Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Red-backed Shrike

Well as the name of the blog suggests - i don't get out much; however yesterday afternoon (bank holiday Monday) after a call from Martin i decided this is a bird i really wanted to see. In addition it would also be lifer for Dad and we were at my parents finishing off a BBQ.

I've seen one of these before, it was the ridiculously close bird at West Canvey Marsh in September 2013 and was a juvenile so a stunning male was a must.

Martin had left before us and had located the bird within 5 minutes of his arrival, shortly after we arrived and sure enough after a few minutes was on it.

Great bird with some decent views, very mobile and fully aware of us at all times as it made its way around the scrub.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Choseley, Holme , Thornham Titchwell

Well it was that time of year again where my parents and some friends go on a homage to Titchwell for some "birding". On a few occasions now i have joined them for one of their days at Titchwell.

So my itinerary normally is to head up to Norfolk and arrive at Holme for about 11 and join them in the evening. Then spend the following, full day, with them at Titchwell.


This year was slightly different as my little jaunt was luckily at the same time as 8 Dotterel had taken up residency at the fields around the drying barns at Choseley. I arrived and along with a couple of others were on them immediately, 5 in view, not great views though, but its a tick. I would come back again for another try. Life Tick!


So without delay i headed to Holme. I was there by 11.30ish and before getting out of the car had seen about 25 species on the NWT drive to the reserve centre.

I was told of singles in the form of Turtle Dove, Ruff & Cuckoo. The Ruff was easy; the pools from the road gave decent views and the Cuckoo gave itself up with its iconic call. The Dove however proved too elusive for me and wasn't seen for the rest of the day by me or any of the others looking for it (i did come up on the pager the following day).

I spent most of the day here leaving about 5ish after hearing news of Ring Ousels on the cricket pitch at Thornham. Apparently they have been there every day for the last two weeks, back right corner and of course.........they weren't there.

61 species for the afternoon at Holme including Avocet, 3 reeling Grasshopper Warblers, with one showing well up by the small roadside car park, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat & 4 Ringed Plover.


After checking into the Lifeboat Inn, i took a stroll down the lane, much of the same but i did find a fine looking Goldcrest noisily feeding in the firs and pines that edge the field half way down.


This was going to be a full day, i aimed to be there in the car park for 6am; arriving at 7am i was the only one around.

My record for a day list at Titchwell stood at 68 and i didnt really expect to be getting near to that - i did, a new target set for next time with 72.

A Water Rail showed well in the usual ditch and further up was the turn of the warbler; all Sedge however Reed would be found later. A single male Red Crested Pochard on one of the inlets within the reeds (7 males in total later on).

All the usual suspects on the fresh marsh along with a couple of Little & Common Tern resting up.

Three Little Ringed Plovers were close along with a single Dunlin (more of them further in the marsh);

Onto the brackish marsh and a Common Sandpiper worked the edge closest to the path, Curlew to the back.

The salt marsh was dead initially however later in the day dad pulled in a Spotted Redshank, the first of three for me that day. Later after hearing of a Greenshank i headed back for another look to find this tucked at the rear amongst Whimbrel & Grey Plover that had been there for most of the day.

Swallows, House Martins along with my first Swifts & Sand Martins for 2015 patrolled the skies in the afternoon.

The Woodland was full of everything you would expect although the pair Bullfinch and Grasshopper Warbler they found a day earlier were not to be found. Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff seemingly everywhere.

I missed the Spoonbill both in the morning and the one reported 10 minutes after i left.

Back to Choseley

So on the way back home i stopped for clearer views of the Dotterel and got them, also 5 Wheatear and 1 Yellowhammer.

All in all a god couple of days.