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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Norfolk Day 3

Out before breakfast Sunday morning after receiving information about a site for Nightingale on Salthouse Heath, they used to be quite common here but not any more, the bird wasn’t exactly singing its heart out but it did eventually give a few short bursts of song, also a couple of Garden Warblers singing there. After breakfast most of the group decided to start at Kelling Heath and got good views of the Dartford Warblers this morning, we decided on Cley Marshes, there was a Little Stint present on Arnolds Marsh this morning and two Little Gulls on North Scrape but no sign of the Spoonbill seen earlier, again Marsh Harriers and Hobby hunted overhead and several Egyptian Geese were around. It was then over to Titchwell which to be expected for a Sunday and despite the strong winds was pretty busy but unfortunately fairly quiet birdwise, highlights included a drake Red Crested Pochard on one of the pools, a few waders present included some nice summer plumaged Grey Plovers plus a couple of Little Terns were resting up, on the way back we took a walk around the Meadow Trail which was fairly sheltered and as well as a singing Cetti's Warbler there were a good selection of Dragonflies. We ended the day and weekend at Sculthorpe Moor near Fakenham where we found and photographed a confiding male Golden Pheasant it never came out into the open though, not quite the weekend we had hoped for but good nonetheless with at least a couple of the good birds remaining, I saw a total of 106 species over the weekend with over 130 seen collectively.

4 Spot Chaser

Broad Bodied Chaser

Southern Marsh Orchid

Yellow Flag Iris

Confiding Goldie, although he never strayed from the understorey

some type of large bracket fungi

Norfolk Day 2

Saturday and after breakfast it was decided to start at Burnham Norton then work back, we called in at Wiveton enroute where a Golden Oriole had been heard singing this morning, must have moved on though as there was no sight nor sound of it, a female or immature Broad Bodied Chaser was seen in a nearby meadow. At Burnham Norton we walked out through the marsh to the sea wall to view some pools where the star bird, a female Red Necked Phalarope was still present although it remained fairly distant, other birds in the area included a singing Quail, some Little Terns fishing, a pair of Egyptian Geese plus some late Pink Footed and Barnacle Geese flying around. We went to the Montagu's Harrier site near North Creake next, the birds were supposedly present but had not settled this year so were a bit hit and miss, we gave it an hour or so but only had Buzzard and Kestrel so we headed back to Cley. There had been some good birds here over the past couple of weeks but unfortunately they had all moved on, highlights this afternoon were a Whimbrel amongst other waders on Arnolds Marsh plus one or two pairs of Mediterranean Gulls there and a Stoat dragging a duckling across in front of one of the hides, Marsh Harriers and a Hobby hunting over and a few Bearded Reedlings flitting about the reedbed, a late Shore Lark was at the end of East Bank although it was difficult to pick out in the shingle and a Cetti's Warbler was singing near Walsey Hills. Late afternoon we ended up on Kelling Heath looking for Dartford Warblers which have bred there for the last few years but none were showing this evening, good views of a Muntjac though.

Broad Bodied Chaser

fishing Terns

the distant Phalarope

Stoat with duckling prey

more Avocets

and Lapwings

blending in with the shingle

Muntjac on Kelling Heath

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Norfolk Day 1

Me, Mark and Andy joined the York Bird Club trip to Norfolk this weekend, we set off early Friday morning calling at Cuckney in Nottinghamshire on the way where a drake Lesser Scaup had been on a small lake there for the last two days, no sign of it this morning though despite extensive searching. We carried on into Norfolk and the first port of call was Welney WWT for the white spotted Bluethroat, this would be a tick for Mark and I was hoping to get some pics of it after the recent series of photos on Birguides, several Whooper Swans remained, a drake Garganey was seen from one of the hides plus Marsh Harrier and Hobby hunted the reserve but it was a long wait before the Bluethroat gave a quick snatch of song, showed briefly in a bush then dived back into cover, Andy heard the song and saw it in flight, Mark got the brief view in the bush but I was in the wrong place and missed it, we hung around for over an hour more but it never showed again and the day was getting on. We headed over to the Brecks and an alternative site I had been given for Stone Curlew, a place called Foxhole Heath but when we got there we found the area fenced off with notices not to stop so we ended up going to Weeting Heath anyway, three birds were seen here but as usual they were distant and in the heat haze, also a couple of Buzzards were around but little else. The original plan was also to have gone to Lakenheath but it had got too late for that so we just took a steady drive over to Kelling where we were staying.

at Cuckney, I had been hoping the Lesser Scaup was going to be this close

a late Whooper

close Sedge

Hairy Dragonfly

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Local news

Well the Ings are now flower rich meadows full of Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit song with Hirundines and Swifts feeding over them, there are also lots of well grown young birds around the area indicating a good start to the breeding season but the only thing out of the ordinary was a Cormorant sat in the trees by the river on the 18th, a bit cooler weather recently has meant not much Insect activity but a warmer day today found the first Banded Demoiselle of the year.

Red Clover




Herb Bennet

Red Campion


Common Vetch


the pond on Rawcliffe Meadows looking greener now


Singing his heart out

Small White

Speckled Wood

Silver Ground Carpet

Banded Demoiselle, tenerel female probably