Friday 26 February 2010

Norfolk – The Broads – 21st February 2010

After our walk around Strumpshaw we headed off east and stopped over at Cantley but the visibility was so bad it was impossible to make out the Bean Geese. We however were rewarded passing through the marshes at Halvergate when a Hen Harrier passed over. Then further south around Haddiscoe we saw Rough-legged Buzzard being mobbed by some crows and in the field plenty of thrushes, mainly Fieldfare & Mistle, also, in the distance, over 100 feeding Pink-footed Geese.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 114 Month bird count: 80
Photo: Mistle Thrush (turdus viscivorus)

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Norfolk – Strumpshaw Fen – 21st February 2010

By the time we got up into Norfolk the weather had worsened to a mixture of rain and sleet and the waters at Strumpshaw were for the most part frozen over. Never the less we took a walk around to the tower hide, Marsh Harriers popped up at regular intervals and there were some Great-crested Grebes on the river. From the hide we had good views of a large gathering of wildfowl on the ice; Moorhen, Coot, Shoveler and Teal for the main. We then beat a hasty retreat back to the car for some warmth! But not before we had taken in a flighty Marsh Tit on the feeders. Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 112 Month bird count: 78 Photo: Common Moorhen (gallinula chloropus)

Monday 22 February 2010

Suffolk – Ipswich Park – 20th February 2010

Well it’s not every day you can combine a trip to the shops with a birding experience but, park a little bit further out of town and walk to the centre through the park and Bob’s your uncle! On the way through calling Nuthatch, feeding Mistle Thrush & Redwing and on the water Mandarin Duck along with Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gulls and Mallard.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 110 Month bird count: 72
Photo: Mandarin Duck (aix galericulata)

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Hertfordshire – Whitwell – 13th February 2010

We were out staying with some very good friends this weekend in Hertfordshire and they took the opportunity to take us for long stroll around some very impressive middle England countryside. Naturally this produced some opportunity to bird. Top of the pile must go to the five Little Egrets feeding in a watercress meadow with Moorhens, then the rest were field and woodland birds, Jackdaws, Fieldfare, Greater-spotted Woodpecker, Song and Mistle Thrushes.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 109 Month bird count: 65
Photo: Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Friday 12 February 2010

Essex – Mistley Quay – 7th February 2010

Moving on along back up towards Suffolk and from day one this year, we’ve being trying to see a reported Diver of the quay at Mistley. Well today was the day, Great Northern Diver clearly visable in the mist about half a mile out, along with a number of Great-crested Grebes, Pintails and 100 plus Shelducks.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 109 Month bird count: 52
Photo: Pied Wagtail (motacilla alba

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Essex – Abberton – 7th February 2010

Not the best of days here, low visibility, and trying to rain! Still, it’s worth a quick drive around the local. First stop was Abberton and to our surprise whilst scanning the sheltering wildfowl, there is White-fronted Goose with its head well down, just popping up occasionally, drake Smew, Scaup and several Ruddy Duck. Plus all the regular swans and ducks.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 108 Month bird count: 44
Photo: Mute Swan (cygnus olor)

Monday 8 February 2010

Cambridgeshire – Fens - 30th January 2010

Driving around the Fens on a clear winter’s day afternoon till dusk, who knows what you might see. On this particular trip feeding arctic swans were very evident, we encountered both Bewick and Whooper. We also saw a surprising number of thrushes including large parties of Fieldfare and Mistle. But the finale of the day was, as the sun was in its last throws near Pymoor, five Barn Owls starting to hunt. superb views right above our heads
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 106 Month bird count: 106
Photo: Barn Owl (tyto alba)

Friday 5 February 2010

Norfolk – Santon Downham - 30th January 2010

This is birding without the walk. Park up in the St Helen’s car park, wait for everything to settle and hey presto over 100 Brambling, give or take a few Chaffinches and Great Tits, are to be seen feeding in the fallen beech nuts. Magic!
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 103 Month bird count: 103
Photo: Brambling (fringilla montifringilla)

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Suffolk – Ickworth House (NT) - 30th January 2010

With in the grounds of this National Trust House there are some great woods for birding in at this time of year. We took the opportunity to stroll at first light through the area on the left just as you enter the grounds. Blue, Long-tailed, Great and Coal Tits were abundant along with Robin and Blackbird. Higher in the trees we found Greater-spotted Woodpecker and flying out across the sheep meadow was Green Woodpecker. With a little more attention is was easy to find Nuthatch, but alas I only heard the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, that will have to wait for another visit, but we’ll be sure not to leave it too late as the leaf cover will make it impossible to see them and we will also miss the impressive covering of Snowdrops which are about to appear.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 102 Month bird count: 102
Photo: European Robin (erithacus rubecula)

Monday 1 February 2010

Essex – Harlow Park UPDATE !– 27th January 2010

Just when you think that you’ve seen all the winter visitors, another one crops up. I saw the Grey Wagtail feeding in the brook, a first for me in the Park and one that has undoubtedly come in for easier feeding during the bad weather.
Life bird count: 389 Year bird count: 100 Month bird count: 100
Photo: Grey Wagtail (motacilla cinerea)