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Showing posts from September, 2013

The question facing every Chiffchaff- should I stay or should I go?

Counted upwards of 7 Chiffchaff around the patch this morning, 5 at Surlingham Church Marsh and 2 at Rockland Broad. 2 were in song, which got me thinking. How many of the birds I saw today will be wintering here in Norfolk? A minority I would suspect, but wintering Chiffs are on the rise, so the data tells us. Perhaps the birds in song were the birds planning to stay, proclaiming this is me, and this will be my territory for Christmas dinner and beyond. The songsters remained hidden, but the birds I were able to see appeared to be fresh juveniles integrated with mixed Tit flocks, gleaning insects from the greenery. I also heard what I believe to be the warbled and guttural sub-song of a Blackcap, another candidate for residency. Add in the singing Cetti's Warbler (2) and for the first time in around 2 months, Warbler song had returned to the patch.
After walking the circuit at church marsh and seeing no-one (lovely) I headed to Rockland Broad chasing a report of a juvenile Black …

Chat about the patch

Looking back on a busy few weeks, I did catch the tail of the fall including a superb inland Wryneck at Strumpshaw Fen and a Red-backed Shrike at North Denes Lowestoft. Also here were a Whinchat and a Wheatear. Working now in Carlton Colville, that means Lowestoft and in particular Pakefield are within easy reach for a post-work visit if conditions are good.

This morning I made an early start hoping for some migrants on the patch. The resident birds were initially the highlight: Kingfisher and Barn Owl at Surlingham got the day off to a good start. From the lagoon, a patch of scrub held at least 3 Reed Warbler, 1 Reed Bunting and a couple of Blue Tits. This reminded me of a similar encounter at Claxton over a week a go, a seemingly inconspicuous bush holding Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Stonechat and Reed Bunting. All birds looking like fresh juveniles, sticking together in the hunt for food before the long journey south. I was determined though to find a Whinchat today,…