Sunday, 31 October 2010

October 31st 2010

Just when your glass is half empty it becomes half full - magic

Great Grey Shrike by Andy Hale

The day started mild but dull with very low cloud and a light south east wind as Dave and I looked for owls down the Southam Rd before dawn but we only heard a distant Tawny though Dave was impressed with the 10,000 gulls that flew over low almost silently as they left the roost at Draycote Water long before we had any decent light.
We moved on to Grandborough where we had 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Raven, 4 Goosander flying south east, 40 Linnet, 12 Fieldfare while along the Hill Rd there were 50 Yellowhammer, 50 Chaffinch, 9 Tree Sparrow and a single Corn Bunting.
Even at 8am Draycote Water was like the M25 with bikers and runners whizzing around like blue arse fly’s so our walk was unpleasant only managing 7 Goldeneye, 40 Meadow Pipit and 3 Pochard when a call from Colin arranging to meet at the Long Itchington Diner for breakfast got us out of there sharpish.
Once fed and watered we decided on Napton on the Hill but after 45 minutes and only finding 6 Mistle Thrush, 4 Greenfinch and 7 Redwing in the gloom I was ready to throw my toys out the pram and call it a day but as we arrived at the quarry things started to change.

Great Grey Shrike by Andy Hale

The cloud started to thin with a little drizzle which was enough for small parties of Redwing, Starling and Skylark to fly over then Dave shouted LOOK in my scope – all I could see were Chaffinches then bingo GREAT GREY SHRIKE – yippee all is well with the world. The bird was on the telegraph wires over the old brickyard below us and once satisfied we put the news out and what seemed an endless wait for the first birders to arrive it continued to feed well and soon Paul C, Andy, Dave L, Paul A and Jeff were on the bird. Also seen were 2 Chiffchaff, Great-spotted Woodpecker, 4 Lesser Redpoll, Goldcrest, 14 Long-tailed Tit and 2 Raven.
Many thanks to Paul Cashmore for the video ( having problems loading so hope to have that solved soon) and to Andy Hale for his photographs – very much appreciated and I hope to drag you out again as we are on a roll – Bearded Tit, Waxwing, Great Grey Shrike so may be Napton will give me a longed for Lapland Bunting next week.

Moral of the day - It’s not over till the fat lady sings even if sometimes it feels like she’s sitting on you.


Friday, 29 October 2010

October 29th 2010

A very low cloud base and a strong south east wind at first light meant that overnight migrants were easier to pick out as they flew over my garden with 16 Redwing, 12 Fieldfare, 10 Goldfinch, 22 Chaffinch and 11 Skylark.
Out with Dave this afternoon to Draycote Water but the south east wind was so strong we had difficulty standing up, spending more time making sure the scopes did not get blown over than actually using them so struggled to find anything. The only thing of interest was the thousands of gulls present at 3pm.
At last I can post - apologies.


October 28th 2010

There was a trickle of migrants going over the valley – mainly Chaffinch with the occasional small flock of Redwing and Starling while along the Hill Rd there were 10 Tree Sparrow, 2 Raven, 24 Yellowhammer, 45 Linnet and 5 Golden Plover.
No sign of the Bearded Tit at Napton Reservoir due to the increasing wind and the only birds of note were Kingfisher and Redshank.
I arrived late afternoon at the pond to the news that a Slavonian Grebe had been found earlier so joined its admirers before doing the roost which was not helped by the blustery conditions making life difficult but managed adult winter Med and Yellow-legged Gull off dunns bay, also present were Common Sandpiper between the inlet and valve tower, 5 Goldeneye including immature male, female Pintail in biggen bay, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Jay, 2 Lesser Redpoll and 5 Siskin.
Could not blog tonight – message came up saying maintence taking place try again in 40 minutes and I was still trying hours later.


October 27th 2010

After a very mild night I was chuffed to find a December Moth in the garden trap along with 2 Juniper Carpets. Not been many moths about recently and this is my earliest Warwickshire record beating my previous records of one in the garden of 13th November 2008 and one at Draycote Water 6th November 2006 convincingly. Unfortunately I have allowed Bob a holiday again so my efforts are not worth showing here. Despite the weather being stunning I could not get out so had to be content with what went over the garden which was very little.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

October 26th 2010

Despite being windy, cold, dull and raining I tried Draycote Water for yesterdays Whooper Swans but not surprisingly they had moved on after resting from there migration. There was a good passage of Skylarks with well over 500 counted going over in small groups along with smaller numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare. Among them were two birds that need further investigation as I don’t possess the grey matter to remember calls although the flight, size and jizz reminded me of one species I'm familiar with I saw no plumage details. Also seen were 15 Linnet, 67 Goldfinch, 40 Meadow Pipit, 230 Redwing, 120 Fieldfare, female Goosander, Snipe, 5 Goldeneye, 5 Gadwall, Kingfisher, 16 Teal, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker and Shelduck.
The weather looked as if it was clearing so pushed on to Napton Reservoir as this location also had 2 Whooper Swans yesterday which would have been a site tick for me but this was a big mistake as the wind increased and the rain came back with vengeance so not a pleasant visit – 68 Skylark, 6 Reed Bunting, 70 Redwing, 3 Water Rail, Grey Wagtail, 4 Shoveler, 3 Snipe, 3 Goldcrest and 15 Long-tailed Tit.
Now well and truly soaked I continued on to Napton on the Hill in the forlorn hope that the Waxwing would be still around as 30+ had turned up in county at Nuneaton today but after squelching around for two hours I gave up. Raven over the church, 5 Goldcrest in churchyard, Chiffchaff near Church Leyes Farm, Green Sandpiper in the old brickyard and hundreds of Redwing and Skylarks on the north western side.


Monday, 25 October 2010

October 25th 2010

A stunning Waxwing was on Napton on the Hill late afternoon perched briefly on overhead cables between Church Leyes Farm and the Windmill for a few minutes before flying off. Also seen were 5 Mistle Thrush, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Raven, 3 Buzzard and plenty of Redwing and Skylarks around. Barn Owl crossed over the Tomlow Rd on the way home.


Sunday, 24 October 2010

October 24th 2010

We were out before sunrise down the Grandborough valley as yesterday’s rain cleared the atmosphere and we were treated to scope views of the constellation Orion especially the The Great Nebula then a fly past by ISS (International Space Station) Zarya traveling at 4.5 miles per second followed by at least 3 meteors of the Orionids shower while all the time Saturn was showing low in the eastern sky. No sign of any owls until we were leaving along Hill Rd when a Barn Owl was found being mobbed by corvids near Gimswood at 7:50am.
With temperatures well below freezing and no wind Napton Reservoir was ideal for looking for the Bearded Tit but after an hour all we managed was the briefest of flight views and no calls heard though a flushed Jack Snipe performed much better. No sign of the Red-crested Pochards
After warming up at the Long Itchington Diner we moved on to Napton on the Hill but there was a distinctive lack of birds in the hedgerows or flying over until we reached the quarry where we had 80 Redwing, 100 Skylark over and a another 150 in a field between the Old Brickyard and the A425 and Dave found a female Merlin soaring overhead joined by a Sparrowhawk. There was plenty of bird activity in the churchyard centered on a fir tree where we presumed an owl was roosting but failed to see it, the local birds were definitely upset.
Next stop was the Just So Café (a café for cake lovers) in the grounds of the Bridge Nursery where we pigged out on some of Naomi finest before having another go at the Bearded Tit but failed again.


Friday, 22 October 2010

October 22nd 2010

Out with Bob to the pond but it was dire with our walk to toft shallows only producing first winter and adult Yellow-legged Gull, 40 Meadow Pipit, 3 Green Woodpecker, Dunlin, 5 Redwing and a few Fieldfare over. Buddy Dave returned from his Kenya safari this morning so we went to the Just So café at Napton this afternoon to listen to his endless sightings of animals and birds before looking at Napton Reservoir. The blustery conditions had brought in a pair of Red-crested Pochard and there were 4 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 9 Pochard, 24 Wigeon, 21 Teal and 19 Mute Swan. Also seen were a few Fieldfare flocks going over and a Cetties Warbler.
Back home late afternoon and three enormous flocks of Fieldfare went over the garden numbering well over 600 birds and included a few Redwings. Paul Cashmore kindly sent me this video he took of a aberrant plumaged female Great-spotted Woodpecker at Napton on the Hill this morning and I also have included a still from the video.


Thursday, 21 October 2010

October 21st 2010

Out to a very cold Wormleighton Reservoir where 2 Tawny Owls were roosting at the back of the reservoir, my first Jack Snipe of autumn and Kingfisher while the nearby hedgerow held 11 Tree Sparrow, 3 Corn Bunting, 2 Marsh Tit and overhead 40 Redwing, 160 Fieldfare, 3 Buzzard and 2 Raven went over.
As the morning warmed up a steady stream of migrants went over Burton Dassett Hills and recorded 560 Fieldfare, 80 Redwing, 45 Skylark, 3 Siskin and Brambling plus many others not identified. Also seen were Sparrowhawk, 2 Raven and 4 Buzzard.


October 20th 2010

Last night was very clear and down to minus one as I spent an hour watching Comet Hartley and cracking views of Jupiter close to the moon. Despite the artic temperatures I still managed 4 species of moths this morning while overhead at least 800 Fieldfare went south west in a steady passage mid-morning.
There was still a healthy movement of birds this afternoon over Hill Rd, Grandborough, mainly Fieldfare but a few Skylarks, Starling and Meadow Pipits while a male Brambling was with a small Chaffinch flock by the barn and 4 Tree Sparrow nearby. The male Bearded Tit was still at Napton Reservoir but just as elusive and mobile.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

October 19th 2010

A Snow Bunting over num bum hill at 10:15am saved the day at Draycote Water which until then had been a real crap visit with no sign of lassie among the very few duck present which could be down to a poor food supply due to present low water levels. A possible White Wagtail on farborough bank could not be confirmed before being flushed accidentally by the rangers opening the barrier and not seen again. Our tally included adult Yellow-legged Gull, 50 Meadow Pipit, 300 Starling, 40 Skylark, 4 Buzzard, 1 Pochard, 1 Gadwall, 2 Green Woodpecker and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker. Also Green-brindled Crescent on one of the visitor centre light and I managed 3 Juniper Carpet in my moth trap


October 18th 2010

A steady passage of migrants over the garden between 9 and 10am produced 134 Starling, 40 Skylark, 12 Fieldfare, 35 Meadow Pipits and 75 Redwing.
Did not get out till late afternoon and had another look at the Bearded Tit at Napton Reservoir but it was still very elusive and only other bird of note was a Lesser redpoll with the Long-tailed Tit flock by the small pool then it was a mad rush home for my moth meeting where we managed to trap 5 Large Wainscot, 2 Brick and Red and Green Carpet before a drink in the nearby pub.


Sunday, 17 October 2010

October 17th 2010

Out with Colin this morning and bit of a shock to the system as we searched for owls down the Southam Road and the first ground frost of the autumn – overnight temperature dropped to minus one but we did not have any luck so moved on to Hill Rd and had 2 Brambling and 27 Redwing going over plus a juvenile female Sparrowhawk that we crept up to in the car.
Next stop was Draycote Water but the mist was slow to burn off and it was obvious that visible migration was taking place with a steady movement of Starling and Redwing over so did not bother to stay and headed for Long Itchington Diner before moving on to Napton on the Hill.
The hill was cooking on gas with a constant flow of birds and once we realised that because they were flying low they were passing either side of hill and not going over the top we started to see them instead of just hearing them. Numbers were hard to judge but Skylarks were in there hundreds with fewer Redwings plus 2 Brambling and 2 Siskin while the churchyard produced a male Blackcap and a Chiffchaff nearby. Also seen were 2 Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, 4 Goldcrests, Sparrowhawk, 6 Raven and 2 Buzzard.
Stopped at the garden centre by the canal for coffee and a chance to warm up and greeted by 60+ Redwing going over then it was on to Napton Reservoir where we had 15 Mute Swan, 24 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 2 Pochard and 11 Shoveler. As we walked to the far end Colin found a juvenile male Stonechat in the reed bed and when we turned back he heard a Bearded Tit call and I found it flying over the reservoir to our side of the bank. We track it down and it was a stunning male just a few feet from us before it flew back to the main reed bed and then became elusive showing only occasionally as it pinged its way across the reeds but did manage to get Dave L and Keith on to the bird. Also seen here were 3 Snipe, Kingfisher, 3 Water Rail, Grey Wagtail and lots more Skylarks.
I have recorded Bearded Tit in 8 years out of 35 in Warwickshire and the last one was also at Napton Reservoir in 2006 when it was in the company of a Ring-necked Duck while I have not seen one at the pond since 1986 so a good county bird to find and not what I was expecting today – yippee a bit of pay back at long last.


Saturday, 16 October 2010

October 16th 2010

Arrived just after first light at the pond with thousands of gulls still present finding adult winter Med Gull and 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls out in the centre before they departed for the day.
A Rock Pipit was on farborough bank along with 34 Meadow Pipit, Green Woodpecker and Buzzard while 2 female Goldeneye and the Lesser Scaup were off lin croft point.
Spent 2 hours on numb bum hill, Country Park recording 65 Fieldfare, 55 Redwing, 22 Meadow Pipit, 9 Skylark and 2 groups of Golden Plover numbering 12 and 6. Only other birds of note were 2 Bullfinch and Jay in the country park.


Friday, 15 October 2010

October 15th 2010

After a long day and arriving home late I was snug bug in a rug when a hands off socks call gave me ten minutes to get my act together and an hour later there I am half a sleep enjoying a juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs at Port Meadow, Oxfordshire then a quick look at the Dipper on the River Windrush at Witney on the way home.
Conscious I had been neglecting the pond I made an effort to get there late afternoon and the Lesser Scaup was in toft bay along with a late but tatty looking Wheatear near the sewage farm and a Rock Pipit opposite the hide searching the shoreline. Hope to do it more justice tomorrow especially if this cloud cover breaks.

Local News – Paul C had 126 Fieldfare, 88 Redwing and 2 Brambling over Napton on the Hill in a two hour session this morning and Mark had a Kingfisher over his residential garden in Bilton, Rugby yesterday.


October 14th 2010

A day out along the north Norfolk coast with the scissor sisters starting at Dersingham where Barn Owl and Short-eared Owl were hunting and a Woodcock flushed while looking for Golden Pheasant at Wolferton Triangle. Very little migration over Hunstanton so moved on to Holme where we managed 2 Little Egret, 3 Stonechat, 60 Goldcrest, 6 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 25 Brambling, Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, plenty of Robins plus a few thrushes and Siskin.
The Titchwell R.S.P.B. reserve and the shoreline towards Thornham point was productive with 3 Bearded Tit, 2 Cetties Warbler, 2 Water Rail, 4 Spotted Redshank, 3 Little Egret, Little Stint, Marsh Harrier, 3 Lapland Bunting, 4 Snow Bunting, Twite, Red-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser and 6 Brambling the most memorable seen here.
After fish & chips at Wells next the Sea with a Spoonbill over the quay for company we pushed on to Warham Greens where we caught up with the Pallas’s Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler plus a fly over Hawfinch, Redstart, Merlin, Brambling and Little Egrets.
We then decided despite meaning a very long journey home to go Waxham where we had stunning views of a juvenile Red-flanked Bluetail.


October 13th 2010

I’m still dreaming of finding a something decent on my patch but Napton on the Hill was not going to be the place today though my latest Spotted Flycatcher in the county shouldn’t be ignored. Only other birds of interest were 6 Goldcrest dotted around the south side, Raven, a few Redwing and Skylark and 5 Sparrowhawk which were all singles heading south west and very high up.


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

October 12th 2010

Draycote Water was disappointing this morning with very little of note to report from 6 hours of searching. The visit started well with 3 Siskin & Great-spotted Woodpecker in toft shallow, Ringed Plover in toft bay and female Goldeneye off farborough spit where nearby 16 Meadow Pipit were on the dam wall. Tried a couple of hours looking out for migrants going over the country park (now named numb bum hill) but the returning cloud cover and cooler temperatures put a dampener on things and all I managed was 45 Skylark and 24 Redwing.
Other birds included 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, Raven and I finally saw Lassie tucked under the north shore sheltering from the cool north easterly breeze.
Single House Martin over Dunchurch village on the way home.


Monday, 11 October 2010

October 11th 2010

There was a small passage of migrants over my garden this morning – mainly Starling (350) and Redwing (120). A brief look at the pond produced the male Lesser Scaup, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, female Pintail, 10 Redwing and Yellow Wagtail. Between the M45 bridge and Halfway lane, Dunchurch there were 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest in the hedgerow.


Sunday, 10 October 2010

October 10th 2010

It was another mild night and the forecast was predicting the low cloud would clear by mid-morning so I was on Bush Hill by dawn having already seen 2 Barn and 2 Little Owl at Sawbridge. I didn’t have to wait long for the migration to start and over the next 3 hours there was a steady flow of bird’s passing in good numbers considering how far they must have traveled through the night - Redwing 2347, Fieldfare 34, Ring Ousel 1, Starling 423, Skylark 458, Meadow Pipit 230, Pied Wagtail 60, Yellow Wagtail 1, Siskin 10, finches 200+, Wood Pigeon 247, Lapwing 189 and Golden Plover 33. Nearby hedgerow held at least 5 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, Brambling and Lesser Whitethroat with 8 Goldcrest, juvenile Stonechat and 21 Tree Sparrow along Hill Rd. Also in the area were Great-spotted Woodpecker, 3 Red-legged Partridge, 5 Buzzard, 6 Raven, 2 Sparrowhawk, 30 Stock Dove, 8 Reed Bunting, 44 Linnet and 2 Jay.
When I arrived at the pond mid-day it was busy so cleared off after a quick look at the Lesser Scaup in toft bay.

My trap added Merveille du Jour and Feathered Thorn to my mothing year list with 4 Buzzard and 3 Raven over the garden mid-afternoon.

Merveille du Jour by Bob Hazell - alls well with the world when you catch one of these beauties

A couple of more shots of the Duchess from Bob

This evening more Redwing could be heard calling going over at 9:30pm.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

October 9th 2010

Another night of low cloud, easterly breeze and mild temperatures brought in 44 moths of 18 species to my garden trap with the best being my second latest record of Marbled Beauty, Red Underwing, Frosted Orange, 3 Green-brindled Crescent, 11 Blair’s Shoulder-knot(2nd highest count)and Pink-barred Sallow.

Went to see the Duchess of Sutherland with Bob & April who had arranged parking with friends at a nearby marina before a short walk to the Easenhall Footbridge where we had excellent views almost to ourselves as it passed by much slower than expected so not making as much smoke as I would have enjoyed. A few Skylarks noted going over.

Duchess of Sutherland

Despite the low cloud never lifting all day it did not stop more migrants going over the Grandborough valley with 100+ Skylark, 50 Redwing, 20 Siskin and 30 Meadow Pipit while nearby there were 29 Yellowhammers, 2 Tree Sparrow and 4 Golden Plover.
The pond late afternoon had the male Lesser Scaup off hensborough bank, a mobile Rock Pipit on draycote bank towards the valve tower, distant views of a Corn Bunting behind the inlet with 4 Yellowhammer, 3 Raven, Grey Wagtail, Buzzard and a Wheatear while overhead migration involved 54 Skylarks, 200 Starlings, 7 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 15 Redwing, 2 Brambling and 25 Meadow Pipit all heading south. The roost was a struggle as visibility was poor but still managed adult winter Med Gull and a Brent Goose flew towards toft at dusk but to dark to see if it had stayed when I left.


Friday, 8 October 2010

October 8th 2010

A very mild night produced some decent moths for a change with Silver Y and Pale Mottled Willow in my trap while Dave had Juniper Carpet and Mervielle du Jour in his.
Not worth going out this morning due to the low cloud which had only partially cleared by mid-afternoon when Dave and I trawled the Grandborough Valley. A lot of Wednesdays larks had moved on and only a few local Skylarks, 20 Yellowhammer and 10 Tree Sparrow seen along the Hill Road though there were 80 Skylark, 20 Meadow Pipit and 10 Swallow moving south overhead.
Back home between 4 and 5pm the migration continued over my garden with 120 Skylark, 69 Swallow, 10 House Martin, 3 Meadow Pipit, 7 Wagtail sp and 4 Siskin recorded.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

October 7th 2010

A trip out to Rutland Water, Leicestershire with Bob & Mark spending a pleasant day ambling from one hide to the other. Highlights were Ruff, 500 Golden Plover, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, 2 Black-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, 10 Little Egret, Water Rail, 7 Pintail, juv Stonechat, 20+ Egyptian Goose, Shelduck and 8 Swallow.

Details of the train coming through Rugby on Saturday
Number 46233 Duchess of Sutherland leaving Euston, London 08:06 arriving at Rugby 10:01 leaving 10:20 on its way to Chester via the Trent Valley line. Unfortunately the return will arrive at Rugby 18:58 and depart 19:00 so might be too dark for pictures unless your looking for atmospheric ones.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

October 5th 2010

Last night I attend the first of a 9 week course with David Brown the county guru when it comes to moths who gripped me off with Mallow he had to show plus a few from a weekend trip to the south coast that included L-Album Wainscot and Feathered Ranunculus. Although we only ran traps for a couple of hours the catch included a very smart Orange Sallow and Brick which was my 345th moth for Brandon when I got home and checked my records.


Orange Sallow
These are shots from last year by Bob Hazell

9 Black Tern at Draycote Water this morning was a pleasant surprise for this time of year and while Bob was enjoying a Curlew Sandpiper in toft bay I was on to a Red Kite in rainbow corner. The Lesser Scaup was still present among the duck flock off outlet which included, 12 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall and 6 Pochard while the shoreline held 5 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin.
A search of the country park produced 12 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Chiffchaff and a Jay while migration overhead was light consisting of 2 Siskin, 8 Swallow, 40 Skylark, 25 Meadow Pipit and 12 Golden Plover. Also seen were Kingfisher, 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 400+ Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Grey Wagtail.
A look along Hill Rd in the Grandborough Valley produced 100 Skylark, 50 Yellowhammer, 50 Tree Sparrow, 20 Linnet and 20 House Sparrow along with a few Greenfinch, Chaffinch, 3 Buzzard and a Grey Heron over.


Monday, 4 October 2010

October 4th 2010

O how I wish I could say – showing well at the pond today – this is the Hunstanton bird I saw on Saturday photographed by Steve Seal.

Been a Buzzard day with 7 circling over Rugby mid-day, 15 local birds at the pond this afternoon and a further 5 seen there migrating at altitude heading south. Lassie is still present but just as unfriendly to the photographers this afternoon and the only other birds of note were 5 Ringed Plover, 5 Swallow and 3 House Martin.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

October 3rd 2010

We battled against driving rain and strong winds for two hours this morning looking for migrants on Burton Dassett Hills but the tally of 2 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail questioned the sanity of such a move so made a timely retreat to the Long Itchington Diner.
Once dried and fed we were determined not to be out done by the weather so tried Napton on the Hill only to be frustrated by the continuous rain which gave us poor views of a possible Ring Ousel flying over the church. Only other birds of interest near the church were Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Chiffchaff.
Between the church and farm we came across a tit flock containing nearly a 100 birds which held 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest and 20+ Long-tailed Tits.


October 2nd 2010

The wind dropped in the night, becoming variable before turning to a light south westerly breeze and clearing sky’s by the time I arrived at the pond at dawn. The gull roost was just leaving and making hell of a racket with at least 7 Yellow-legged Gulls loafing out in the centre (5 first winter & 2 adults) before they slowly drifted off. The Wheatear and Rock Pipit were still on toft bank at 6:45am among 30+ Meadow Pipits and 5 Yellow Wagtail before the joggers arrived and flushed everything in to nearby fields. Yesterdays foul weather must have accounted for the increase in Ringed Plover numbers with 2 in toft bay, 5 on outflow and 7 on inlet along with 3 Dunlin and a brief Grey Plover but I failed to locate lassie but a call later in the morning from Dave Hutton reported the bird back in its usual spot off the outflow among the tufties. Ruff in biggen bay.
A small early morning movement of mipits and larks soon dwindled to a trickle and in two hours from the country park all I managed were 54 Skylark and 33 Meadow Pipits south plus a Hobby hunting House Martins which was a welcome October sighting. Other sightings included 2 Gadwall, 5 Wigeon, Blackcap, 7 Buzzard and 2 Sparrowhawk.

Took the opportunity at mid-day to see the first winter Wilson's Phalarope at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve, Welney, Norfolk which also had 2 Little Stint, Short-eared Owl, Ruff, Kingfisher, Whooper Swan and Marsh Harrier before moving on to Hunstanton for a bag of seaside Fish & Chips while watching a Wryneck on the cliff tops.


Friday, 1 October 2010

October 1st 2010

Dave and I spent an hour this afternoon sheltering under the visitors centre canopy from the heavy rain and strong south easterly winds. Even though viewing was limited nothing of note flying or bobbing out in the centre so had to be content with Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Wheatear and 2 Yellow Wagtail seen from our vantage point. Earlier despite the conditions there was a strong movement of mipits and larks over my garden.

Even Max was struggling for a photo of Lassie yesterday