Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Costa Del Suffolk, 30/03/10

Never again will I write off the month of March.
Jetted over to Westleton Heath yesterday afternoon. Passed a few Kestrels on the way; nope, not quite. Genuinely nervous in the car, this was the first twitch I had been on in ages. Parked up just off the road and made my way over to the small crowd on the ridge. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long until my and Suffolk's first Lesser Kestrel put in a satisfying if distant performance. It appeared to be taking insects from the ground and then feeing on various posts. Amazing brick red colour contrasted with an almost blue-looking tail. Got it! The Great Grey Shrike nearby was a nice sideshow for when the Kestrel was not on view.
Tried my luck for the Pallid Swift at Kessingland. 30 blokes loitering at the gates of a sewage works, how must that have looked?! No luck. Saw one birder checking the church for roosting swifts though, top birding!
What a few days! Keep an eye on those charts would be the lesson learnt here.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Weekend of 27-28th, North and East Norfolk

Began at Cromer on the saturday, lovely views over the town and eventually.....an Alpine Swift!! A real stonker, showing off for the small crowd as it threatened to give crippling views, but never quite did! Still. a lifer and a satisfying bird to see in the wild. 1 Chiffchaff presumably new in called from the cliffs and another from the woods near the light house.
Called in at Overstrand and walked part of the cliffs. 2 male Kestrels may have been migrants but not a lot else was seen.

After the disappointment of the f1, spent the remainder of sunday afternoon at Happisburgh. Began near the coast watch point, and 2 Swallows were seen hawking beyond a field of daffodils, my first of the year. A Linnet together with 2 Pied Wagtails and a Meadow Pipit all drank from the same muddy puddle. The new paddocks here look like super habitat for migrants. Onto the beach car-park, not a lot seen from the cliffs but 2 female Black Redstart were a treat, first picked up by my better half. We watched them fly catching in the afternoon sun. 1 more new Swallow gave the briefest of views.
6+ Magpie may have been a party of short distance migrants at Cart Gap, also here were 4 Red Legged Partridge.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Insert spring related title here

Happisburgh this morning before the rain. Bloody windy walking the cliffs, didn't get much for my trouble either. Plenty of gulls loafing in the field, few Linnets zipping about and a distant Diver sp. Back at the car park were 3 Pied Wagtails in the grass, one of which was an alba race bird, nice.
The paddocks at Whimpwell Green held around 7 Redwing, 4 Fieldfare, 1 Yellowhammer and plenty of tits shouting at each other. A good mix of the seasons at this transitional stage of the year.
Little else to report, although I managed some good birds from the train last weekend including Buzzard, Barn Owl, Wigeon and Sparrowhawk as I journeyed from Norwich to Manchester to stay with friends.