30 January 2016
Just went out this morning to try and catch up with the Shorelark at Burnham Overy Straithe but unfortunately it was a no show. I did have a great birding session but another crap photography session! Saw some great birds with a Barn Owl quartering the reeds,2 Marsh Harriers, Kestrel,Buzzard, Grey Plover, Curlew, Dunlin, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Redshanks, Turnstones, 1000+Knot put up by the Harriers, Oystercatcher, several Red Legged Partridge, Red-breasted Mergansers,Greylag, Brent, Pink-footed Geese, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Little Egret, Shelduck, Coot and several Skylark.
Had a great couple of days but sadly few pictures taken, met lots of lovely people though and some very helpful birders!
29 January 2016
Norfolk day 2
The wind was still high from Storm Gertrude so started late and went to Burnham Straithe Overy to have a 2nd attempt at seeing the Shorelark, even though the wind had calmed down a bit, it was still difficult to stand up let alone try and take a picture. When I found the 3 Shorelarks was great but frustrating I couldn't get a picture because I couldn't hold the camera still!
It was a great day for birdwatching and a crap day for taking pictures, saw lots of great birds Pink footed, Greylag and Brent Goose, Mute Swan, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Lapwings, Oystercatcher, Redshanks, Grey Plover, Little Egret, Curlew, Shelduck, Wigeon, Mallards and plenty of Black-headed gull's.
Went to the Cholsey Drying Barns to see the long staying Rough Legged Buzzard which I did see but sadly too far for a picture.
Frustrating day but will try again tomorrow.
28 January 2016
I've come up to Norfolk for 3 days and the weather is looking good!
Today I went to Burnham Overy Straithe to start the day looking for the reported 3 Shorelark which had been regularly seen on the shoreline by Gunhill. Unfortunately after walking all the way out to the end there was a Sparrowhawk hunting over the dunes and not a small bird in sight. While they are a beautiful bird to watch I rather it waited until I was gone! I did see lots of other birds around the mud flats and surrounding fields with Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls, Curlew, Grey Plover, Redshanks, Shelduck, Little Egret, Lapwings, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, Brent and Greylag Geese,Coot,Red-breasted Mergansers, Dunlin, Sanderling, Turnstones, Wren,Blackbird, Dunnock, Pied Wagtails, Skylark, Magpie, Cormorants, Linnet, Little Grebe and a Kestrel.
I then went off to look for some Grey Partridge which are in the fields around the Holkham Estate, I saw 3! Sadly a bit far for a picture but still good to see, also saw some Red Kites over the fields!
Then off to Thornham Harbour to see some 20+ Twite which had been seen, typically they had moved but was able to find further up the path, great to see a large flock, normally I only see a few at a time.
Then next door Titchwell, the feeders were packed with birds with Coot,Woodpigeon and Pheasants picking up the droppings. Great,Blue and Coal Tits, Robin, Chaffinch, Brambling, Redpoll and Goldfinches on the feeders. Lots of quality birds to see with Water Rail, Little Grebe, Redshanks, Lapwings, Avocets, Oystercatcher, Greylag Geese, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal,Mallards, Shoveler, Pintails, Common and Velvet Scooters seen off the beach by others but I couldn't see them with my bins!
Saw lots of birders today and all very pleasant and helpful, really good day!
23 January 2016
Powderham, Exminster Marshes and Back
Started a little late on this grey windy day. Parked up by the church at Powderham and very few birds about unlike last time and the reason was stood in the middle of the carpark screaming its head off! A young child was not getting his own way and was trying his hardest to embarrass his parents into getting his own way and fair play to them he didn't! Moving down to the other side of the church and there was quite a few Great and Blue Tits in the Yew Trees with a Robin singing on one of the grave stones. Plenty of Rooks in the accompanying fields with a couple of Little Egret.
Over the foot bridge to the side of the River Exe, the tide was out and the mud flats had plenty of gulls sat down out of the wind, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls. Also a few Shelduck 30+ by the side of the bridge alone, on the way up to Turf also saw plenty Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatchers, Brent Geese, Cormorant, Red-breasted Mergansers Carrion Crows, Mallard with Pied Wagtails on the wall.
In the fields by the path there was Oystercatchers, Curlew, Brent Geese, Large numbers of Rooks, Goldfinch, Stonechat, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Little Egret and Mallard.
At Turf there was a few Avocet, most of them were upstream closer to Topsham, plenty of Dunlin, Redshank, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls, Lapwings, Little Egret, Cormorants, Red-breasted Mergansers, Mallard and a lone Kingfisher.
I then walked up to the middle carpark and because of the weather getting worse I walked back to the car from here instead of doing the complete circle, because of the wind bird keeping low but still saw Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Great and Blue Tits, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, 300+ Brent Geese, 50+ Canada Geese, Shoveler, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck, Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Rook and a lone Peregrine.
A few humans about but few out with bins, all seem happy enough with the exception of the young kid in the car park! haha
16 January 2016
Exminster and Matford Marshes
Went to Exminster to see if the water level had dropped enough for me to walk around and it had! Some bits were a bit difficult and had to have my wellies on especially by the gate that goes into the field but made it.
Not so many birds around either, large numbers of Canada Geese and a single Greylag Goose and several hundred Wigeon in this part of the reserve, also saw Robin, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Rook, Lapwing, Song Thrush, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Tel, Goldcrest, Dunnock, Wren, Curlew, Black-headed Godwit, Snipe, Grey Heron, Stonechat, Woodpigeon and Cettis Warbler.A Peregrine was sat on Pylon and did a few swoops at the Wigeon and missed every time, looked like it was trying to make them fly but failed in this, they just "ducked" and dived in the water.
At Turf the tide was in the water was dead calm, plenty of birds sat on the water gently floating down stream, 200+ Avocets floated down and flew back again upstream, Brent Geese, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Black-headed Gull and Herring Gulls with 100+ Brent Goose flew over going south.
Walking back to the car saw Blackbird, Blue and Great Tits, Song Thrush, Reed Bunting, Cormorant, Wren, Magpie, Dunnock Tufted, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard Curlew, Redshank, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Rook, Mute Swan and more Canada Geese.
Then off to Matford to find the Cackling Goose which was showing well with the Mallards.
Again a nice selection of birds here with Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Mute Swan, Buzzard, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrest and Moorhen.
A few humans about enjoying the rain free day!!
10 January 2016
Went over to Topsham today to see the Brambling amongst others around Dart Farm before going down towards Bowling Green.
Plenty of birds about Darts Farm but I couldn't find the Brambling, they were probably in the stubble. Did see though Black-headed Gulls, Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Coot, Linnet, Woodpigeon, Canada Goose, Wren, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Blue and Great Tit, Reed Bunting, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Fieldfare and Stonechat.
Then on down the cycle track, didn't seem as many birds here as normal but did see a scrawny looking Buzzard on a roof top, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Robin, Magpie, Greenfinch, Great and Blue Tit, Carrion Crow and Dunnock. On the creek there was very little with jut a Redshank and a couple of red-breasted Mergansers, In Goosemoor again very little as the tide was out with just 1 Teal and 2 Redshank and nothing more than a Woodpigeon in the bushes next to the path.
Along the road past the Reserve plenty of birds especially behind the hide on the feeders with Blue and Great Tits, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock and a Collard Dove on the wires.
In the Reserve as normal plenty of ducks with Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted and a lone male Pochard. Greylag, Canada and Brent Geese. lapwings, Curlews, Black-tailed Godwits were the Waders with Moorhen, Coot, Blackbird, Stonechat, Blue Tit and Magpie with a Peregrine flying over and causing some mayhem.
Along to the Platform that over looks the River Clyst and to start off it didn't look a lot was there but to the right there was a few waders with Red, Green and Spotted Redshank. Further out you could see Avocet, Curlew, Shelduck, Red-breasted Merganser and some fly over Dark-belied Brent Geese.
Around to the Goatwalk and plenty of Avocet, Redshank, Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin. Also Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gulls and Pied Wagtail on view.
Off into Topsham for Bacon Sarnie and a Mug of Tea!!
Back to the car and off to Matford Marshes to look for the Crackling Goose which I've not caught with yet. its also the first time Ive had a good look at this little reserve and very enjoyable it was too! Again didn't see the Goose but a nice range of birds here with again not big numbers but Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted and Gadwall were the ducks with Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Coot, Moorhen, Herring Gull also around the water with Goldcrest, Blackbird, Robin, Magpie, Dunnock, Bullfinch, Blue and Great Tits with a Buzzard loafing about.
Saw lots of humans today and all looked happy to be out and not in the rain, a really good day out!
05 January 2016
Powderham, Exminster Marshes and Back
On my last day of my holiday, I managed with a bit of care to get to the carpark at Powderham Church from the north, water caught on a bend just up the road from the church, but went through ok in my little Fiesta!
I was the only car at the carpark, which would explain the large amount of birds around and on the floor, 2x Treecreepers and plenty of Tits with Coal, Blue, Great and Long-tailed in the bushes and Graveyard, Robin, Blackbird, Wren and Dunlin all present. The Rooks have made a noisy return and looks like they are already squabbling around the nests above the Carpark.
In the surrounding fields there was plenty of Carrion Crows, Jackdaws, Woodpigeons and Pheasants.
Off up the footpath and over the bridge to the River Exe, the tide was on its way in and the birds were on the move, Dark-bellied Brent Geese, about 100 of them were on moving from the river to the fields and some went back again. Also plenty of Black-headed and Herring Gulls on the fields too with Curlew, Grey Heron, Little Egrets, Oystercatchers, Carrion Crows and Rooks. Around the fence and the cycle path there was plenty of Stonechats and a few Robins and Goldfinches.
On the river there was Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls, Shielduck, Mallard, Cormorants, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlews, Grey Plovers, Avocets, Dunlin, Redshanks, Red-breasted Mergansers, a Little Grebe and a couple of Kingfishers close to Turf Lock. On the sea wall there was plenty of Pied Wagtails and a couple of Stonechats.
On the Canal there was Mute Swan, Cormorants and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers.
The Reserve was full of water and birds everywhere occasionally put up by the Peregrine which caused chaos!!
Large numbers of Canada Geese with Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Mute Swans, Moorhens, Coots, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Mallard and Tufted Ducks. Also Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing, Redshank and Pheasants, Cormorants, Little Egrets, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls all present.
I could only get to the middle Carpark due to floods so turned back, plenty of birds in the bushes with Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrests, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Dunnock and Magpie.
At Turf a Red Admiral Butterfly, my first of the year was a nice surprise.
Not that many people about which was a shame as it was a glorious day!
03 January 2016
Had a excellent time down at Brixham Harbour watching the influx of Great Northern Divers!
I parked up at the Freshwater Car Park and apart from the Grey Seal in front of me there was 6 Divers! Anyway I walked towards the harbour and picked up another bird but then when I got to the "Inner" harbour there was another 7 birds. The number got up to 15 birds later on in this area.
On walking around too the end of the sea wall I counted up to 22 Divers and 2 Great-crested Grebes in total. Fantastic sight but tempered with the sad sight of a couple of Guillemots trying to clean the oil off their feathers, I always find this sad because it is so unnecessary!
Plenty of Shags, all hunting for crabs with the Divers, also Cormorants sat around.
Plenty of Gulls about with Black-headed, Herring and good numbers of Great-black Backed Gulls sat on the pontoons and roofs.
Also 3 Purple Sandpipers at their usual roost and plenty of Turnstones all around the Harbour.
Saw lots of people about today and many birders enjoying the view and the general public full of questions. all very positive stuff!!!
02 January 2016
This afternoon I thought I would visit the Marshes, but the place was flooded and access down the road was limited and the back path was also impassable! I parked up in The RSPB carpark and with wellies managed to get past the Red Lion Industrial site but couldn't get to the corner as the water was coming over the top of my boots. The back path to the Turf was flooded out almost immediately.
Plenty of birds about though with Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Godwits, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Shelduck, Shoveler, Pintail, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Moorhen, Coot, Lots of Gulls mainly Black-headed but some Herring Gulls, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon and Buzzard all on view. Around the Carpark a few small birds around the bushes with Robin, Blackbird, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Goldcrest.
I did try and get to the River Exe via Powderham but the road was flooded so had to turn back. It was good to get out though after being stuck indoors for various reasons!
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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