Archive for the 'norfolk birding' Category

24
Jun
22

Imminent Tours – places available

https://mailchi.mp/c0ecc7455624/nightjar-evening-and-purple-emperor-day

Click on the link for details

05
Jun
22

Homing Bee Eaters

Well you couldn’t make it up could you?

Still buzzing from finding the four Bee Eaters on Porthloo Lane in Scillies last week; I was delighted to get a message from friend Andrew this morning informing me he had found four Bee eaters, just down the road here in Norfolk.

It would be tempting to think they were the same four. That would be extraordinary wouldn’t it? Well, I photographed one of the birds in flight on Scillies as you know from my previous post. The photo is repeated here again. Take a look at that worn 5th primary in the right wing. Now take a look at the photo of the bird I took today. It has the same worn primary. It’s the same bird. This is the same group of Bee Eaters in Norfolk as were on Scillies. They have followed me home!

Scillies Bird
Trimingham Bird
28
May
22

A Very Little Bunting

It’s not often you come across what could potentially be a first for a breeding bird for the UK.

What were presumably the pair of Little Buntings that were found in March on the North edge of Kelling Heath spent some time subsequently further south in ideal breeding habitat. They were chasing one another and displaying and I watched what was presumably the male feed what was presumably the female.

With help and advice from friend Trevor of the North East Norfolk Bird Club (NENBC), the land trustees, the RSPB and the Secretary of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel I attempted to monitor the birds.

The longer they stayed the more convinced I became they were breeding. In eventuality however they moved on. Towards the later part of their stay they became very furtive and returned repeatedly to the same area. They were last seen on the 19th April. Subsequently, despite several thorough searches they couldn’t be found.

So they either deserted, moved to a different location or all the display behaviour they showed was just a pre-amble to them moving back North to breed; which to be fair is most likely what happened, although we’ll never know for sure. Never the less, a very interesting occurrence.

25
May
22

Gosling

Egyptian Geese are so cute when they are tiny.

08
May
22

A stint in the hide

Last week a Temminck’s Stint was wandering around in front of one of the hides at Titchwell. It never did come close; perhaps because it was being seriously bullied by anything and everything. I guess if you’re a tiny wader you are going to get picked on. Quite a plain wader but very enigmatic little characters these guys.

28
Apr
22

A trembling foot

Sat in the Parrinder hide at Titchwell the other day I was photographing a pair of Little Ringed Plover. I noticed the male was ‘foot trembling’ whilst feeding. I have seen other waders, such as Lapwings, use this technique to presumably attract prey species to the surface but I’ve never seen it in use by a LRP before. BWP (Birds of the Western Palearctic) does not mention it either (as far as I can see). Here’s a short video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PN-Gh9–tk

25
Apr
22

Scotland

We had a great time in Scotland with an impressive tally of birds for the group. Specialities included. This was no doubt helped by the mild warm southerlies that brought on a spell of early migration. However, there was one bird that dominated the tour. At every single place we ventured from the vehicle this year we could hear and often see Siskin. They were everywhere!

17
Apr
22

Godwit

Some of the Black tailed Godwits visiting Cley at the moment are just stunning.

15
Apr
22

A Bird from Kent or a Kentish Plover

I was engaged doing something which must for the time being remain a mystery. However, the story will reveal itself in the fullness of time. Anyways, I was thinking I better get off home and do a little work before the tour to Scotland at the end of the week when a message popped up on my mobile phone. ‘Kentish Plover on Simmonds Scrape at Cley’

It’s been a good while since I saw the last one but I played it cool and had a vegan cake and an oat milk coffee at the reserve centre before walking out to the hide. Although a very smart male the bird might as have well been in Lincolnshire; it was miles away at the back of the scrape. I gave it the opportunity to move closer by waiting a couple of hours but it stubbornly stayed well out of range of the camera.

I sat in the sunshine outside and dealt with a few emails before intending to walk back to the car park. It was only when friend Trevor came out and said it had moved closer I put the plans to leave on hold. The Plover had indeed moved to the nearest sandy island. Although it was still aways-away I at least managed a record shot.

28
Mar
22

Some you win … some you lose

I’ve been working at Wild Ken Hill for around seven months now leading some of the ‘Big Picture’ tours. The tours cover the coastal marsh, the regenerative agricultural implementations on the estate and also the 1000 acre rewilding area. At WKH they are doing some amazing things which I passionately believe we should be doing.

I don’t take my camera with me on the walks as it’s quite a heavy beast of a thing and can be a little strength sapping when on foot all day.

Tania came with me last Saturday, as she sometimes does. About 2 hours into the morning tour we were just starting to climb the hill that is ‘Wild Ken Hill’ within the rewilding area when I saw something flitting half-way up one of the Scots Pines. I raised my binoculars expecting to see a Robin. In fact what I saw floored me. The red wasn’t on the breast but down the flanks of the bird and as it turned I saw an ivory white throat and a beautiful blue tail. It was a female/first winter type Red flanked Bluetail. I forget what I actually said … but it was something quite exclamatory! The bird flew down to a pile of scrubby removed Rhododendrons and promptly disappeared.

I think this is the second March record for Norfolk. None of the twelve guests with us were bird watchers and I had a timetable to observe. However, I explained the significance of the sighting and reluctantly left the area, with more than a single backward glance, to continue the tour. In the short time we had available to look on the afternoon tour it was nowhere to be seen.

The following day, on Sunday, we decided to see if we could see any of the Garganey that had been reported at Cley NWT over the preceding week. Garganey, our only summer visiting duck, are normally elusive; preferring the shelter of vegetation and reedbeds to open water. After waiting unsuccessfully in one hide most of the morning we decided to have lunch back at the centre and try the centre group of hides in the afternoon.

As we got to the hides friends Greg and Andrew were departing and announced they had seen a pair going up and down the drain close in front of them. Well, they weren’t wrong. The birds were ridiculously close. I had to take off the extender and reset the minimum focusing distance. In fact I could have easily have taken photos on a mobile phone.

Sometimes you win by taking the camera … sometimes you lose when you don’t.




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