Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Geese, Shrike and Redpolls

First day out of proper birding in 2012:
Started by dipping the Great Grey Shrike near the Fakenham Morrisons roundabout, although it did turn up about 10 minutes after I left! The only compensation here was a flyover Branbling and lots of Grey Partrige.
Titchwell in glorious sunshine:
Coue's Arctic Redpoll, Mealy Redpoll, 4 Female Long T Ducks on the sea, Spot Redshank and lots of other year ticks..
Burnham A140 lay-by
1 Ross's Goose (found)
1 Black Brant (found)
2 plus White fronts.. And lots of Brents and Pink foots.
A brief stop at Holkham and just in time to see the 2nd Ross's that is in the area amongst 000's of Pink feet. There are probably 3 birds in the area including a dodgier than most bird, one that wanders around Cley area with some feral Barnacles. Last year it was in amongst a group of Barnacles that included a hybrid offspring.

On the way home a brief stop at Fakenham and the Shrike was showing well, sitting on top of a tree looking around and preening. Great finish to a successful morning out.. Now I really must see the Western Sand in 2012 before it moves on!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

2011 birding year

As we move quickly into 2012 I am just looking back on the highlights of 2011.

Few new British ticks but one of the highest number of 'found' species for a few years, despite not finding any BBRC description species!

The new species were Collared Flycatcher, Sandhill Crane and an armchair tick in the form of Siberian Stonechat.
The Flycatcher was a bird that I always wanted to see after having friends (thanks Shaun!) winding me up for years of the ones they saw, Pagham and Scotland birds. One in Norfolk was a real result.
The Crane was something I never thought I would catch up with in the UK. The past birds in Scotland and Northern Isles seemed like they would become proper blockers.

There were some other very rare birds like my second ever Little Bittern and Western Sand both in Norfolk.

My rarest find was the Siberian Chiff on Blakeney Point with other scarce birds like Waxwings, Pec Sand and Rough leg Buzzard...but the Autumn was frustrating in Norfolk with a real lack of migrants from the East.

Foreign highlights being a great trip to Spain with Dave Gandy. Will never forget the Bustards and huge number of raptors. Cheers Dave. A few nice birds in Florida too on a non birding trip.

Now looking forward to the rest of 2012. I am determined to find at least one proper rarity on the Point this year.

Good luck everyone and happy birding in 2012.