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Showing posts from January, 2015

Wild Swans at the double

I did not expect to be 2 species up on my patch life total this early in the year, although if I had to choose 2 likely species it probably would be the wild Swans. Hot on the heels of hearing 1+ Whooper Swan earlier in the month, I owe a great deal of thanks to Ben who spotted a Bewick's Swan on 'my' side of the river this morning whilst he was counting Wildfowl. Having already been to Rockland early doors and seen the usual Coot, Tufted Duck and nothing else, this would top the day off nicely. (I say nothing else rather flippantly- I did also observe a Barn Owl and Cetti's Warbler, which were lovely, but I had hoped for some decent Wildfowl in the colder weather).

Good numbers of Mute Swan graze the marshes at both Claxton and Langley, and last year I recall a count of 80+ in the first Winter period. This Bewick's was said to be east of the Beauchamp Arms, so I set up my scope outside Buckenham sailing club, flushing a Kingfisher as I did so! The Bewick's qu…

A step by step guide to a good birding weekend

Buoyed by the chance of a patch addition in the form of a Great Northern Diver, I was out on the patch early on Saturday morning scanning the river from the end of the Carnser. No sign of the Diver here or anywhere this weekend, but it was worth getting up early for a superb Otter wrestling with an Eel mid swim. Really getting to grips with these elusive neighbours for the first time since moving out here.

Back for breakfast and then a trip to see the coalman, followed by a foray to Rockland Broad.  A huge male Sparrowhawk cruised through, harassed by Gulls. I had to look twice at this brute! 2 Common Buzzard soared high above the small copse, taking advantage of the breeze and a clear day. The day early WeBs count was not very intersting, although c50 BH Gull was probably a record count although I know I could get more if I stayed until late.

This morning I awoke to a frozen village. The roads and bushes were silvery with frost, and bird activity was frantic for this time of year. St…

Out with the old and in with the new

On the 28th Debs and I visited Ludham and the area around St. Benet's Abbey, without doubt one of my favourite places in Norfolk. On arriving in the small car-park, a Short-eared Owl was hunting right out front, cruising by scanning the long grass. A superb start! We enjoyed the Owl for a while before heading back down the track towards where we had seen a group of wild Swans on the drive down. Sure enough, there were 36 Bewick here and further towards Catfield we could hear the call of a group of Whoopers. A single Barn Owl hunted the far river bank, and the Cormorants headed to roost overhead. There is something eerie yet familiar about the Abbey, and the big skies and open country make for an evocative cocktail of the best of Norfolk.

Yesterday, the final day of 2014, Debs and I walked round the marsh (quite literally round the block) and enjoyed calls of a 1/2 pinging Bearded Tit. This is the first time I have had them so close to home, and hopefully they will stay to breed th…