Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Lesswer spotted Woodpecker Breckland norfolk 14 Mmarch

1 of at least 3 birds seen during the morning

Monday, 16 March 2009

Lesser Spots in the Brecks - and some bonus pheasants

Saturday 14 March.Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Breckland Norfolk. After good views of the 2 Rough Legged Buzzards in the Wolferton area the previous week-end, Saturday saw an early start, heading to the Brecks - and superb views of at least 3 Lesser Spots - 2 females 1 male.The escaped Red Tailed Hawk showed well at a nearby site, and 5 Hawfinches were at Lynford. A flock of 30+ treee Sparrows were found in a hedgerow and the real surprise if the day was a group of male Reeves Pheasants found on the return journey. Stunning birds, even if their origins will be as escaped or released birds. A roadside Tawny at Snettisham at the end of the day was a near perfect end to a long days birding. A return to Wolferton on Sunday failed to produce a repeat show from the Rough Legged Buzzard but did provide views of 2 Hen Harriers, a Peregrine circling over our heads, as well as Common Buzzards, Marsh Harriers Sparrowhawks and Kestrel, and good numbers of Crossbills - at least 25 in 1 flock.

Male reeves Pheasant 14 March

Red Crested pochard Bedford 16 March - a case of back to the escaped/released birds but showing well in bright sunshine

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Little Owl Woburn Beds 4th March

Little Owl - spotted in the shadows of his hole but eventually coming out to survey the Deer Park from his tree. An accepteable alternative to the Waxwings I had failed to find.

Goosander - up to 8 present as well as at least 1 drake Mandarin. 2 on the lake by the Abbey, 4 more in flight,and another pair on the smaller lake towards the stables.

Black Swan - very elegant but also very tame !

Dungeness 27 February - 2 March

Returning David to Dungeness for his second season as Assistant warden at the Observatory gave me the chance for another visit to the Kent Coast. Though photographically not particularly productive, the birdwatching did not dissappoint. Black Redstarts were around the Power station. The Iceland Gull performed on a daily basis, and after such a quiet winter on the sea in Norfolk the numbers of Guillemots, Divers, Kittiwakes and Gannets among the Guills and Grebes offshore was very welcome. A passage of Brents on the 1st March also produced at least 10 Velvets among the Scoters. Smew, Goosanders, and both Slavonian and Black Necked Grebe were present on the RSPB Reserve, as well as 2 Firecrests, and a delightful Water Vole - posing in front of 1 of the hides until spooked by a low flying Magpie !!! The biggest surprise of the trip was a flock of 25 Snow Geese and 1 Empereor Goose on the 1st. These had been reported in Sussex earlier in the day but had sneaked through to dungeness unnoticed!! A flock of this size was an impressive sight in flight, and enough to cause a bit of local excitement - at least until a walker on the footpath passed within feet of them, failing to flush them in the process and excitement levels plumetted !! Still an impressive flock whatever its origins.

Above and Below Iceland Gull - showed well on all 4 days, but a difficult bird to photograph as the sun was never in the right place ! Aptly likened to a Barn Owl in its flight and pale colouration as it wheeled over the patch among the mass of Gulls.

Above and Below Kittwake. Good numbers of both Adult and juvenile birds present.

Red Crested Pochard - popping up everywhere these days !

Snow Geese - of unknown origin. 20 white birds and 5 blue form in the flock of 25. A particularly impressive sight in flight.