Saturday, 31 May 2008

L.R Plovers, Garden warblers and a Turtle dove...

Spent the morning at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve where I had 41 Species all together. Highlights were at least 5 LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (3 ON NESTS), C10 GARDEN WARBLER( 1 PAIR GIVING GREAT VIEWS DOWN TO 2 METRES) and the EGYPTIAN GOOSE family with 4 Goslings. Not much else was of interest apart from 1 KINGFISHER.

...and I just popped to Bough beech where I had great views of 1 TURTLE DOVE (YEAR TICK) and a SPARROWHAWK which put everything up!
Gave Simeon a lift to the station today, and managed to get in a bit of birding on the way - singing Cetti's Warbler in a bush near Heygates Flour Factory, heard out of the car window! A great patch first! That concludes today's birding for me.


Friday, 30 May 2008

Titchwell Trip 1st May- 5th May.

Hello, I better introduce myself. I'm Josh and 14 years old and obsessed by birds. I live near Sevenoaks, Kent.

The best birds on the Norfolk trip I had at the begining of the month were:

I mostly do local birding at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve where I've recorded over 100 species so far. I also regularly visit Rye Harbour NR, Bough beech, London WWT and occasionally Norfolk.


Sunday, 11 May 2008

Spring summary

male White-spotted Bluethroat at Winterton, Norfolk (C.D.R)

As I haven't posted on here for quite some time though I'd give a brief account of my spring so far. Although it seems common migrants have been relatively poor in terms of numbers in comparison to recent years, scarcities certainly seem on the up, despite the seemingly ideal weather charts not really producing as much as hoped (yet!). Despite Norfolk in Spring migration being frustrating at times, highlights have included a stunning male WHITE-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT at Winterton, a superb adult WHISKERED TERN at Holkham Freshmarsh and a bright male (prob. Western) SUBALPINE WARBLER at Blakeney Point. Lesser rarities have included a Wryneck, 2 Temmincks Stints (1 self-found), a Green-winged Teal, up to 15 Dotterels, a perhaps slightly suspect Black Kite and 9 Common Cranes. Good numbers of Wood Sandpipers (6) and Black Terns (17), as well as lower numbers of Ring Ouzels and Blue-headed Wagtails (1 self-found) has kept up the interest throughout. The patch meanwhile, has produced 5 Common Cranes and a Rough-legged Buzzard (co-found). Lets hope a final push of common migrants and scarce overshoots alike is yet to come. And lets not mention Black Larks and Spectacled Warblers :(

EDIT 01/06/08. WOW, a fantastic final push for Spring (hasn't this happened a bit in the last few years?!) saw some great birding. A nice CITRINE WAGTAIL was at Titchwell RSPB, alongside 3 Temminck's Stints, and prior to that 2 RED-FOOTED FALCONS were at Lakenheath Fen RSPB and 3 calling Corncrakes were on the Nene Washes. Meanwhile, the patch produced a Red-backed Shrike (self-found with J.G) and 2 singing ICTERINE WARBLERS the next day. Revision unfortunately got in the way towards the second half or the half-term (forcing me to miss the Trumpeter Finch at Blakeney) but the holiday finished off on a high with 2 singing Quails at an undisclosed site. I then managed to claw back the TRUMPETER FINCH (rather insanely on Monday evening!) thanks to a kind lift from S.G and J.G. Presumably Spring has unfortuately now ended (finally!) but at least with a bit of a bang, with my first Norfolk (and only second British) EUROPEAN BEE-EATER at Northrepps and a singing Wood Warbler (also a Norfolk tick!) at an undisclosed site on 8/6/08. What a rollacoaster of a ride...



Saturday, 10 May 2008

David's YBBR 2008 report

If you fancy writing a brief report of your day competing, feel free to do so.

Sunday 27th April 2008 Deborah4;, Epsomsalt;(Chris) (and wife Jen), Baggy2508 (John), Den21 (Denise) and I met up at Pagham Harbour for a day's birding. We started meeting at 9:30am but got going when I finally arrived after a lot of confusion as to where I was meant to be. Before I arrived the others were looking at the Small Ferry Pool, the main bird of note that they saw were some newly arrived Swifts. Otherwise there were large numbers of Shelduck and common wildfowl on the Pool and a Reed Warbler or two showing well in front of the hide. Eventually I arrived. There were Redshank and Lapwing feeding around the Pool and pair or two of on the Pool. We soon moved on from the hide overlooking the pool and crossed a bridge over a channel of water, here there was a pair of Moorhen with chicks and some fine Reed Buntings flitting about in the reeds which we all got good views of. There were large numbers of male Pheasants around the site, a few of which came quite close. It was a good day for Warblers with Reed, Sedge and Whitethroat being heard all the time in the scrub and reeds. Further on along the track we heard a Cuckoo! This was quite a surprise and despite scanning of dead trees and fence posts we failed to locate it, however John picked the bird up in flight a few minutes later but the rest of us didn't see it. A Skylark sang. A report came through from RBA of two Cattle Egrets flying over the reserve but we only managed to find Little Egrets. Hirundines were limited with only a few Swallows being seen skimming right by us. We were treated to close up views of a Grey Heron in a dyke which everyone enjoyed.With spring migration fully underway, if not finishing up, and so many Curlews around we were on the look out for Whimbrel, the others saw a couple from the first hide but they were apparently they were distant. By the time we reached the hide near Church Norton we had seen plenty Oystercatchers, and a trio performed a particularly good display, moving simultaneously together, piping while doing so. Most of the other Waders had cleared off but there were still Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Curlew present as well as the Oystercatchers. Deborah picked up a Little Tern while we were at the hide feeding over the water. I think this was a year tick for almost all of us who saw it. There were still signs of winter, though, with 9 Brent Geese over the harbour.A brief seawatch revealed nothing other than a Great-crested Grebe. As we passed the reedbeds looking for Bearded Tit about four Linnet showed very well and another Cetti's Warbler sang. From the same spot we saw a Buzzard flying low over the tree line being mobbed by Carrion Crows; it landed briefly but soon flew again and was lost to sight. A walk through an area of farmland, cottages and storage buildings produced species like Greenfinch, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches and a few more Chiffchaffs. With the Pheasants on a field were two Red-legged Partridges and a Lapwing, meanwhile a Sparrowhawk flew over. Further along the track we got good views of a feeding Great-spotted Woodpecker. Also in the area was an obliging pair of Kestrels. When we paid a brief visit back to the hide we were treated to fantastic views of a Whimbrel and at the hide we were told that a female Pied Flycatcher was seen five or ten minutes beforehand flying towards the cemetery and there was a Redstart there too; we were off. After a while walking round looking in vain for the Flycatcher, John had to leave and the rest of us soon headed back for the Sidlesham car park. The walk back didn't really reveal much else other than a couple more Whimbrel, we stopped off at a bench and Deb got a call from Denise saying a birder had found a Kentish Plover near the Church Norton hide. Deb and I headed off immediately but Chris and Jen had to go. On the way we spotted a couple more Whimbrel and had good views of the Green Woodpecker that we heard earlier.We approached a small gathering of birders, and thank goodness we got the reply that it was there and got distant views of the Kentish Plover for about 10 minutes until Deb left with another birder for the Bill (she saw Common Scoters, an Arctic and a Great Skua) and I decided to have one last look for the Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. We got the opportunity to compare the nearby Ringed Plovers to the bird and noticed it was a much faster feeder and much smaller, lacking such prominent markings on its breast. A lifer for me! Of course I had no luck with the Pied Fly or Redstart and headed home at around 5:20pm.An excellent day with great company, thanks guys!
Full List
1 Bar-tailed Godwit
2 Black-headed Gull
3 Black-tailed Godwit
4 Blackbird
5 Blackcap
6 Blue Tit
7 Brent Goose (Dark-bellied)
8 Buzzard
9 Carrion Crow
10 Cetti's Warbler
11 Chaffinch
12 Chiffchaff
13 Common Tern
14 Coot
15 Cormorant
16 Cuckoo
17 Curlew
18 Dunlin
19 Dunnock
20 Gadwall
21 Great Black-backed Gull
22 Great-crested Grebe
23 Great-spotted Woodpecker
24 Great Tit
25 Green Woodpecker
26 Greenfinch
27 Grey Heron
28 Herring Gull
29 House Martin
31 Kestrel
33 Lapwing
34 Lesser Black-backed Gull
35 Linnet
36 Little Egret
37 Little Tern
38 Long-tailed Tit
39 Magpie
40 Mallard
41 Meadow Pipit
42 Moorhen
43 Mute Swan
44 Oystercatcher
45 Pheasant
46 Red-legged Partridge
47 Redshank
48 Reed Bunting
49 Reed Warbler
50 Ringed Plover
51 Robin
52 Sandwich Tern
53 Sedge Warbler
54 Shelduck
55 Skylark
56 Sparrowhawk
57 Stock Dove
58 Swallow
59 Swift
60 Teal
61 Tufted Duck
62 Turnstone
63 Whimbrel
64 Whitethroat
65 Wigeon
66 Woodpigeon
67 Wren

Monday, 5 May 2008

Blasted Golden Oriole...

Having heard constant reports of continental birds rolling in, I decided to try my luck at Bockhill. Rarity count: ZERO. I missed 5 crossbills and a Golden Oriole at Kingsdown by an hour. Seems to be the story of my life, really.
I had a fairly good time on the cliffs, but the peregrines showed at fewer intervals than usual and it was always hard to capture them as the autofocus locked onto the sea. I did manage to take a few quality shots, seconds before noticing a rather bemused fulmar sitting on a ledge only a metre or so from me.