk these days, so a good day so far - which was about to get a lot better ! David had crossed back to the main track from our viewing position by the river, in order to get a different viewing angle into the tree, and I had just had time to send a couple of texts with news of the Wood Warblers relocation when I heard David shout ''COLLARED FLYCATCHER'' - and within seconds I was on the move past birders arriving along the river path in the hope of seeing the Wood Warbler !!

The rest as they say is history, only NORFOLK'S 4th COLLARED FLYCATCHER, and a very long wait over for many of the arriving birders

David Roche with Sophie Barker from the Observatory - a good day for all as Sophie did see the bird and was able to takeover £100 in donations from birders using the NOA Redwell Marsh car Park

A small section of the crowd !

photos of the Collared Flycatcher kindly supplied by Dave Holman

A Green Hairstreak butterfly photographed at the Obs