Sunday, 13 November 2011

Mega day at Mid Yare

No car again today which forced me to take to two wheels instead of 4. It actually prompted me to have a proper look around Buckenham and Cantley rather than just doing the necessary (rushed) counts during work hours. It turned out to be a great day.

The day started at 7am emptying the moth trap at Strumpshaw, a warm night had me hopeful I managed 2 migrant species, the first of the December moths and a very odd looking variant of Large Wainscot, the photo does not do it justice but there is a prominent zigzag line which is not shown in any guides. I have searched on the net and found a couple of images showing this form but I have no idea of how frequently it is found?
While emptying the trap I heard a flock go overhead at first I thought they were Cranes but they turned out to be Whooper Swans, my first (and most likely) of 3 Mid Yare ticks today, as I was in the wood I am not sure of how many flew over but it sounded like a small flock 5+.
Trap contents;
Mottled Umbar 2
December Moth 5
November moth sp 2
Feathered Thorn 3
Chestnut 2

Winter moth 2
Lunar underwing 1

Rusty Dot Pearl 2
Diamondback 1
Blastobasis lacticollela
Acleris cristana 1
(Acleris Hastiana a few weeks ago  too)

Not bad for November.

Onwards to Buckenham where I saw 2 Peregrines sat on gate posts across the marsh, another 2 Whooper Swans flew over the hide just to reaffirm any doubts I had about the earlier call. I got to the mill and noticed that the wet area held large numbers of Linnet and Skylark, after 20 mins of searching through the long wet vegetation a small group of Skylark took off and one had white wings, you can imagine my thoughts! No white winged lark unfortunately but it was obviously a Snow bunting, there were another 2 in the flock too, they were feeding well for at least 20 mins as I carried on searching the flock. I am beginning to get slightly blasé about snobs but this was different this was Buckenham, I even felt a rush as I realised how rare these birds are in the Mid Yare Valley. The records in the office show that this was only the second sighting ever (2003), I suspect however there have been a few more than that.

The third and final local mega appeared minutes after I left the snow bunts, I saw a duck on the river which I almost passed as Mallard, luckily I thought it looked a little odd . I put my bins up and thought thats an was one! I have no idea how uncommon Eider are on the River Yare especially this far up river, I know we have no records at all on the system so its got to be pretty dam rare!
On reviewing the pictures it appears to have a black nail of the bill it should really be pale, could be a juv?

Totals for the day;

Pinkies 533
Whitefronts 118
Snow Bunt 3
whooper Swan 2+
Eider 1 female
Dunlin 1
Marsh Harrier 6 inc 1 wing tagged individual
Sparrowhawk 3
Peregrine 2
Merlin 1+
Golden Plover 3000+

So there you go yesterday I had Desert Wheatear and Yellow Browed Warbler as hightlights and today its Whooper Swan, Snow Bunting and Eider, the later 2 probably being more exciting rarity wise than yesterdays offerings (relatively speaking), funny old game eh.

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