Posts Tagged ‘Bird Watching

17
Feb
22

FSC

A great time leading a course for the Field Studies Council at Flatford Mill in Suffolk over the last few days. A place steeped in history and some great participants on the course made for an enjoyable few days. Although the weather eventually drove us indoors on Tuesday, we had a fabulous day yesterday at Abberton Reservoir.

07
Sep
17

Visiting Travellers

As we walked down the dunes on Sunday there was a flock of swallows making their way slowly south towards Africa. Feeding as they went. Then they rested a while before moving on again. They are enough to lift any heart. Unencumbered, no ties, able to fly where they wish. Not without reason we say something or someone is as free as a bird. They travel between continents at will – do you envy them?

29
Feb
16

Scaup

A bird we have seen on our trip to the Solway each year, in varying numbers, is the Scaup. A winter visitor to our shores; although a few, and I mean a few, breed in Scotland each year. This makes them the UK’s rarest breeding duck. This one was photographed on our tour to the Solway last weekend.

Scaup

22
Feb
15

Ruff

In a small sunlit pool tucked away among the reeds this Ruff fed up on anything it could find in the mud. With just a jittery Redshank for company he started off quite close but soon moved slowly away when he heard my shutter go off.

Ruff

26
Oct
14

Grey Phal.

On several tours recently Grey Phalaropes have made an appearance. They always remind me of wind-up toys; some sort of clockwork spinning top. I particularly liked the one that spent a little time at Cley recently. We saw it on several tours and I enjoyed photographing it.

2014 10 17 Grey Phalarope Cley Norfolk_Z5A8714

15
Oct
12

Nice Garden Tick

It looked like a bright sunny when I set off on my walk this morning. I try to cover the area around Falcon Cottage north to the sea as frequently as tours and other work allows. I like to see what’s happening on ‘my patch’. Bird migration should be hot right now in mid October but in fact it’s as slow as I’ve known it for many years. Good birds tend to be turning up in Essex and around the Borders of Scotland but seem to be missing Norfolk … for the moment – there’s still time for that to change but it suffices to say it’s a bit quiet.

With an unpromising steady south westerly wind blowing I set off with no air of expectation just a mild healthy curiosity.  I was right; finding birds was hard work. As a good friend of mine said over the weekend Woodpigeon Retina burn-out! It came as some surprise then that from one small copse the familiar sound of a calling Yellow browed Warbler punctuated the silence and a rather out of place Great spotted Woodpecker coming in off the sea led me to take a second take as it landed on one of the wooden groynes!

As I climbed back up the ridge towards home the wind got up and the sky turned that gun metal grey that signals rain. It wasn’t long before it started; not heavy forceful rain you understand, just gentle drizzle. Then it all started to happen.

Skylarks in abundance, Song Thrushes, Redwings, Chaffinch by the score and a party of House Martins dashed through – the first I’ve seen for a couple of weeks. Despite the south westerly, migration was happening and the rain was pushing things down low.

As I got back to Falcon Cottage and closed the gate behind me I heard a ‘crest’ in the garden. Not the thin call of a Goldcrest but the round fruity call of a Firecrest and with a little patience there it was, feeding among the ivy on the leeside of trees. I watched it as it danced through the branches and leaped over the bushes to a Holm Oak in the far hedgerow. I never tire of seeing these tiny flying jewels. From here it left the garden and it was away. I turned to enter the house only to be faced with another feeding in the ivy by the door. Two Firecrests!

As Sharon said … nice garden tick!

16
Jul
12

Showing Well

Some birds are secretive; crepuscular in nature. Just occasionally however they can break their habits.

There are a few Dartford Warblers that are resident in Norfolk. Dartford Warblers occupy areas of gorse and thick heather; staying low and usually out of sight, as a consequence they are never easy to see well. On a tour last week however, a nice wine coloured male gave us an excellent extensive showing. He even came close enough to enable us to take a few shots before he flew away across the heath.

28
Mar
12

Feral

I’m often asked about the term ’Feral’ and what it means. Although it could apply to my 15 year old daughter it more often applies to creatures that were domesticated but have returned to the wild and in some way still rely on man.

Take Rock Doves for instance. They were taken from the wild to become domesticated Pigeons – any Pigeon with a white rump will probably have a wild ancestor within its history that was a Rock Dove. Now you probably have to go to the sea cliffs of Northern Scotland to find a true Rock Dove.

The odd mixed bag of creatures flying around the cliffs here in North Norfolk that visit the gardens to feed are perhaps best therefore described as Feral Pigeons.




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