Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wild Swans added

This week has been much like last...snowy!
Yesterday I did a survey over at Buckenham and Cantley which was fairly productive for birds of prey, not a huge amount else present, considering the time of the year.
highlights included;
6 Bewicks Swans- a patch year tick- flew low over  my head-very nice!
44 Taiga Bean geese
2 possible Tundra Beans- not confirmed
1 Peregrine
3 Kestrels
1 Short Eared Owl
1 ringtail Hen Harrier
3 Common Buzzards
1 very pale Buzzard only seen perched- looked v interesting but not enough seen to say it wasn't a common.
but only 1000 Wigeon and just a single Lapwing!

Today out doing scrub control in the fen (hard work in the snow and reeds! we managed a group of 7 Whooper Swans over the fen- another patch yeartick- both swans added in as many days...nice!

Snow seems to be thawing at the moment, although the reserve is still 98% frozen and very little doing on the reserve itself- once the thaw really gets going I'm hoping a few things drift in.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

obligatory snow pictures

Well we've had more snow here than most of the rest of the country by the sounds of it!
It has been a fairly busy week getting the reedbed (almost) finished off, not many more plots to go now...finally!
No 'real' cold weather movement has been noted over the fen except for Skylarks passing overhead in small flocks. currently on 91 species for the patch.

Below are a selection of photos from the past few days, the Bearded tits today were amazing, obviously very hungry unfortunately but  that meant that they were quite literally feeding at our feet in the freshly cut plot.

Otter tracks

David enjoying close views of BR(!)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Easy pickings

For the patch list I am now up to 84 species. A slow but steady start has seen me add the majority of easy winter species to the list now, although I still need a few gimmies such as Bittern!
I have not had anything rare or particularly scarce on the reserve yet, but the highlights for yesterday were a male and female Hen Harrier over the reedbed, even perched in the same dead tree at one point! Also yesterday I added Chiffchaff, Redwing and Tawny Owl. As I say I'm doing it at a slow steady pace at the moment, but additions are occurring each day.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

It has begun

I managed to get out and start the years birding on the 2nd with a good walk from Cantley back to my house in Brundall. I saw the majority of expected species with the bonus of 6 tundra bean geese at Buckenham briefly (not BOU separated unfortunately though). I also caught up with the neck ringed Taiga Beans although getting the exact combination from the rings are pretty tricky as you can imagine! Other highlights were 3 Barn Owls, a short eared owl and a woodcock which I managed to see briefly before it took off.

A solid start to the patchbirding competition with 75 species in total- Target of 160 so I'm 46% there already, although that's obviously the easy half done!