Sunday 29 June 2014

Red & Rosey

Saw only my second adult Rose-coloured Starling today in Lowestoft, having seen my first not to far away in Diss in Norwich back in the early 90's I think?

The normal plumage we come across in the UK are normally the drab juveniles so it was nice to catch up with a smart adult type bird.

Having arrived on site at about 8am we didn't wait to long before the bird appeared and showed very well for over half an hour, and not another birder in sight!

Myself and Monkey then headed up to Winterton north dunes where we located the female Red-backed Shrike from the previous day, though this was not as confiding as the starling, but still very nice to see and worth getting the soaking for!

The only disappointing sighting was one of the local Kestrel predating one of the newly hatched Little tern chicks from the beach, lets hope this wont be a regular occurrence??

Saturday 21 June 2014

Babby Boom

Its looking like a bumper year for breeding birds this year with the current fine weather, after a very mild winter it seems like every where you look there are juvenile birds about, and lets hope theres at least another brood to come with most species before the summers out.

Grey Wagtail & Grey Heron are just two of the species that have done well along my local urban stream.

Monday 16 June 2014

Short - toed eagle 15/6/14

After missing this bird last weekend down at the New Forest,  I was chomping at the bit to have another go, and with the bird relocating just an hours drive from home on Sunday (fathers day) it was an opportunity not to be sniffed at.

After receiving the usual ''best dad in the world'' card and cooking the Sunday lunch, I done what every normal good father does on fathers day and desserts his family in search of a rare bird!!

Good job I have an understanding relationship with my Wife and Son that sees me selfishly sod off when needs must!

Arriving down at Ashdown forest some one hour and fifteen minutes later (6pm), curtesy of my sat-nav taking me through every possible country lane through Kent and west Sussex, I duly arrived as many a birder were making there way back to the car park fully satisfied of there views of this Mediterranean mega
.  It looked like I was gonna be out of luck as the bird had flown some distance up the valley.

Luckily the Bradnums were on hand to save the day and led me to where the bird was last seen to land, but with no joy we split up along the valley and just as I was about to disappear into a dip a passing jogger (my hero!) calls out to me to look up behind me, and there was the SHORT-TOED EAGLE looking down on me before heading off down the valley.  BOOOOOM

Sunday 15 June 2014

Ringing Kestrel's

Was lucky enough to be involved in ringing a Kestrel brood yesterday.  After the morning early mist net session we popped along to a local farm where they have been breeding over the last decade.

With both the parents nowhere to be seen, it was perfect timing for us to process these birds and it was amazing to see how docile these young birds were, and amazing birds to see so close up.

All three birds in good shape, probably 2.5 weeks old, but unlike larger raptors which can be sexed on size, Kestrels are pretty much the same size in both sexes so can not be aged until very much later.

Jcb - every ringer should have one.

Monday 2 June 2014

Blakeney Point,

So me and the boy's find ourselves staring at a hedge at West Runton, that an hour previously held a black headed bunting! After a couple of hours, boredom sets in and we go off in search of our own birds.

A nice walk around Beaston bump finds very little, so after some breakfast (pasty and a cup of tea) we decide to conquer the famous Blakeney point.

The previous three days had seen some good birds being seen at Blakeney.  Was we about to score big?

Half hour into our epic journey With myself, Monkey, Lee and Shaunboy, the news filters through that the bunting is back on show, and both Lee and Shaun head back to give it another go - leaving me and monkey to soldier on!

With very little reward up to the point, we reach the plantation only to discover it too is pretty bird free!
Except for one little phyllosc, which was calling slightly different than your average chiffy and eventually giving us good views to prove it was in fact yesterdays Siberian Chiffchaff still knocking around.  So not a total waste of a journey.

The return journey was slightly easier on the foot at low tide, and gave us some photographic opportunities of the Little Terns that were feeding on the ebbing tide.

So Blakeney didn't really produce this time, but a thoroughly enjoyable walk.  I'm sure we will be visiting it again soon.

Oh and the bunting failed to show even after attempt No3...........