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Showing posts from August, 2013

Away from home

After more dips searching for Clouded Yellow than I care to remember (I got up early today only to be confronted with rain sheeting down, great) Debs and I escaped to Derbyshire for a week away. I had managed to convince Debs it was worth doubling back on ourselves in order to visit the Birdfair, so this we did on the Saturday. As usual, we divided our time between talks, book searching and chatting to a few friends. Jari Peltomaki's excellent presentation on the Owls of Finland was one of the best I have seen at Birdfair, polished to say the least. We also attended talks on Birding in Spain and the Wildlife on Yellowstone; both hot contenders for honeymoon/future trips. Incidentally, I have just finished Stuart Winter's gripping 'The birdman abroad'. His descriptions of American Warblers have pushed the USA right to the top of my must visit list.

Back in Derbyshire, it was birding in the dales for the week. The hills and the peaks for me offer a piece of wilderness we…

Norfolk Bat Survey- the results are in!

That was quick! Results as follows.

TG3206 Summary:
Summary: the numbers relate to the number of bat passes rather than necessarily the number of bats. Bat species = where there is insufficient information to assign the recording to a species or bat family - normally where there is too much noise to pull out a reliable signal. Myotis species = this is where the recording belongs to the family Myotis, which in Norfolk includes Natterer's, Daubenton's, Whiskered and Brandt's. Low confidence = where there is a high chance of the recording being assigned to the wrong species. Confusion is most likely between Daubenton's, Whiskered and Brandt's, and between Noctule, Serotine and Leisler's. 30 July1 Brown long-eared bat 8 Common pipistrelle 2 Myotis species 4 Noctule 28 Soprano pipistrelle 1 August1 Brandts - low confidence 2 Brown long-eared bat 29 Common pipistrelle 1 Natterers - low confidence 2 Noctule
36 Soprano pipistrelle
You will notice the 31st is missing; as I feared, the …

Bits and pieces.

Firstly, congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson!
A few notes from the start of August. Ashwellthorpe Wood on the 1st, no White Admirals but many Whites and Peacock. A Common Buzzard was calling and circling above the wood and a smart Kestrel was hunting on the woodland edge. On the 2nd, I completed my first of 2 Waterways surveys for Daubenton's Bat. 15+ passes of said species were noted, an improvement on the last survey which was 8 in 2008. Considering the proximity of Marriot's Way to the city centre, I was pleasantly surprised to record 5+ Noctule, 2 Common Pip and many Soprano Pip. I have since had a Noctule fly over my house on his evening commute, what a garden tick!  Debs and I visited Strumpshaw Fen on the 4th, enjoying the almost menacing flights of Migrant and Southern Hawker along with both Ruddy and Common Darter. 100's of Peacock Butterflies nectared in the reed beds, an amazing sight. Due to the sparsity of notes in my book (getting lazy) I cannot put an ex…

Barbastelle at Surlingham?

After setting up the recorder for the Norfolk Bat Survey, I took myself off for a walk in the dark round Church Marsh. I feel like I know this place like the back of my hand, but I like how it can shock and surprise me in the dark. Nightwalking is underrated.

From the hide, I awaited the impending Geese roost. Some great counts:
Greylag 193
Canada 27
Egyptian 13

There were also 4 Green Sandpiper probing the margins, my highest count this Autumn. By now, I was expecting the Bats to join me but I was disappointed. Single passes of Noctule, Common and Soprano Pip were all I managed until I approached the Church. (I should however comment on my encounter with a young Fox, one of the cubs from earlier in the year no doubt. I watched him for ages in the fading light, something I never would have gotten away with during the day.

The track leading to the church and the car-park has often been good for Bats, and tonight was no exception. Noctule passed overhead, and both Common Pipistrelle Spe…

The Norfolk Bat Survey

Having picked up the equipment from Wheatfen (and then again, from County Hall!) I was all set to partake in the Norfolk Bat Survey. My registered 1km square is TG3206. This square includes much of Surlingham Marsh, Heron and Bury's Marsh, the latter pair not accessible to the public. On Tuesday night, I set up the equipment on Heron's Marsh. It was a perfect evening of Broadland beauty: low-hanging mist, Groppers reeling and Chinese Water Deer ending the tranquillity with the occasional bark or grunt.



Since this spot, I have set the detector to record at the end of Cut Loke (next to Bury's Marsh) and tonight I have one final spot, to the east and nearer Wheatfen. I think this promises to be the best location due to the mix of trees, a wildflower meadow and proximity to water.


Back to Buckenham

Debs and I returned to Buckenham on the evening of the 29th of July, a pleasant breeze and a fine evening was enjoyed. We bumped into Justin at the mill, a nice chap and vastly experienced in terms of birding the Yare Valley and further afield. He pointed out the Little Stint to us, my first of the year having not scored in Spring. This individual was not showing spanking scapulars I would expect from a juvenile, but the V-shaped brace was noticeable. Perhaps a first year breeder?
An excellent array of Waders were on offer, including at least 6 Wood Sandpiper split between the mill pool and the hide scrape. Singles of Green and Common Sandpiper, Greenshank and Curlew (over and flying onto my patch!) were accompanied by 5 Little-ringed Plover, and 4+ of Redshank, Common Snipe and Ruff. I adore Wader watching, but the evening light made it challenging so it was great to have Justin on hand. Whilst we were watching birds, Debs was taking some pictures.