Monday, 25 July 2011

Lazy summer day

As there have been a few Storm Petrels seen further north I was hoping for one past Cley today (having just missed one at Sherringham last year and still not having seen one in Norfolk!). However, the weather was not ideal for seawatching and all that passed were the following:
Gannet x 7
Arctic Tern - 1 Adult (my first of the year)
Kittiwake - 1 juv
Guillemot x 2 on sea

North Hide at Cley - 12 Spoonbill (13 reported on Birdguides, but there was a sleeping L Egret amongst them!)
c.100 Dunlin - A few more juvs appearing
Ruff - 1 juv amongst plenty of adults
Hobby - 1 hunting as usual
Knot - 1 ad

..... The only decent migrant recently is a Dark Sword Grass - a scarce immigrant moth and a new one for me. Trapped a few days ago at home

Yesterday the journey to work was livened up by a rather tatty Red Kite circling low over the road just outside of Reepham.

Thursday, 14 July 2011


As it is generally quiet on the bird front in June and July here are a few moths I have trapped recently (gets me through the birdless summer months!):

Pine Hawkmoth

Poplar Hawkmoth

Red-necked Footman - Rare but increasing in Norfolk

The Womble like Drinker Moth

Pale Pinion - Huge palps!

And finally the massive Privet Hawkmoth

Seawatching season begins .. (almost)

Strong N and NW winds overnight gave me some hope that there may be some seabirds passing today and with a day off work I headed up to the Cley shelter.

At around 9am a few Gannets were passing. Mostly immature birds (sub adult) heading west. A close Bonxie and very distant Arctic Skua were my first of the year. Also new for year for me was a distant Manx Shearwater and another Skua in mid distance looked bulky but did not come close enough to be clinched as a Pom. A summer plum Bar T Godwit, Whimbrel and 70+ close Com Scoter were the only other birds of note in 30min Seawatch

It is always strange seawatching on your own rather than in the big groups such as those at Sherringham. You start to think 'What if an Albatross was to pass now' .. Would anyone believe it !? Would you start to imagine that you did not see it? .. Seeing as there was just about as much chance of winning the Euromillions lottery .. I did not have to worry too much about the consequences.

The highlight of the day was the number of returning waders seen from North Hide:
Stunning adult sum plum Curlew Sandpiper
juv Sanderling
juv LRPlover
many Dunlin - mostly adults (1 juv)

A Hobby flew away in distance, 1 YL Gull was picked out and 15 Spoonbill were gracing Simmond's scrape (again seen in distance from N Hide only)
This must be the largest number I have seen but staring to lose count of largest flocks.

All in all , a good taster of the autumn migrants that are just around the corner.