Sunday, 30 August 2015

Blue is the colour...

5am this morning I was woken up by the rain on my window, a sign that the wind is easterly without the need for getting up and checking. I thought I'd head out early and see if the weather had brought anything with it... Winterton South dunes were fairly quiet early doors. I managed to find a pied fly, 5 whitethroat, 2 lesserthroat, 8+ blackcaps and singles of willow warbler and chiffchaff, so not much of an overnight fall, but it is still early in the season.
I headed off to check North dunes and bumped into a pretty monster tit flock, mainly long tails but blue and greats also present along with another lesserthroat and at least 4 phyloscs, I think they were all willow warblers, but one just appeared slightly different in shape- flight views only (I hope it wasn't the wood warbler that was present early in the week as it would be a new Norfolk bird for me!).
I looked at my pager which revealed the bluethroat from yesterday was still present so I nipped up to have a peak. I saw the bird very well at times, although difficult to photograph in the morning gloom as well as it being obscured a lot of the time. A very nice individual which called on at least two occasions. I knew they were not regular in that 10k square but Tim A alerted me to the fact that it was the first in over 10 years so a rare bird indeed. I did see a white spotted male singing ?7 years ago, but it was 100m from the boundary! After a little while the bluethroat site was getting a little crowded so I headed back home.... and to Norwich shopping :(
I am working tomorrow and the weather looks set to be even better, something will be found. I may have to catch up with it (or find it) on tuesday if conditions look good again.



Friday, 28 August 2015

Hovers, garganey, gwe and an unfortunate deer

I had a pleasant day today, I was cutting the trails as the nettles have now started to overhang quite badly. This gave me a good opportunity to get out and about and see what was going on on the reserve.
Sandy wall had a fine Ferdinandea cuprea (my second ever!) also hornet hoverfly yesterday on budlia with a hummingbird hawk moth, which escaped the camera.
Tower Hide held at least 2 garganey, the great white egret, 47 shoveller, 2 wigeon and other common duck species.
 Lackford run held a rather unfortunate immature chinese water deer. there were some odd circumstances surronding its death... essentially it looks like its leg fell off! there is a very clean cut/tear around the leg socket and the leg was just 50cm away from the body, so whatever did it didnt eat any of the flesh it just pulled its leg off and went about its business! I have seen fox, train, car deer kills but this looked quite different, a bit of a mystery, any suggestions welcomed and apologies for the gory pictures!
After moving the deer off the path I had the pleasure of seeing 10-15 willow emerald damselfies, some of which posed reasonably well for their picture to be taken.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

GWE and a couple of Sarnies

Apologies for lack of updates recently, here is a quick blog with a few sightings from the past week.

On Friday night I was putting the moth trap out when I looked up at the beautiful sunset, it was made all the better as a great white egret came in to roost, it looked pretty stunning in the evening light, the photos dont do it a lot of justice, but gives an idea of the scene.

This morning I was up early and headed to Buckenham in the hope of finding a wood sandpiper (there are loads around at the moment) unfortunately it was not to be. I settled for 2 greenshank, a common sandpiper, 3 tundrae ringed plover and 60+ egyptian geese.
I then headed to work and nipped into tower hide where the great white egret was still in residence, giving a decent showing, but also letting me know that I still need to master the white malance on my camera!

As I was brushcutting the viewpoints along the path, I stopped the engine and suddenly heared the shriek of a sandwich tern! I looked up to see an adult and juvenile fishing in the broad, they stayed for around 10 mins and then headed towards Rockland. This is only my second record for the mid yare reserves so a rare species indeed.