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Showing posts from October, 2014

A Steppe up and the week that was

Last Saturday, I caved and joined the throngs of visiting birders at Burnham Norton to see the Steppe Grey Shrike. Now, my Helm Shrike ID guide is in a box somewhere for removal but I did note at the time what a compact little bird this was, with lovely peachy hues on the flanks and pale mandibles with a black tip. I never tire of Shrikes and this one was a real crowd pleaser. A helpful chap on Birdforum pointed out that the Lincolnshire bird was if not more confiding, so perhaps that is indicative of this subspecies of Southern Grey Shrike. Debs and I watched with amusement as he fed on mealworms which had been provided. Overhead, Pink-footed Geese were returning to Norfolk for the Winter no doubt surprised by how mild it was, and still is.
The following day was my only real window of opportunity to get to the coast, what with moving this coming weekend. I went round Church Marsh first thing, 2 Kingfisher and Teal numbers building the highlights. Out East, Began at Waxham, very quiet…

I think......yes, Autumn is here.

As I type the wind is giving the leaves on the trees a real run for their money, and since I last posted Autumn has certainly arrived. Still relatively mild (I had a t-shirt on at Minsmere last Sunday) but change is afoot.

Beginning with Minsmere, the presence of a Little Crake seeped out to the news services on Saturday the 4th. This would be a new bird for me, so after an early morning check round Rockland (Swallow and probable Brambling the highlights) I headed to Suffolk expecting a queue for Bittern Hide and the usual throng of twitchers hoping to catch a glimpse. I arrived mid morning, wandered into the hide and set up my scope, nowhere near as busy as I had expected. Within 10 minutes the bird scuttled out onto the vegetation at the back of the pool. Despite the haze, it was clear enough to see I was looking at A smart Little Crake. My cousin and Uncle were enjoying views too along with a few other familiar faces. I watched the bird for 15 minutes or so, until more people arriv…