Monday, 16 June 2014

Rose-coloured Starling from work

My boss was kind enough to let me out of work during a free period this afternoon, I was hoping to see the male Rose-coloured Starling down the road in Carlton Colville. A short drive and I found the expected guys and girls in camo gear in the middle of a housing estate, much to the delight of school children heading home. I had no gear but a fellow birder Danny was kind enough to lend me his bins and track down the bird for me, top bloke! My first adult male of this species; forget the Caister bird I have seen the real deal now! When the Caister bird was last seen it was beginning to put on adult feathering, I'm sure this bird is a different individual but who knows.

Other than that it has been pretty uneventful on the patch of late. Even the common species are beginning to quieten down as the peaceful buzz of Summer sets in. Green Sandpiper, Cuckoo, Marsh Harrier and the like should not be taken for granted though! It appears an Osprey is being seen at Strumpshaw, so hopefully I can add this to the list at Rockland Broad soon.

On a walk yesterday afternoon Debs and I encountered our first Meadow Browns of the year. I expect the paddock to be full of them soon. In the evening, we are enjoying at least 3 Noctule Bats hunting overhead.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

A below average May ends with a bang

I had set aside last Friday to do some serious birding away from the patch, and met up with Connor early doors and headed to West Runton, where the female Black-headed Bunting proved a little too elusive. We checked out Wareham Greens where the only bird of note was a Spoonbill. With no further sign of the Bunting we had planned to call it a day, but news of a Rustic Bunting at Happisburgh had us sticking to the road for a little longer. This was to be a double Bunting dip, for the Rustic had gone to ground and has not been seen since. Ricky turned up and found a female Redstart in the paddocks near the coastwatch, and a small Warbler that sprang from the same bush was probably a Blackcap, not the bird we were looking for. A Yellow Wagtail the other bird of note here. The day ended up being a bit of a birding social, with Tim and John making welcome appearances during the day.

I walked to the Rockland Broad hide and back today, and it is pleasing to see that the 1s Little Gull is still in attendance. Reed Warblers were noisy, and one in particular was worth a closer listen incase of Marsh. Not yet, anyway. Now is the peak time for arriving Marsh Warbler and I will be devoting some time into finding one of these locally of the next couple of weeks.

Last night we arrived home from a wedding and I stood in the garden for a bit, listening out for passing migrants. I found myself in a state of shock at 11.30pm, when overhead I could hear 'crex, crex, crex'. A Corncrake was flying over the garden! The bird headed north in the direction of the river. This has to be contender for bird of the year. Just a paltry 2 points in the patchwork challenge though!

This afternoon I got round to planting some Gernaniums, Peppers, Cucumber and Tomatoes in the garden, and as I got my hands dirty a Common Buzzard soared overhead. Another more distant raptor was probably a Hobby.

If Odonata are your bag, now is a great time to be out and about in the broads. At Wheatfen earlier in the week I had Scarce Chaser showing really well, and today at Rockland the first Norfolk Hawkers for me this year.