Archive for October, 2006|Monthly archive page

An hour or so at Rye Meads

I went to pick the scope up and popped into Rye Meads. The ducks are now in breeding plumage, and a nice find was a Great Crested Grebe (not common at Rye Meads) also saw a Little Grebe, Green Sandpiper and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

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Nest Box News 2006

I sponsor 3 nest boxes at various RSPB reserves and I’ve just received the annual newsletters for 2006. The sad news is that the Lodge are stopping the scheme so I may do another box at Nagshead – will give me an extra reason to go back!!

The number of breeding pairs of Pied Fly at Nagshead was up from last years 26 to 29.

Eggs laid were up from 167 to 191.

The number of birds fledged was way up from 134 to 168. Although these figures are way down the trend is upwards. It only allows for birds using boxes. Its encouraging.

Redstart numbers reached 10 singing males.

Blue Tits were down again but more birds fledged. Great Tits also fledged more birds. Nuthatches had a poor year but this may have been due to birds using natural holes. Only 4 birds used boxes.

2 pairs of coal tits used boxes fledging 19 birds. A 100% success rate!!

You may be interested to know that the average clutch size for Blue Tits was 8.7 and Great Tits 9 (up from 6.3).

At Rye Meads my box was unused Sad
At the Lodge 6 Great Tits fledged
At Nagshead 8 Blue Tits Fledged

Baby Gorillas

Two orphaned female Gorillas that have been returned to the wild have given birth to young. The gorillas were originally captured by hunters 11 years ago.  These are only the second and third instances of a re-introduced Gorilla giving birth to young.

For the full story

yet more twitching

I had a frustrating day yesterday. I texted Dave to ask where he was going his response was “where do you want to go?”, me – “Thorpeness ;)”

So at 6:50 he arrived and off we went for THE target bird. We parked walked up and on cue the Red Flanked Bluetail perched up and gave lovely views. At one point he flew and we left the crowd and had more good views. This birding is easy!! Oh Blackcap as well and a Sparrowhawk.

On to Sizewell, nice Stonechats and at least 2 Black Redstarts but no males.

Then breakfast at Minsmere. We missed Ring Ouzel but had nice views of Water Pipit sat next to Meadow Pipit. The supporting cast was Marsh Harrier, Swallow!!, House Martin!!, Dunlin, Little Stint, Snipe, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Green Woodpecker, Redwing, ducks (including Pintail), gulls, loads of finches, Dave had Treecreeper whilst I was getting the whats about sheet, tits, Beardies (heard) and Cettis (heard).

We stopped at the Eel and Boot for a pint before heading back to Sizewell to eat sarnies and look for male Black Redstart. We decided to do some seawatching and lucky we did with Black Tern, Little Gull and Arctic Tern!! No male Black Redstart but we finished with a showy Stonechat.

Another stunning day!!

Thursday

Had a day off.

A stroll around Hatfield Forest through up nothing out of the ordinary, Great Spot and Green woodpeckers the highlights.

Amwell had lots of Great Crested Grebes

A quiet stroll

Spent a couple of hours down Rye Meads. Quite two Redshanks and Snipe being the highlights. Ducks looking very dapper.

Birding in Norfolk

I was up at some ridiculous hour and set off to Dave’s. It promised well with an Urban Fox near home but just as we neared our first stop a Moorhen walked in front of the car 😦
We arrived at Holkham at about 7:50 and promptly had a Woodcock fly over our heads. Lots of birds in the woods with some large tit flocks (predominantly Coal and Long Tail) and lots of Goldcrests. There were lots of Grey Squirrels and a few muntjac. Our target birds were Yellow-Browed Warbler and Firecrest, both were heard but……… we also heard Bearded Tits.
We headed back to Titchwell, which was absolutely packed with twitchers for the Whiskered Tern. This had advantages as the cafe was empty and we had prompt service of Bacon Rolls! We then strolled along the path with Water Rails grunting, Beardies pinging and Cettis being mouthy and saw the Whiskered Tern. Ran into two Harlow Birders at Titchwell as well. You drive 110 miles…….

So where next? Twitchers eh! Off to Salthouse which was quiet, Razorbill and a Juve Puffin off coast as well as Gannets and a Red Throated Diver. In the nearest pool was one Dunlin and a Curlew Sandpiper.

Lunch at the Dun Cow Salthouse was rather nice and then we stopped at East Bank Cley. Red Throated Diver off coast and a pair of Eider flying through. The White-Rumped Sandpiper was a right git to find luckily for me it flew with 2 Dunlins giving nice rump views.

Stopped off at Blakeney to twitch the Cattle Egret (honestly don’t you hate these tick and run merchants).

Curiously the hardest to find was the Snow Goose. We sort of misjudged it and found a massive Pink Foot flock but no… oh  there’s another one over there, drove to far. Well found some birders and the promised two barnacle geese were there but uh no Snow Goose. We then did what we should have done in the first place and used the OS map and found the right field and there it was.

A rather pleasant day in the usual good company.

Some news stories

The first new species of mammal has been found in Europe for the first time in 50 years. The mouse was found in Cyprus and experts believe it is a rare surviving remnant of native Cypriot fauna.

Archaeologist have found fossils remains of a previously unknown species of giant dromedary camel. The fossils found in Syria are 100,000 years old. Apparently it was known that Dromedaries were in the middle east prior to 10,000 years ago and the new species were double the size of present camels.

A bit of patch birding

On Monday I took  my little travelscope back for repair. The bloke has sent it back to Nikon. I’ve heard there service is naff so it’ll be a while lucky I’m not dependent on it. I’ll slum it with my Leica!!

Well as it was still early I popped into Rye Meads. The reserve was quiet (naturally). Ducks coming into plumage. Teal numbers increasing. Little Grebes showing off, Snipe and Green Sandpiper present. Cormorants very entertaining.

Devon/Cornwall

I’ve just spent a relaxing week in Devon and Cornwall

This wasn’t a birding holiday per se. I did go to Prawl Point to year tick a Cirl Bunting but other than that it was just a normal holiday. Of course plans changed when a Red Eyed Vireo turned up but I dipped it by 20 minutes. Still 2 Choughs mobbing a Peregrine was a nice substitute.

I was at Cothele on Saturday when I heard the Kronk Kronk of a Raven was a nice find!