Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A red data book day

A day surveying in the wider broads saw many good plants, insects and high quality fen.
These included Fen Orchid, Crested Buckler fern, Sundew, adders toungue (new species for me), Marsh cinqufoil in flower, swallowtails, Norfolk Hawkers and many other shades of green vegetation.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

A swift dash to Suffolk

A brilliant first Father's Day present was the fine Pacific Swift at Trimley.
I arrived at the crowds just as a pager message said that it had not been seen for an hour and a half... Great! I only had an hour or so to connect so the pressure was on and this was not the best news. Amazingly about 5 mins of waiting and the bird showed distantly at first then right overhead and straight across the river! At this point a lot of people left, but greedily I wanted more! 10 mins of intense scanning and it was back in my bins for another 5 mins showing well over the pools. Awesome bird, one I never thought I'd connect with. It also appears that just for a change my timing was perfect, keeping me out of the doghouse and not having to stand around for long. Almost certainly one of the only ticks I expect to get this year and its going to be difficult to beat for rarity status!

In other news the patch birding is going well, I'm currently in 17th place in the national league, which is really good for an inland site which has not had many rarities this far.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Patch tick..again!

Been very busy at the fen and at home recently so have not updated.
Since my last update spring seems to have passed into summer and its actually quite warm in the sun at the moment, at last! ...although there is still a nagging cool wind to moan about!
I had an unsuccessful walk up Blakeney point last week, well, I successfully walked to the point with Connor but failed to see any better than a handfull of Wheatears and a Whinchat.

Today while doing a bearded tit survey a fine Spoonbill did the decent thing and flew up river, this was a bit of an overdue patch tick and a good bird for the fen. I did try to photograph it but it was way too distant from where I was to get a shot of any kind. When I got to Tower Hide two of the regulars had some super images showing the bird was ringed, red over yellow if I remember correctly, probably a bird from Breydon Water. I phoned the bird into RBA in the hope that it would alert a few people further west of its presence, I followed it all the way over Brundall and it looked set on heading towards Whitlingham, although I see no further reports were to be had of this individual, hopefully Jim'll pick it up at Church Marsh tonight!?

Swallowtails and dragons/damsels are really good at the fen at the moment creating a nice overdue summer feel to the fen. The Harriers are having one of their best breeding years on record as well as a recent influx of reed and sedge warblers causing the reedbed to really come to life with bird song, at least 4 Hobby's have set up home at the fen too joining and hunting the 100's of swifts hawking uinsects over the fen as well as 3 Cuckoos racing to find caterpillars and warbler nests to hijack, and finally Kingfishers are darting back and forth taking fish to the nearly fledged nestlings.
Essentially the fen is full of life at the moment, responding well to the warmer weather. Fingers crossed in the next few weeks the bitterns will start their nest feeding flights and some more beardy nests will be found.
All this going on and only a month and a half before fen management is due to start again, hopefully there will be another few goodies to be seen before then!