Friday 27 February 2009

Norfolk – Lynford Arboretum – 21st February 2009

We moved across from Ickworth into Thetford Forest and up to Lynford. Good views on the gravel pits of Goosander, Ferruginous Duck and Common Gull. Then there was a variety of woodland birds in the Arboretum including Treecreeper and Siskin, alas no Hawfinch (tut), never the less we also had a nice collection of common wildfowl on the lake.
Life bird count: 376 Year bird count: 120 Month bird count: 100

Monday 23 February 2009

Suffolk – Ickworth House – 21st February 2009

We’ve dropped into the woods surrounding this stately home at this time of year before and found one of the best shows of Snowdrops we’ve seen. This year was no exception as they have appeared in abundance deep in the woods.
From a birding perspective, its one of those places where you wonder around and sometimes you are lucky and others there may have been too much disturbance and you consequently see nothing. On this occasion I’d say it was the former, we saw all three species of woodpecker (Lesser-spotted, Greater-spotted and Green) showing, drumming and calling, then Nuthatch and a variety of more common woodland birds all showing well. Life bird count: 376 Year bird count: 119 Month bird count: 97

Thursday 19 February 2009

Norfolk – Salthouse– 17th February 2009

On the same day we then headed further east from Titchwell and, having had no luck at Cley coast guards, we dropped in to the beach car park at Salthouse. Immediately picking up on 2 very obliging Snow Bunting (oops!), plus Teal and Turnstone in the rock pool.
Life bird count: 376 Year bird count: 114 Month bird count: 89

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Norfolk – Holme & Titchwell– 17th February 2009

The first drop in of the day was to the Wolferton Triangle, alas no luck on the small population of Golden Pheasant so we decided to head for a spot of sea watching at NWT Holme. We had a great drive in with Grey Partridge, Marsh Harrier, Fieldfare, Curlew and Stonechat all either on the track side or over the marsh.

Off shore in the water were 10+ Mergansers and couple of Great-crested Grebes. Then generally heading east we saw several Red-throated Divers, a large flock of Dunlin and 5 Long-tailed Duck. It was then up on to the main road again and a stop over at Titchwell, here we could see that the waters were very high but well stocked with birds. On the fresh marsh there were Pintail, Avocet, Widgeon, Brent Geese & Shoveller, with Water Pipit, Snipe, Ruff & Bearded Tits feeding in the low level reed islands. On the salt marsh we had Golden Eye, Black-tailed Godwit & Little Grebe. Then out on the shore line were Sanderling, Knot, Grey Plover & Dunlin. Life bird count: 376 Year bird count: 113 Month bird count: 88

Monday 9 February 2009

Suffolk – Local Patch – 8th February 2009

We’ve not been around our local wood for many a month, so with snow still on the ground and most of the water pools frozen solid we took a wander. Despite the cold snap early breeding activity was evident; Robins were singing in territories, Great Tits whilst still in small flocks were singing from branches and moving their heads to flash their white cheeks and Greater-spotted Woodpeckers were drumming! Other birds were in winter parties; Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits and Chaffinches, with winter Thrushes high the sky moving from one feeding ground to another. As you can see nothing of great note but behaviour is definitely on the change, great walk out! Life bird count: 376 Year bird count: 97 Month bird count: 27

Monday 2 February 2009

Norfolk – Thetford Forest – 31st January 2009

We had to get out before the promised bad weather, so off to the “interior” it was.
We started at Lynford Arboretum, on the now flooded gravel pits found amongst other wildfowl a Ferruginous Duck and Red-necked Grebe. Within the Arboretum itself there was a mixed flock of Goldfinch & Redpoll and a single Siskin, plus plenty of Marsh Tits feeding in the branches and on the tree trunks, along with the occasional Treecreeper. Next stop was Santon Downham, not a great deal to be seen here except for some grazing Highland Cattle and the opportunity to photograph some foraging Blackbirds and catch sight of the more timid Redwing. Finally it was off to Hockwold Fen and a very quick walk out through the reed beds before it got too dark. A distant Great Grey Shrike, Stonechat and alas only heard Reedling.

Life bird count: 376 Year bird count: 96 Month bird count: 96