Thursday, 14 April 2016

Penduline Tit + others

About time I wrote another post....

I got good views of the penduline tit last thursday, the best views I have ever had of this species as far as I can remember. Whilst walking past I saw a small bird fly into the nearby reeds and thought it could be the PT so waited a minute or so, I could hear it calling well and eventually it flew up into a sallow where it continued to call and even sing right in front of me, I had it all to myself for around 10 mins and then it flew off over the river.. very nice indeed!

Another good record for the fen was a firecrest, a single bird spent a weekend near the pond dipping platform, only my second on the reserve! This bird was most probably different to the one found the previous Tuesday, another two were reported along the pumphouse track, which would constitute quite a bumper crop of these sprites.

Other bits and bobs have included little gull, 2 med gulls, lots of common migrants including sedge, blackcap, willow, grasshopper and reed warblers all seen recently. As well as bittern booming, marsh harriers and Cetti's warblers performing fantastically.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

gentilis minor

After at least four years without much joy of lesser spotted woodpeckers in the Brecks; Ive had flight views and heard it calling/drumming only in that period. Yesterday I went on my annual spring Brecks visit and connected with this cracking little woodpecker.
As seems to be the way recently, I left a few people watching the location that it has been seen recently in the hope of finding it somewhere else.... as soon as I went to water the plants it flew into the tree I was next to! It was drumming well and called a few times too, I forgot how soft the drumming was, you cant hear it at distance like a great spot. I watched it for around 10 mins and managed to phone someone who was at the other location and got them on it too.

Other good bits from the day included the great grey shrike, fantastic views of firecrest (but poor shots), two male goshawks displaying at close quarters (one with a few missing secondaries), a crossbill calling and a few mandarin ducks. I had such a nice day I may be tempted to another visit in a few weeks to catch up on the bits I didnt get time to look for, hawfinch, golden pheasant, stone curlew and woodlark to name a few missing.

(photo from previous visit)

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Snow goose revisited

I have just been made aware of this bird in Dumfries and Galloway, the link takes you to a photo by Brian Henderson, which appears to show the same bird as that which I had in December at Buckenham. Its taken a lot longer than I thought but it appears 'my' bird has reappeared...finally!

To compare; (including a flight shot of it leaving roost at dawn, never to be seen again, until now??)

Monday, 8 February 2016

Early Feb

January was a fairly decent month for birds on the patch, the Siberian Chiffchaff's reappearence being the highlight. I managed to finish the month on 98 species, however missed Crane, Hen harrier and Brent goose, the former two I would hope to catch up with at some point in the year, the Brent howver is far more tricky!
The Marsh harriers are begining to look like they have changed their behaviour and are now setting up territories and the returning males are statring to display on calm clear mornings. The skylarks at Buckenham are belting out their song whatever the weather and the number of plants in flower is quite amazing for the beging of Feb, so spring cant be too far round the corner can it?

I have not done a round up of 2015.... yet, I may do a brief write up soon.

2016 for me will be year of the moth. I intend to do more trapping on (and off, but mostly on) the reserve this year and will be trying to go mobile with actininc more frequently too. Other resolutions for this year are to get to grips with caterpillars (if thats possible?) and to start looking at leaf mines and trying to identify those, probably not an easy task, but there is a good website for helping. A final resolution is to confirm the micros I think I'm seeing. Last year I got some goodies, however they needed to be confirmed by dissection so they have been left off of the Norfolk records database, a slightly frustrating occurance, but understandable in todays age of true science and recording.
So that should keep me busy May-October and of course there will be birding in the daytime as per usual. As yet no autumn trips planned but a week on the edge of Arne in July should be nice!

I managed a photo of a water pipit on Friday, these have been seen very frequently all winter from the riverbank, but it was nice to finally get one on the deck for long enough to photograph (at distance and cropped hard!). Water pipits are fairly common winter birds at the fen, in some years we have as many as 8+ on site, this year it appears that the peak has been 4, but more recently just 2 birds have been seen regularly.