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Showing posts from May, 2016

NWT New Buckenham Common

On Sunday Debs and I had dinner booked at her mother's, an ideal opportunity to drop in at New Buckenham Common which is just a short walk from their door. Green-winged Orchids were in abundance in patches, and one need not stray far from the path to find them.

As well as these fine specimens, another target was Turtle Dove. Birds were certainly present last year, and this habitat of uncultivated common land and scrub is just ideal. Fortunately, I heard one bird singing and perhaps the same poised on an over-hanging wire. I expect to catch up with the returning pair in mum's garden over half term, but those aside, this will not be a species I record prolifically this year, nor any more. There is hope, for a moratorium on hunting in Malta has been called which will give future birds a chance if everything goes to plan. Hopefully we are not too late.
The Common was alive with Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. Single Bullfinch and Linnet were seen. I was shown the web below,…

Breakfast (and dinner) with the birds

A glorious couple of days on the patch, full of good birds, wonderful company and fine food.

Starting mid-morning on Saturday, a report of a Black Tern at Rockland Broad meant I would have to be quick to connect with this migrant, which always passes through at this time of year. An initial glance across the broad gave up nothing bar a few Great-crested Grebe, and I instead busied myself checking the water levels and checking the moorings. A Hobby flew overhead, launching itself into  an aerial assault on some poor insect. My first of the year, and a bird I never tire of watching. A look back to the broad, still quiet. The silence was broken by the squawk of  Tern, and 2 Common Tern then honed into view. Not bad- but not quite the bird I was after. Settled in the hide, I waited a while longer and sure enough one then another Black Tern arrived! Three year ticks just like that, the Marsh Terns in particular offering a superb display over the broad.

Later that day,I met with mum, dad an…

Whimbrel always welcome, and a look ahead to SYWG walk

The weekend gone really felt like Spring, after some torrid weather the sun shone and temperatures finally rose. On the 30th I embarked on a walk that took in Claxton Marshes, the track to the Beauchamp Arms and back home along the Langley road. Hirundines were hawking in some numbers now, and my first Whitethroats (5) of the year were recorded. A single Lesser Whitethroat rattled from a hedge bordering a grazing meadow, a welcome return to the patch list after absence last year. Sedge Warbler sang from quite literally every bush anywhere near a dyke or reedbed and allowed smashing views.
That evening, Debs and I did the circuit at Church Marsh. I was lucky to observe a single Grasshopper Warbler reeling, and at least 2 Bearded Tit were hanging on and hopefully will breed successfully.

May 1st heralded the return of the Swifts, and in our new location we now have at least 2 pairs hunting for insects over the houses, often watched from the window. This is always such a highlight for me…