Saturday, 22 September 2012

Classic Point

What a morning...

Started with a quick seawatch at Cley - Sooty Shear, 3 Manxies, a few Arctic Skua and Bonxies, lots of Gannets past. Yet again I missed a Long T Skua ! Will I ever see one in Norfolk!?

The pagers started beeping and it was evident that there was an arrival from the East following some good 'fall weather'. N Winds with rain showers overnight.

It always amazes me how people rush off to look at found Y Brows when the potential to find one (or something better!) was surely there. I rushed up the Point with hope of at least one Y Brow or RBF
Unfortunately I got neither but the day panned out even better

Lots of Mipits and when I reached the Hood the first hint of better birds started to appear. Stonechats (pair) and Spot Fly.
As I reached the plantation the warden (sorry don't know your name despite our regular chats) said he had seen a few birds. A Goldcrest flew out of the Plantation and flew into a window stunning itself! It was a nice male bird with bits of red in the crest .. It soon recovered and was released by an assistant warden into the plantation

Here Pied Fly, Wheatear appeared then things started to pick up around 11.30

As I walked along the main track a massive pale grey Warbler flew past. (and I mean big!). It had a long tail, pale grey all over and large size with a hint of wingbar .. Barred Warbler.
I flushed it three times but it kept moving further into the marsh towards the Yankee wreck .. each time it got harder to flush and eventually I had to give up on trying to relocate it. I released the news as possible but not much else it could have been .. The pale plumage size and long tail seem like a clincher to me ..

Just 20 mins later I bumped into James Mc , R Porter and crew .. Certainly easier to find birds in a team like that!
They had just bumped into an Ortolan ... Great bird and just beat me to finding it (aaaargh)

Managed a few record shots on phone

Stunning tame juv bird .. and a really scarce bird these days

Further birds inclued
2 Lap Bunts

Bumped into two other birders that had found a really skulky bird .. we spent ages chasing it and it turned out to be just a female Blackcap. As always birding the Point can be frustrating .. but it is worth the effort

A really enjoyable day with some great birds

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Autumn migration

Morning visit to Cley

Started by seawatching from coastguards and despite the West winds which have dampened the enthusiasm of most Norfolk birders, a few seabirds were passing. Close juv Gannets, a distant Arctic Skua chasing a few of the remaining Sandwich Terns, a few Auks and RT Divers.
Highlight was a sum plum Black-throated Diver that flew close inshore heading up towards Blakeney Point. Thanks to the visiting Dorset birder that pointed it out (I was scanning  much further out and would have missed it!) Always a scarce bird in Norfolk and the first I have seen this year.

Skeins of Pink feet were coming in-off and a female Marsh Harrier flew low over the waves heading west into the wind.

Onto North Hide and a Wheatear flew up along the way.
Pec Sand and 2 Curlew Sands were about the only birds of note here.

Bishop Hide was busy with birders. Highlight of the day (for me) was finding a juv Garganey amongst the Teal. Always a nice bird to study and only the second one I have seen this year.

Also here : 2 Spoonbill, 3 Curlew Sand, Spot Redshank

Now all we need is some E winds.
Then the fun will really start...

Monday, 10 September 2012

Yank waders

A search for American waders today at Cley produced just the Pec Sand from previous days
A nice crisp juv bird.

This Autumn has been amazing for Yank waders on the west and SW coast. I think there will be quite a few more in Norfolk in the months to come!

Other waders and birds at Cley :
Curlew Sand 2-3, Dunlin 50, Bar wit, Whimbrel, Curlew 40, Ruff 30, Lapwing 200, Com Sand, Snipe 2, Redshank 5, Ringed Plover 5, Golden Plover
And other birds of note:
Ad Y L Gull
Barnacle with Ross x Barnacle hybrid

It was then that I was informed by a helpful birder at Cley beach car park that a Baird's Sand had just been found at Titchwell
The following phone photos are terrible but you can see the really long primary projection. Not the most distinctive of juv birds I have ever seen but nice close views:

I have a bad history with Baird's having dipped at least 4 before I finally saw my first at Minsmere years ago ... which is maybe why I haven't been to see any of the last few Norfolk birds.

After watching the Baird's I noticed that many of the birds on the marshes where acting as though a large raptor was moving through and sure enough a quick scan showed the reason .. a nice Osprey flew over and straight over my head!
It was later watched hunting over Brancaster from the end of the path by the beach.

Also seen here at Titchwell:
2 Eider, Water Rail, Spoonbills. And additional waders to the ones at Cley:
Spotted Redshank, Knot, Grey Plover (also one partial albino Golden Plover with a white head!), Avocets, Black T Godwits, Sanderling and Oystercatchers .... resulted in over 21 species of wader today.

Not a bad day out .....

Now what will the next Yank wader be in Norfolk .. there must be many more heading this way