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Showing posts from September, 2015

Record equalled and some new reading material

I toyed with heading to the coast this morning, but with conditions looking almost too good (and impending house move) I instead visited the patch this morning, allowing me to crack on with some packing and some school stuff over the rest of the day.

I arrived at Church Marsh around 8am as the sun was burning off any mist and dew that still lingered. The bushes looked beautiful, spider webs framed by the sun and the damp. Walking along the river bank, a Wagtail called and I knew this was one to put my bins to. A lovely Grey Wagtail it was, heading east down river. This is only more 3rd record on the patch and of course a year tick, a record-equalling one at that. 120 species now for the year equals last year's total and I am optimistic I can break this tally with some more Autumn birding before we have to move away. I am still missing Hen Harrier, Yellowhammer, Brambling and Lesser Whitethroat from the year list. Even better would be a new bird for the patch, and perhaps with coas…

Webs and Wheatfen Mammals

I enjoyed an excellent morning morning on the 13th, beginning at Church Marsh for the first winter WeBs count. Upon arrival in the carpark, a Siskin flew north over the churchyar, a species so scarce this year that this bird was in fact the very first of the year on the patch! I would hear a couple more as the morning lengthened, and this early movement suggests we may get a few more in situ this winter.
Elsewhere on the reserve, Chiffchaff were particularly vocal and the usual common species were soon picked up. The WeBs count itself was merely OK- 2 Kingfisher, 5 Mute Swan, 1 Grey Heron, 12 Mallard and 29 Teal.

Onto Rockland, and not surprisingly the large body of water provided a much better count: 1 Water Rail, 1 Common Snipe, 7 GC Grebe, 8 Mallard, 3 Tufted, 1 Kingfisher, 2 BH Gull, 2 LBB Gull, 1 Cormorant, 1 Moorhen and 2 Mute Swan.
More evidence of diurnal migration here, with 2 Redpoll over heading west. A Barn Owl was out late hunting the marshes, a Chiffchaff was actually si…

Final knockings of the summer, and the end of the patch dream?

A busy few weeks before returning to work, both on and off the patch.

looking over my notes as far back as the 22nd, Debs and I enjoyed a fine visit to Rush Hills scrape at Hickling. I remarked, rather untimely as you will see, that if money and work were no object I would love to live in this part of Norfolk. The leafy country lanes and abundant water bodies nearby make Hickling and surrounds so appealing. It was a particularly hot day, and the Waders on the scrape remained distant and hazy, but we did see 17 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Snipe, 2 Little Stint, 50+ Lapwing and 4 Ruff. As usual, great variety here.

With easterly winds and some rain, a fall of common migrants occurred beginning on the afternoon of the 23rd. Unfortunately I was unable to get to the coast that day but set off early on the 24th for Grambrough Hill hoping that the Booted Warbler had stayed overnight. The forecast had been wrong, the night had been clear, and the Booted ha…