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Showing posts from January, 2012

North Norfolk - Part 2

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Our host was very obliging in providing us with an early breakfast on Sunday so by 7:45 we were parked up overlooking Cley. Whilst we were getting our stuff out, a small flock of Pinkfeet called overhead. "Wouldn't it be funny if that..." John started again... There's a Ross' Goose! And so the day began as the previous had finished with more jam than a Devon Cream Tea.
So off we tramped down to the Avocet/Daukes Hide in amongst the reeds of Cley where we hoped to stumble upon a certain Western Sandpiper - the first target of the day. Again, there were hundred, nay, thousands of birds on the pools. Ruff, Blackwits, Avocets, Lapwings abounded alongside whistling Teal and flights of Brent Geese. Marsh Harriers were ubiquitous and Bill had a Water Rail five feet from him. Bearded Tits pinged around the reeds and we managed a good but distant look at some Water Pipits. However the target species was nowhere to be seen.
We decided to head down to Arnold's Marsh whe…

A Norfolk Birding Weekend - Part 1

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Having whetted the appetite for some birding last weekend, it didn't take much persuasion for me to accept John Wright's offer of a trip to Norfolk over the weekend with Bill Aspin to enjoy the delights the county has in store.

So at 5am Saturday morning we headed off along the M61/M62/A1/A17 into Norfolk for what turned out to be a very good two days of birding with numerous highlights. First port of call was Buckenham Marshes on t'other side of Norwich to twitch the Lesser White-fronted Goose that had been there in the company of the Taiga Bean Goose flock. It was the first time any of us had visited this part of Norfolk so after a few wrong turns (sign-posting akin to Inner Marsh Farm, i.e. keep it a secret) we parked up, donned thermals and headed down the track.
Almost immediately, we came across a crowd squinting into the sun as they scanned the Bean Goose flock. We found the bird pretty quickly but got better views an hour or so later when the sun had moved round an…

A leisurely day out at Leighton Moss

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I've been just a little too busy to get stuff done over the past couple of weeks but a few plans are falling into place. Our trip to Cuba in March is all booked so I'll need to start genning up on the local avifauna and the language!
Last week we had a very nice, calm, sunny spell of weather at last and so Mark and I managed a morning's ringing in my garden with a few Lesser Redpolls included. Rishton Reservoir has continued to attract the geese with the white-fronts around on and off. Last week there were several skeins of Pink-footed Geese overhead and a Kingfisher darted past, its iridescent blue back catching the sun.
The weather pattern has returned to the same one we've had for weeks now - more rain and string winds from the west/north-west. At least that's meant no snow but it's been a bit miserable. However today I had 21 Lesser Redpolls in the garden briefly and Bullfinches continue to visit.

I needed to replenish the sunflower kernel supply so after a…

A two hour goose-fest

The house has been more akin to Clapham Junction than a pool of calm over the past week with numerous visitors, sleepovers and the like. So after dropping off another of my daughter's friends off at Blackburn Station this morning, I decided that I should make good use of the early-ish start and get some birding in. So I headed for Lytham.
Just as the sun was rising I was watching five Tundra Bean Geese and a lone Pink-footed Goose in a field on Lytham Moss. Showing really quite well, their darker plumage (than pink-foot), narrow white tip to the tail and yellow-strapped bill stood out. Normally you're searching for perhaps one in amongst thousands of pink-feet so to have them stanmding out on their own was a treat. Anyway, my mini-twitch continued to Fairhaven where I found the female Scaup amongst the Pochard and Tufties and then onto Warton Bank where the Great White Egret obligingly flew in in front of me! There were several Little Egrets out on the Marsh and  a few Whooper…