Sunday, 27 September 2009

Ibis at Boyton and garden moths, 26th September.

Not nearly as far away as I thought, Boyton Marshes RSPB proved to be a decent little reserve and excellent views of 3 Glossy Ibis were forthcoming. During the quieter moments you could hear the birds feeding on the flash, lovely stuff. The ringed individual originates from Donana, apparently.

Stonking views of a Water Rail on drugs, dashing about on a concrete track. Beardies and Cettis were typically heard but not seen, and I witnessed a stand off between a Heron and an Egret. A Wall Brown was my second of the year. The grazing meadows here look great for Pipits and Wagtails.

Went to Shingle Street for a bush-bash, nothing doing but clearly bags of potential here.

Had the new Moth trap out over the weekend. Difficult to give a complete list as I am still unsure about some species, but these I am confident of:
Barred Sallow
Dotted Clay
Blair's Shoulder Knot
Lunar Underwing
Large Ranunculus (I think, picture attached)
Large Yellow Underiwng
Autumnal Rustic
Angle Shades
Common Wainscot
Brindled Green
Brown Spot Pinion
Beaded Chestnut

Of note in my village, a Wheatear flushed on route to the pub, and a Comma through the front garden in glorious weather.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Moth Trapping in a Suffolk garden

Don't be fooled by the blog title; I do moths too now!
Pictures to follow, but here is a list from last night (Sunday):

Barred Sallow- my favourite of the haul.
Brindled Green
Beaded Chestnut
Setaceous Hebrew Character- loads of these, and the award for best name too.
Hebrew Character
Rosy Rustic
Dotted Clay
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Large Yellow Underwing
Common Wainscot

There were a few that 'got away', and some poor pictures which were of no use! But at least we got 10 species nailed on, out of about 25-30 Moths in the trap.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Wells Woods, 20th September

Wells seemed to be the place to go today. Reports had been promising throughout the week, and the large areas of cover offered by the Holkham reserve and Wells are ideal for migrants. I didn't even try to convince the other half that a walk to halfway house was the order of the day; we are not quite at that stage just yet. The Blyth's Reed will have to wait; thankfully they are appearing almost annually in recent years.
Birds were in abundance, in particular female Pied Flycatchers (where are the males?!), Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. A Redstart was faithful to one spot in particular, in contrast to the roving flycatchers. Girlfriend picked out a Spotted Flycatcher and Treecreeper much to my pleasure! All this from one spot, waiting patiently. Shame a few 'birders' onsite were not prepared to do likewise; instead, what became familiar faces charged around and were suprised when they missed out!
After midday we finally decided to change location and headed past the dell and set up shop under some birches interspersed with oaks. 2 Firecrest were as usual a joy, and turned out to be the birds of the day. Another Pied Flycatcher was seen here, along with a Redstart. All female, suprise suprise. Watched the Firecrest until some pratt went trampling through the cover and reedbed behind. He emerged later claiming he could not see any Firecrest. Neither could we, now.
Missed the Yellow-Browed Warbler today, although a glimpse of a phyllosc with a wing bar was no doubt the critter herself. Had to be a her. And did those Glossy Ibis stick about for my journey back to Suffolk today? Did they hell! Must check Pipps Ford this week, fancy one to drop in there.
Drove home today listening to 'Birding from the hip' by the sound approach team. Enjoyable lsiten and dare I say it, therapeutic. Moth trap getting christened tonight; you will read it here first!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ortolan causes havoc on public right of way

I had planned to head out to Happisburgh, but my intentions at the start of the year were to be a little more ruthless and pick up more new birds; after all, seeing them in the flesh will be of benefit when I find my own, right?!
On arrival there were already a small group on the east bank footpath, so I joined the queue and waited until those at the front had their fill. One or two miserable sods proceeded to enter the ditch and push to the front. I watched one guy do this who on arrival at 'the front' didn't even bother to help look for the bird! After a wait, I was in prime position to see the bird. It crept onto the path and appeared to feed- brilliant! Ortolan Bunting seen in Norfolk. The drama was not over: a husband and wife combo barged through the group and headed towards the Bunting! Perhaps a little tact was necessary here rather than "where the f*ck do you think you're going" from someone, but still, surely this wasn't happening?! Further cries of "selfish b*stard" emanated from the core of the crowd, but walk on they did, claiming it was their right of way. Yes, it was, but could they have walked down an adjacent track? Anyway, they flushed the bird which looped round in the air for a bit before thankfully landing back on the track, showing even better than before. Always thought he was a top bloke....
Fantastic bird, but the cavalry reminded me why I tend not to twitch all that often. Yes, the bloke was a pratt but then so were most of the crowd. Does this make me a pratt? Don't answer that.
Seawatching had always been my intention today, but by the time I got over to Cley I had missed the best of it. I watched for 2 hours and saw little bar Gannets, Dunlin and Oystercatchers. No Skuas for me, gutting.
Jimmy's Farm music festival next week, could be difficult to crowbar in some birding, which isn't good with NE winds predicted from Thursday.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Landguard chill

Must have been a tough little bird to make it here, considering the onslaught of westerlies in recent weeks. When news broke of a trapped and ringed Arctic Warbler the night before, I put to bed any thoughts of planning and paperwork for the day. After remembering to insure my car (!) I set off after a quick breakfast. I arrived just in time; a shout came down from the obs that the bird had just been re-trapped! Amazing, I would get to see it! Kindly, the bird was bought down for the waiting group to view, before being released. It flew deep into a tamarisk and sometimes obscured views were obtained of the bird preening. I was able to see the long-ish primary projection; also of note was a long and rather stout bill, and of course the super! What a cracker, a lifer for me and proof that even without an easterly blow anything is possible.
Called in at Christchurch Park Ipswich on the way home. Parked at Crown Pools and walked back on myself into the park. Spotted a female Mandarin Duck braving it amongst the Mallards, and a walk round the small lake produced 3 roosting Males. Very much the Gok Wan of the duck world.
Apologies for the poor photos, only had the phone with me.

levington and Landguard

31st August
After a rough day at Mins the day before, I decided to go where I should have gone in the first place. A nice little spot, Levington Creek always seems to have a nice variety of birds with yet again a different array of species today. Golden Plover, Turnstone, Blackwits and Dunlin were in evidence along with the usual Lapwing and Oytercatcher. Some people were photographing Wasp Spiders. No sign of yesterday's Marsh Sandpiper though.
Landguard was quiet, although good views were obtained of Wheatear on the common and Willow Warbler in the bushes. A nice morning.