Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Better late than never

27th December, Barton and Wroxham Broad.
The drake Ferruginous Duck had been showing well for a few days. I speculated that it could have been last winter's bird from Hoveton (I tried for this around 6 times, unsuccessfully). Could this be the day I finally catch up with this species? A helpful phone call from TA gave me directions and a bit of motivation! After finding the tiny car park and negotiating the ice covered board walk, myself and my girlfriend were treated to excellent views of a drake Ferruginous Duck! Field notes- same colour hair as my girlfriend. Little sign of white under wing patches.
2 lifers in a day? Drove on to Wroxham Broad, over confident. The Ring Necked Duck had put in the odd appearance of late; surely I couldn't nail this as well? After a nervy wait, a female Ring Necked Duck slid into view, slightly obscured by some garden furniture and twigs. Eventually we did get to see the key characteristics: peaked crown, white bands on bill. All good! Could just about pick it out as it rested, that cone head is a give-away.
Been chasing this pair on and off since the tail end of last year; how typical I should finally get to see both on the same day.


Some Christmas birding reports

Been busy with the new Cantona biography, hence the lack of updates. But, I have been out and about.....
Boxing Day.
Started at the Orwell again, certainly an increase in terms of volume of waders and ducks, but again no rarer grebes or divers. There were however 4 shags under the bridge, probably a year tick but who keeps count?!
Moved onto Levington Creek in shocking midwinter light. A distant Great Northern was watched, and what was probably a Red-Necked Grebe hunted closer to the bank. Poor viewing conditions limited me to silhouettes and 'jizz'.Couple of Grey Plover and a Dunlin made up the numbers, along with a Little Egret.
Drove onto the Sailing club at Alton Water via an odd sight of 6 Herons loafing in a field. On arrival, 2 Great Northern Divers were seen with the naked eye, and soon after another 2 were spotted. 4 in one place- a local record? Excellent views were obtained of these beasties. I wonder how many are present in Suffolk right now? Supporting cast included some lovely Goldeneye and a redhead Goosander.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Birding under the Orwell Bridge, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Cracking day under the shadow of the Orwell Bridge. I moved between the bridge itself and Freston marina. Picked up 4 (maybe more) Great Northern Divers in various spots. Now is the time to catch up with one of these beasties! Good Few Red Breasted Mergansers in close attendance, and 2 Shag were a welcome addition. Ducks included Mallard, Wigeon and a small group of Pintail, lovely stuff. Plenty of Great Crested and Little Grebe, but none of the rarer stuff that I could see. No sign of the resident Peregrine, but a Buzzard floating towards Tattingstone gave good views. Waders included Lapwing, Dunlin and Redshank.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

New Buckenham Common 13/12/09

An early morning walk round The Common proved productive with large numbers of Thrushes on the move, mainly Fieldfares but there were some Redwings and the odd Song Thrush amongst the mass groups of their larger cousins.
The sorrowful call of a Bullfinch alerted me to its presence, and after a nice flight view a lovely male landed and gave us a brief look. A first for my girlfriend!
The rain soon came down so we retreated back home, but I hope to spend longer here over the winter period. Habitat seems ideal for hunting birds of prey and roving flocks of Redpoll and Siskin.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Great Moulton, 05/12/09

Too distraught to blog last week after again failing to catch up with the RN Duck at Wroxham Broad. No news either way during the week, so I avoided a return trip and had a look round some farmland in Great Moulton. I like this area of the county, and the bird report would have us believe Long eared Owls can be found in these ere parts..... I searched likely spots to no avail, but had an enjoyable time admiring mixed Thrush flocks and general farmland stuff. Will make a return trip in the new year, lots of unexplored potential here.