Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Norfolk – Salthouse & West Newton - 20th June 2009

We took a late afternoon drive up to the coast, with the intention of viewing a few sites, taking an evening meal and then looking for Nightjars. The first stop was Salthouse, quite quiet with Avocet in the field, Curlew over and Sandwich Terns off the shore line. Next in line was a stop at Blakeney and just before the footpath heads out of the village we took the time to view a singing Nightingale along with Jackdaw, Coot and Moorhen. Taking our evening meal in Thornham with House Martin, Swallow and Swift over, we then set off to a wooded area near West Newton. After a short walk through the wood we waited till the dusk appeared, in the twilight two Woodcock went over, then the Nightjars appeared, very close, but uncharacteristically moving off, probably to better feeding areas, as I noticed we didn’t suffer too much from being bitten. None the less good views! Life bird count: 387 Year bird count: 204 Month bird count: 68

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Suffolk – Landguard & Trimley Trout Lake - 6th June 2009

Bright early mornings at this time of year are always good for birding; things are settling down with all the summer visitors here and breeding, thus making locations and habitats more predictable. Landguard was flush with feeding Linnets, Blackbirds, Meadow Pipits, Starlings & Ringed Plover. There was also a party of Juvenile Pied Wagtails and a couple of grazing Oystercatchers moving across the open areas. At Trimley it was a story of breeding ducks Mallard & Tufted, plenty of Mute Swans and Greylag, plus Common Tern over and feeding Reed Warblers in the margins. Up in the surrounding woodland, again feeding were Whitethroat & Chaffinch.
Life bird count: 387 Year bird count: 202 Month bird count: 57

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Suffolk – Lakenheath Fen – 30th May 2009

Another early start in order that the day be as productive as possible and a drive out to the RSPB site at Lakenheath Fen which as undergone great change over the last couple of years. Known primarily for its breeding population of Golden Oriole (a species that eluded us to day), it does have a great deal more to offer. On the water margin Reed Warblers are very active and with them come the threat of infiltration by the parasitic Cuckoo. Two birds give us great views as they fly across the reed bed looking for suitable nests. Further along the path, the population changes from Reed to Sedge Warbler interspersed with Reed Buntings and on the water there are two very elusive Garganey, Great-crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen & Shoveller.
Finally overhead in the gap between the two placations a pair of Marsh Harriers hunt and to the north of that over the water way several Common Terns fish.
Life bird count: 387 Year bird count: 201 Month bird count: 93

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Norfolk – Snettisham, Holme & Titchwell – 2nd May 2009

This west end of the north Norfolk coast is always worth a visit once the migrants start arriving, especially the heath and small marshes along the Norfolk Coastal path from Snettisham. Numerous Willow Warblers & Sedge Warblers singing from the low lying wild apple trees, far more than previous years. Plenty of Whitethroat & Linnets, both species nest building. Plus! and one of the prime reasons for visiting this area, a population of singing Grasshopper Warblers. Out on the beach, there were summer plumage Grey Plover & Golden Plover. Next, we stopped at Holme and driving through to the visitor’s centre caught sight of a Whimbrel feeding on the grassland. Finally after a drive around the Chosley Barns area and taking time to view a hunting Marsh Harrier we ended up at Titchwell, packed as it was with weekend visitors, there was plenty to see. Highlights were; three species of Tern, Common, Little & Sandwich, a drake Garganey, summer plumage Sanderling, Spotted Redshank, Bearded Tit and none breading Eider just off the coast. Life bird count: 387 Year bird count: 200 Month bird count: 90