Monday, 21 May 2012

Late migration

There is a real sense of excitement building in the air. Which is good seeing as I have a week off work!
The weather today was like an October morning with N winds and misty rain, with poor visibility.

First stop was near the Three Swallows where the Bee-eater was showing very well and seems quite settled - not normal for Bee-eaters. Only the third I have seen in the UK and my second in Norfolk

As I started to walk up the Point it felt like there would be something good
A Siskin shot past, a Les Whitethroat played hide-and-seek for a while
Wheatears were still passing. A hunting Hobby flew through
Marsh Harrier and the usual Grey Partridges

At the Plantation two lovely Spotted Flycatchers were fighting for the best perch

On the walk back down the weather slowly started to clear. Swifts were moving through. W Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, a Stonechat (more of an Autumn migrant here) were seen but nothing else of note. (other than a Stoat)
I met some of the regulars working the sueda. One mentioned that they had seen a Purple Sand (which I have only seen once before on Blakeney Point). I could not find it but I then found a freshly dead Swallow. It was still warm and very skinny. Makes me wonder if birds are struggling finding insects in this wintery weather. At one point I thought the Swallow may still have been alive but there was not much hope of it making a recovery even if it was.
Also freshly dead was an adult Guillemot. It too was very fresh...and had just been found by another birder heading up.
...In fact both birds still look scarily alive:

I then headed to Cley to see some waders. 3 Curlew Sandpipers, LRP, baby Avocets hiding under their parents were fun....

I could not resist another look at the Bee-eater before heading home.

Many birders are heading to Hereford to see the Cream Coloured Courser found there. I have fond memories of the bird on St Mary's years ago.. It, unfortunately, did not survive as the weather deteriorated. I hope this desert loving bird finds his way back to a warmer climate!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Migrants stream through

On arrival early in the morning, the first bird I saw was this Channel Wagtail - from the car! The photo above was taken through the windscreen with my phone (+bins). Just shows how close the bird was.
It was amongst 13 Yellow Wagtails. First one of this hybrid/sub-species/form that I have seen and certainly was stunning. Better than going to Yorks to see the other 'hybrid/possible species/form Flycatcher' that is around at the moment!

Walking up to the Point there was a real sense that anything could turn up.

100's Swallows constantly streaming through
A stunning SE Owl flew low overhead
1-2 M Harriers appeared to be fresh in-off
40+ Wheatears
male Redstart flushed from sueda
Willow Warbler x2
Chiffchaff x3
Whitethroat x2
Sedge W x1
H Martins 10
S Martin x4
Swifts 20
Greenshank 1
Little, Common and Sandwich Terns all over the place

Nice bit of Spring passage - finally some birds on the move
Now.... where are those rarities hiding

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Spring Migration

After a very quiet April it was time to look for some migrants on the Point.

The wet weather meant a cold and wet start to the walk and it was not long before there were Wheatears appearing everywhere.
On reaching halfway house a stunning male Pied Fly appeared with Willow Warbler nearby. It looked slightly pale rather than jet black on some of the feathers and may have been a first summer but beautiful bird anyway.
On reaching the plantation a male Whinchat and a male Redstart were briefly seen but no sign of yesterday's RBFly!
Still a great trio of migrants as well as the following birds seen:

Whimbrel 6
Arctic Tern
Willow Warbler
Blackcap 2
Wheatear 30+
Swift 1
House Martin 20+(Salthouse)

On the return I bumped into one of the regulars who had seen a Wood Warbler! I could not find it in the area just after the Halfway House .. That would have been a good 'patch tick'

A beautiful male Garganey was feeding on a small pool next to the Salthouse beach road ...

May is a top month here in Norfolk