Wednesday, 3 May 2017

White tailed eagle!!

A fantastic end to the day thanks to a phone call from Justin informing me of an immature white tailed eagle sitting on a post at Buckenham!
And there it stayed from 5.30 to 7.40 so plenty of people managed to connect with the bird from all over east Norfolk and beyond. It was amazing to see such a huge bird like that on the patch, it's certainly a species I have been hoping for since the recent sightings from all over the county in the past month.

Recently Buckenham has been great for waders (which it is managed for!) on Monday I had;
7 barwit including some fine brick coloured birds
11 blackwit
1 wood sand- only seen in flight while being pushed around by breeding lapwing
4 green sand- flying about with the wood sand
2 whimbrel
4 ringed plover
As well as stacks of lapwing, redshank, snipe and some very attractive ruff.
I was thinking that Buckenham would score a rarity soon, but hadn't anticipated it being an eagle!

Strumpshaw fen has been good recently too with plenty of summer migrants in, including 4-5 groppers, the first few common terns, lots of reed and sedge warblers, blackcaps and a garden warbler or two, 8+ pairs of marsh harrier, 2 booming bitterns, lots of kingfisher activity, 3 hobby and all other expects species, a bit of warmth would be nice next!

The water level at strumpshaw is a little lower than it should be at this time of the year, reflecting the dry conditions we have had recently. As most will appreciate we do not manage strumpshaw for breeding waders so don't manage the water levels specifically for waders, that would seem a little silly considering we have some of the most productive wader marshes in the area at Buckenham and cantley, which are thriving. The water levels at the fen are managed for reedbed species of bird, invertebrate and the lifeblood of the fen- the rare specialist fen vegetation, with a low water level at the fen, willow and alder scrub would soon colonise and we would no longer have the very special habitat that has been in existence for at least a thousand years.
Water levels, they are always too high or too low, but sometimes when you know what you are doing and how to manage a habitat in accordance to paid ecologists they can be just right!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

White billed diver

After seeing many amazing images of the white billed diver in Linconshire, I decided last Monday to go and have a look for myself.
Unfortunately when I got to within 5 miles of the location thick fog had descended, it made driving quite dangerous, especially not knowing the roads, but I eventualy got to Kirkstead Bridge.
On arrival I could not even see to the other side of the riverbank (-25m), all of a sudden I had the feeling that the chances of seeing the diver, which has been roaming around 5 miles of river, seemed quite unlikely. The viewing was ridiculous and I couldnt help thinking that I had wasted by time and petrol getting there, however I was told that the bird had been seen 20 mins ago so there was still a chance. All of a sudden there was a sighting about 20m away from me, impossible to see the bird in the fog at that range, so decision time do I move to where the bird was or try to sus out the direction of travel and move in that direction? I did the latter and staring into the blank Linconshire fog standing on my own the beast of a diver popped up right in front of me...wow! I called some others over and it continued to dive and come up fairly close to us. After a few minutes it started heading west, it could dive and cover around 15-20m between breaths, I (and around 12 others) followed it along the river around a mile and a half, it was a case of staying with it or losing it in the thick fog, I had my fill and returned happy with absolutely stonking views of this world tick for me, what a bird!