Archive for the 'wild birds' Category

15
May
18

‘all white

On tour at Hickling the other week a large Egret flew up out of the reedbed. The yellow bill and completely black legs immediately confirmed it as a Great White. They bred in Norfolk last year. I suspect with the number we have around us the event will be repeated and become the norm.

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12
May
18

they’re back

With the recent warm weather the migrants came flooding in. I was walking on the clifftop here in Runton the other evening and a Whinchat and a Wheatear dropped in to rest for the evening. Swallows were flying purposely west … on there way to who knows where. This chap was resting at Minsmere on the migration day last weekend.

27
Apr
18

Two’s company, three’s a crowd.

Three Little ringed Plovers were sparring with one another the other day. Things were getting a little agitated. I suspect the consternation centred around who was going to mate with whom. Anyways, amid the whole ‘she’s my woman’ thing one of the plovers tilted it’s head and looked up. A sure sign of a raptor. I looked up too. It was a Marsh Harrier passing through. maybe next time it’ll be an Osprey :0)

 

23
Apr
18

An entertaining couple of hours in Babcock Hide

“You wont need that” Marcus said as I grabbed my coat. He was quite right I wouldn’t need it. The day was warm and bright. Not a cloud in sight. However the forecast had said rain and I was being cautious as I intended stopping in the hide for a while. It was late Sunday afternoon and the sun was swinging into the west and people were going home after a weekend on the coast. I figured I might have the hide to myself for an hour or so. There was a popular Black necked Grebe on the scrape and I’d promised myself some time off from working at the laptop to do a little photography before I needed to get back and put the Yorkshire puds on. There isn’t a good hide on the North Norfolk coast that looks west; they all face east into the morning light. Afternoons are therefore usually best for hide photography here. Better light, fewer people.

The Black necked Grebe was indeed present. In full summer garb. Spikey gold headgear and all that. At distance. It was as far away as it could get. If the scrape had a far right-angle corner I’m sure the bird would have been cowering in it. I waited. People disappeared.

The storm clouds gathered and eventually, as promised, it rained. I mean really rained. It rained like someone had upended all the clouds and it rained hard. Thunder, lightning, the whole first scene of Macbeth.; and the migrants started dropping in. Grounded by the bad weather a couple of Sandwich Terns came to take cover, Wheatears appeared in their ‘just got out of the shower’ plumage and a Short eared Owl pitched in at the back of the scrape. Several Marsh Harriers battled away into the downpour and the Spoonbill thought ‘bugger this’ and flew off. Black tailed Godwits and a totally confused Dunlin pitched in too. All lovely birds to see.

As for the Black necked Grebe … it did come closer … but not much.

19
Apr
18

A Highland Horde

Our birders tour to Scotland has just completed. Most of the usuals were sighted with a few additions. We even managed to call in at Musselburgh and see three species of Scoter; Common, Velvet and American White Winged. The bird of the trip for me had to be Crested Tit. They never fail to endear themselves to me. Never easy to find in April as they disappear from their previous winter haunts and females start to sit on eggs. If you fancy coming along on next years tour here are the details.

https://www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk/app/download/10083937/Itinerary+-+Scottish+Birders+Special+Tour+2019.pdf

 

12
Apr
18

Looking back to looking forward

Been looking back at a few photos from January … in Australia. Just love the place. Really, really can’t wait to go back. A selection of the photos I took can be found in the latest section of the Wildcatch site here.

31
Mar
18

A bone to pick and a beard to trim

Last week I was asked to identify a bone that had been found on Titchwell beach. If you are interested a photo and write up can be found here

The journey over to Titchwell from West Runton isn’t a short hop so I thought I’d go onto the reserve and take a few photos; making use of the time I had to enjoy myself. The sun was still low over the reserve, Titchwell comes into its own during the afternoon when the sun moves behind you; so conditions were not ideal for photography. However the Bearded Tit were performing so I fired off a few shots. I like the golden quality of ‘into the light photography’ that you often get in reedbeds.

It’s worth noting during my visit to Titchwell and the tour to Minsmere two days earlier I never saw or heard a Cetti’s Warbler. Purely anecdotal of course but I wonder if the recent cold weather has reduced numbers.




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