Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday 26th

Out with Lee and first stop Minsmere. The Glossy Ibis was immediately on show but very distant, it still showed better than the Great White Egret the remained out of sight. 4 redhead Smew were picked out among the Tufted Duck on Island mere and a both Nuthatch and Crossbill called from behind us in Scots Hall wood.
On leaving the reserve we found the 20 wild Swans, 17 Bewick's and 3 Whopper, at their normal haunt and picked out the neck collard bird.

Neck collard Bewick's Swan

Stopping at Eastbridge we had 24/25 Bewick's fly in and land on north levels, presumably different from those at Westleton, but failed to find the Hooded Crow.
Next we stopped at North Warren to try and find the Greenland White-fronted Goose but all but a handful were located in the North east corner making it very difficult to find our quarry. We cut our losses and headed to Hollesley Common in search of Crossbills and Siskins. We soon found a suitable puddle and settled down and waited for the birds to come to us. Singing Woodlarks created a superb background.

Crossbill - not far to go.


Tuesday 21st - Wild Goose chase

Having missed the Greenland white-fronted Goose yesterday I was determined to see it today. Things however did not look good as only 15 or so White-fronts were viewable from half way house when I arrived. The wind was strong and most of the other geese were in the far north east corner making viewing extremely difficult. The geese however seemed restless and many small groups were flying around, some started to join the close flock. After 10 minutes most of the flock came close and I soon picked out the Greenland bird with its distinctive Greylag type orange bill. I did manage a bit of video but apologies for the wind shake and noise.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

North Suffolk

Myself and Craig started out at a snow covered Covehithe, hopping the fresh snowfall may have forced a few more birds on to Benacre broad. A flock of geese was scrutinised and amongst the commoner Brents and Greylags, 2 White-fronts and a family group of Pale-bellied Brents were found. A lone grey goose came in off but was lost to few before we could get much on it but lack of pale panels in the wing eliminated Greylag and going on size we sided with Bean Goose. The woods around the broad played host to a mixed thrush flock, with good numbers of Song Thrush amongst the Redwings, a definite influx of Song Thrushes has occurred with the snow. The broad itself held little as it was 90% frozen but 5 Goldeneye were picked out in a ice free area.

We next headed to Lowestoft insearch of the Iceland Gull but after searching Hamilton Dock gave up and went to Leathes Ham, only to find it roosting on the ice. The light was teriible so apologies for the rubbish snaps. Also present were a couple of ringed gulls which I am waiting the return of their details, a female Smew, and a Gadwall x Wigeon hybrid and a Tufted Duck x Ferruginous Duck hybrid.

Iceland Gull

Tufted Duck x Ferruginous Duck hybrid

Wigeon x Gadwall hybrid.

Next stop Minsmere hoping for views of the Glaucous Gull but it had departed before we arrived. South scrape did produce 7 redhead Smew, and the drake Wigeon x American Wigeon hybrid. 3 Water Rails were seen running around on the ice between south and west hide and south belts, like Benacre held good numbers of Redwing, Song thrush and Blackbird. The drive out produced 2 Woodcock, both of which proved to be camera shy.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bit on the Chilly Side

Spent the day birding In Suffolk, with a lot on offer it was an early start, but -10 at 7:30 did cause a sharp intake of breath. A few photos of the highlights below, more to follow.

Bearded Tit - Felixstowe Ferry

Red-necked Grebe - Alton Water

Bittern - Melton match lakes

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Fun in the snow

The day got off to a great start with the 41 Waxwings I found yesterday still present and calling like mad as I went out a filled the bird feeders. Several Fieldfares and Redwing were flying around. Late morning I headed down to the Deben, noting the continued presence of about 100+ Fieldfare and Redwing along Through Duncans. On reaching the Deben I was greeted with what looked like pack ice flowing past on the falling tide, a bit surreal looking especially as Teal and Little Grebes floated along with it. The waders were feeding high up on the mud even though the tide was well down and seemed oblivious to my presence. A Robin feeding in the seaweed was another strange sight. Walking from Kyson Point to Martlesham Creek good numbers of Dunlin, Teal and Wigeon were all noted and a Snipe called overhead as it searched for some open water. At the lagoon end of the creek the Spotted Redshank showed well but did not photograph well in the terrible light.

Spotted Redshank

Martlesham Creek

At the sluice gates a Water Rail dashed in to the reeds and a Rock Pipit searched for food close to the path.Highlight however was 2 male Bearded Tits that showed very well only a few feet away, problem was my camera battery was dead so I had to resort to using my mobile.

Bearded Tits - Phonescoped and phonescope video.

On the walk home I found ever increasing numbers of thrushes and best of all was a pair of Mistle Thrushes feeding on some Rowan berries. The Waxwings had also returned to their tree, a great end to a nice snowy day in the field.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Yankee Wigeon

For the first time this year I managed to get out at lunch to see the 1st winter American Wigeon that had been found the day before amongst the large flock of its European counterparts. In a strong bitterly cold wind I struggled to find it but after finding a sheltered spot I soon picked it out at the back of the flock. I showed beautifully in the winter sun but all to soon I had to head back to work.

American Wigeon - 1st Winter male