Monday, 26 March 2012

Annual spring Brecks visit

On Saturday morning I awoke earlier than usual so decided to have a trip to the Brecks, it was not entirely successful species wise but I had a very enjoyable morning.
My target birds were the usual Breck species ie lesser spots willow tits and goshawks. I did not want to go to the hotspot for LSW as it just annoys me nowdays, I was not in the mood to get annoyed with poor behaviour. Unfortunately as a result I did not see said woodpecker!
I had a good look and listen for Willow tit but I had no luck unfortunately, quite a shame as I really love this species, especially at this time of the year when they are singing and calling regularly. At Strumpshaw the Marsh Tits have adopted their 'spring' calls/songs which are different to their winter calls, so Willow tits get reported a lot as the Marshies sound so different at the moment. I will see a willow tit one day at Strumpshaw!
On the way back to my car from the above location I had a male Goshawk flyover, this is the first one I have seen without trying in the Brecks, a fairly short but undoubted view.
I moved on to the Gos hotspot to get proper views. About 20 mins after I arrived I picked up a male Gos flying distantly over the tree tops, eventually it came closer displaying as it went. After it disappeared I started scanning again and latched onto a large female on top of a tree, it was way off but quite unmistakably a huge accipiter, well that was to everyone but two people who swore blind (and argued the fact that it was a woodpigeon). Eventually it flew from its perch, what a bird! It flew around the clearing in bright sunlight for about 10-15 mins circling closer and closer, scope views were the best I have had and the bird could easily be aged as a juvenile female (Gos that is, not woopigeon!). The female was eventually joined by a male and both spiralled together in their typically bouncy way. I do love Goshawks, they are so powerful and imposing when you get a good look, a true master of the skies.
Of course the other great thing about the Brecks is that all the above took place while listening to Woodlarks singing away, having Crossbills chipping overhead, the near constant flight calls of Repolls and Siskins as well as the occasional creak of a Brambling, its good to get away from the Broads for occasions like this, its only my second outing away from the broads this year!

Bird totals so far this year;
2012: 128
Mid-Yare Valley:111
Norfolk: 128

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

+2 for Mid Yare Bird List

The past week has seen me add two new species to my Mid-Yare bird list.
These were the fantastic 4 Glossy Ibis's at Cantley much easier here than wandering countless miles around Berney, (glad I waited) this species was also a Norfolk tick.

The second bird, probably the rarer of the two (for Strumpshaw) was Red Breasted Merganser, a female has been hanging around Tower Hide at Strumpy for about 3-4 weeks now, however it seemed to avoid being there when I was present, until today. I managed to see it after tinkering with the sluice to the sound of Chiffchaffs all along the river bank as well as up to 12 dancing harriers.

I had the moth trap on near the office on Tuesday night, it was quite chilly but still. The trap held just over 200 moths, mainly small quakers, however lead coloured drab, red chestnut and engrailed were the highlights in a quaker/drab filled trap..
EDIT: The Lead Coloured Drab was a new moth species for me, the first addition of 2012

Given the weather for this week, I'm sure there will be quite a few migrants about this weekend, I actually have a day off this weekend too!