Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Sunshine and cream, just need the Strawberries

I couldn't take it any more, message after message of an adult Cream-coloured Courser showing well slowly eat in to me. So I gave in and headed west. After a 4hour drive we opened the car door to be taken of our feet by a wall of heat. Bugger me it was hot!! A short walk and we were soon watching a bird I can now remove from my bucket list Cream coloured Courser, I can now die a happier man. The surroundings were amazing with views of several miles around us and with larks singing and a heat haze it was like being whisked away to another country. The Courser showed fantastically well even if the heat haze did spoil views ever so slightly. The head pattern was amazing as was the jizz of the bird, if it had stood any more upright I think it would have fallen over backwards, it even sported some Nora Batty style wrinkly knees.

The view from Bradnor Hill

The cream of the Crop?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Cuckoo and Fog horns

A late morning start and myself and Lee headed to Boyton marshes part in hope to relocate the Black-winged Stilts and part in search of migrants. A Cuckoo greeted us as we left the car park and a little drizzle was more of an annoyance than anything. A fog horn indicated to a misty sea and indeed viability was less than a mile. A welcome sight was 9+ Avocet chicks running around, with the adults chasing everything off including a male Yellow Wagtail. The Lapwing also had 3 young none of which seemed phased by the wet weather. A good number of hirundines and swifts hawked low over the flashes and surrounding fields, the hirundines able to rest and preen on the barded wire fences.

House Martin, Sand Martins, and Swallows.

A group of Swifts hawked at head height and followed us along the river wall as we kicked up insects, some of the swifts almost clipped us with their wings as they flashed past. A lone Buzzard was seen loafing off across the fields but little else was noted on the far flashes.

At the next stop, Hollesley marshes, the best we could muster was a lone Spoonbill and more hirundines.
Heading further south Shingle Street added 3 Greenland Wheatears to the days tally but very little else, migrants seemingly all but absent.
Our final stop of the day provided a bit more interest with 4 Yellow Wagtails, including a grey looking female, Hobby, Wheatear, Common Sandpiper and sunshine (if only for a few minutes). The local Swallows performed well but the light was always poor.

Grey looking female Yellow Wagtail

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Minsmere 05-05-12

After a late start I headed to Thorpeness in search of migrants via North Warren. The flashes failed to produce the hoped for Black-winged Stilts with only a couple of swifts and a few Little Egrets present. Thorpeness provided a bit more interest with a couple of Garden Warblers, and several each of Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. It seemed most birds were keeping their heads down in the stiff north east wind.
I headed to Minsmere as the south levels are really starting to look good with all the flooding.

South Levels from the Eastbridge footpath looking south.

Viewing from the beach side the levels soon produced a drake Garganey that promptly disappeared into some long grass and up to 8 Grey Plover, 10+ Bar-tailed Godwits and a couple of Whimbrel. Several hundred Swifts, and hirundines hawked low over the rising water. 3 male Greenland Wheatears bounced around a small semi-flooded field near the sluice. I walked west along the Eastbrdige footpath to view the levels from just past the ruined abbey. I soon picked out more waders with 5 Greenshanks all looking smart in Summer plumage, 3 Garganey (2males, 1 female), 6+ Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe and best of all a Wood Sandpiper. 2 more Wheatears were also picked out.
Walking back 5+ Greenland Wheatears were on the north wall and a Black Redstart flicked around the bushes whilst a large assembled crowd admired the still present Wryneck.

Friday, 4 May 2012

"Atlas" Flycatcher

Above is some of the Video obtained of the Black and White Flycatcher (suspected Atlas) at Flamborough. It was first seen at 07:00hrs and it started calling straight away. The commonest call was a high pitched call, similar to Collard Flycatcher. On comparing with a recording of Collard the call of this bird seemed to be of equal, maybe slightly higher, in pitch but shorter in length. What ever it turns out to be it was a superb bird and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.