Sunday, 28 December 2014

Wallasea Island......again

A nice little jolly to Wallasea again this morning in the company of Messrs Harvey, Monkey & Redfern along with Shauns nephew George.

No Rough Legged Buzzard today but cracking views of Short Eared Owl, Marsh Harrier and Hen Harrier; by far my best views of Hen Harrier to date.

Easily 60 Corn Bunting, 4x Golden Plover, 2x Stonechat






Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Wallasea Island -Wild Costal Project

Thanks to Shaun for the suggestion and Bradders for the directions - Wallasea.....i loved it and will 100% be going back.

From the car park the fields were alive with Skylark and along with a group of c30 Corn Buntings made for a good start. With gear out a quick survey of the fields and there was the Rough Legged Buzzard, nice and close, bins view. Through the scope to the rear of the view and a pair of Marsh Harrier lazily flew up and down the reeds and grass's.

A female Hen Harrier didn't hang around for long as it came over the fields and over the river. Kestrel sitting on a post tucking into something. Linnets, Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipit all patrolled the dyke between the car park and sea wall.

The field side of the car park......



The river side....



The roadside field on the way in held about 1500 Brent Geese



The usual waders, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Curlew, swirling Dunlin plus a single Grey Plover on the river side.

The highlight of the river side was a Short Eared Owl that came from over the fields and onto the saltings.

A fair few Stonechat up an down the wall




Monday, 1 December 2014

More Mute Swan Rings

This time from Harrow Lodge park, a lot more rung birds as this is where they did about 150 a few years back.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Moth Stats 2014 - look away now

So the chance of me actually setting the trap for the rest of this year is small to none, although i must admit to really looking forward to next March.

After one year of mothing here's what happened. I thoroughly enjoyed the year, learnt a lot and would recommend everybody has a go......

And for all you moth'ers out there; VC18 Hornchurch, Suburban garden. Single 125MV Skinner

It was mainly left out all night, the odd occasion bought in early.

My highlights were my first Hawk-moth, Toadflax Brocade and Great Oak Beauty. Oh and the Pine Beauty, Spectacle......Figure of Eighty. The lists below........




Monday, 10 November 2014

Sherringham

Whilst in Norfolk, we took the Poppy Line from Holt to Sherringham. Whilst on a brief stroll along the sea wall we came across a rather large group of Black Headed Gulls being fed by numerous passers by. With chips being thrown in the air, sandwiches being tossed everywhere you can imagine the BHG's were in their element and so were their feeders.

That was until he turned up, it was really funny to watch as he came down onto the sea wall smack bang in the middle of the frenzy. Its size dwarfing the others making the feeders bulk at its size, a couple of smaller children screamed and run off. Comments of "look how big that one is" "ugly thing that one". Didn't have the heart to tell them there were bigger ones still.

Feeding Stopped







Saturday, 1 November 2014

Norfolk

A few days away with the family to Wells and i was given permission to head out early each morning, not out out, but for long enough to feel like i'd been out. Plus i managed a couple of twitches.

On Wednesday, late afternoon, i went to Holkham. I was immediately on a group of Scoters after a hell of a walk. Getting to Washington to hide was ok, but to then find the tide to be what felt like another mile out was knackering.

Anyhow after ticking the Surf Scoter close enough to see the white patch on the back of its neck, year ticking 4 Velvet Scoter accompanied by 6/7 Common Scoter i headed back.

Again late afternoon, but on Thursday, i drove off down the A149 to the West End of Holkham Pines. This time in search off the Rough Legged Buzzard. I found myself a spot and viewed the dunes, other birders all in the dunes themselves, i had not time to get down there.

Other birders joined me until there were about a 10 of us on the road. The numbers in the dunes now about 6. We viewed a very pale Common Buzzard. A call to a white rump, everyone getting good views straight off. then from know where a voice. My voice.....er isn't that a Hen Harrier, a few low volume/mumbled laughs as everyone agreed.

Another Common Buzzard, a Marsh Harrier then finally from nowhere over the pines there it was. It stayed for over half an hour, soaring over the pines the dunes.

My highlight though was on Tuesday morning; a true self found Ring Ouzel in the scrub just south of the Dell in Wells Woods. It was also a Thrush morning, the fields were alive with Redwing (c150), Fieldfare (c50) and Continental Blackbirds (c30), Song Thrush (9) and Mistle Thrush (3).

In addition plenty of Goldcrest & Chiffchaff. And annoyingly, reported a little later a Yellow Browed Warbler.

We also took the lazy route to Blackeney Point for the Seals a mix of Grey and Common







Saturday, 27 September 2014

4ANA....he's back

A quick hour and half over the valley saw Snipe, Shoveller, Teal, Woodpigeon, Mallard and pretty much everything else go up as the farmer, a couple of buddies and the dogs go about their business on the scrape, far side of the river to the lower paddock.

Checking the area to see what impact the cows had had last time they grazed there, possibly coming back to that section....


I moved on to Tit Lake and he's back....4ANA....and he brought with him the wife and kids. This year it seems as if a lot more of them have survived with 7 still in tow.





Meadow Pipit in large numbers on return journey via the back of the houses.


Great Haddam Birdies

I haven't played golf properly for years now, about 8. I've played once since I've started this blog. A four ball at Great Haddam Golf Club Friday afternoon was going to be interesting.

An afternoon tee, probably 4 plus hours round, would we even finish?

The golf went as well as could be expected really, i still won the round but the golf was not any where near the standard of years gone by.

Meadow Pipit lined most fairways in the wispy rough through 9, getting flushed time after time as to be honest we all spent far to long in there. 10 through 18 saw the rough change slightly to become more tree lined and wooded, here the Tit flocks were roaming, taking with them Chiff Chaff.

Skylark called as they flew around over head moving from one part of the course to the other whilst Jackdaw & Crow were making a racket in the surrounding farmland.

Linnet started to make themselves known as the course moved from open rough to woodland.

The small ponds dotted here and there really didn't hold too much. They were well placed traps and were full of balls, the Coot & Moorhen didn't seem to mind.

The highlight through 9 was on hole 3, a Wheatear was on the green. I could see its silhouetted form as we all took turns taking our approach shots and i was hoping it would hang about for me to get a better look as we got there. It did, in fact after a customary short flight as we took to the green, it flying to the other side no more than 10-15ft away, it paid no attention to us at all. We all putted out and headed towards it as we headed to the next tee. It flew over the bank and out of sight.

As the round progressed mixed Gulls headed off to roost, mainly Black Headed, Herring & Lesser Back Backed.

Male Pheasants started to make themselves known and appearing on and around most tee boxes.

Finally the last two holes where on the tee i thought i heard a Tawny Owl calling. I dismissed it but by the time i took my dismal approach shot, which cost me a birdie, there was no mistaking it.

Onto the 18th and my drive headed towards the main lake which is situated on the left. As i arrived i heard Kingfisher and managed to see it whiz low across the water to the far side. My drive was the longest on this hole so i had some time here waiting. The bird perched for a bit then making its way to another corner then another and finally back to my end after pretty much a full lap.

As we sat in the 19th two Pied Wagtail went over.

The whole time the other three players were oblivious to all going on, shame really I'm sure they would have enjoyed it more if they had know.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Rough Photos

A couple of visits to the Valley today to catch the first Ruff in over 12 years - 4 birds.





Plus one of the Black Tailed Godwit



Sunday, 31 August 2014

Valley Spot Fly's

Finally after numerous attempts over the last three years, Spot Fly is on my Valley list. A tick and run around 11.30.

Then a late return this evening, probably 7/8 birds all down by the iron bridge from the metal gate.