Tuesday 20 November 2012

Dungeness Birding Day Out

On Sunday I headed down to Dungeness in Kent for a day's birding in the sun, with a few of the lads; Shaun, Bradders Jnr and Jono. A Pallas's Warbler had been in the lighthouse garden for a couple of days, and having only ever seen 2 of these smart little birds, I hoped  it would still be there, despite the clear over night skies. Unfortunately, it was no where to be seen.......

The lighthouse garden has turned up all sorts over the years, but today it was quiet 

This is the  3rd winter this Glaucous Gull has returned to Dungeness, I wonder how many more years it will return 

A big ugly pale brute and a Glaucous Gull - that's Jono snapping away

When news broke at lunchtime of a mega rare Desert Warbler an hour up the road we had to go and investigate. Despite bashing the hell out of Samphire Hoe, it could not be located and it has not been seen since. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.   

Saturday 3 November 2012

Desert Wheater - Abberton Resevoir

Our route home from Suffolk took us about 5 miles from Abberton Resevoir, where all week a female Desert Wheatear had been keeping residence in the visitors centre car park! I had resisted temptation to drive down from Suffolk to see what would be only my 2nd ever Desert Wheatear, hoping it would stay a week until we passed close by a week later. Luckily it did stay and provided excellent views.

A week in Suffolk - a trip to Strumpshaw Fen

Ok so Strumpshaw Fen is actually in Norfolk, not Suffolk, but let's not split hairs. At around 50 minutes by car from our base we waited for the morning's rain to clear before heading out mid morning. Although we didn't see our main target, otter, it was well worth the trip.

Nuthatch on the feeders

Chinese Water Deer

Waxing - one of two on site (Waxing photos by my son  Jamie aged 12)

Marsh Tit in fading light


A week in Suffolk - ringing at Minsmere

Just back from a week away with the family to Suffolk. While there we attended a bird ringing day at Minsmere RSPB, which had us captivated. We arrived at Minsmere hoping to see Bittern but in the end we spent at least 3 of the 4 hours we were there at the ringing. The only slight disappointment was that we missed the ringing of a male Sparrowhawk by just 10 minutes! But as you will see below we more than made up for it later.
female Blackbird - one of many ringed during the session 

Lesser Redpoll - after Blue Tit these were the most common species ringed

a rather tired looking Goldcrest - at least half a dozen were ringed

Treecreeper - one of two ringed, this one released by my 12 year old Jamie 

Firecrest! The star of the show and amazing to see so closely 

Jamie is now hooked and wants me to look into getting involved in ringing, obviously something I would be more than happy to look into! Other bird ringed while were were there were coal tit, long tailed tit, blue tit and goldfinch. Many thanks to the Waveney Bird Ringing Group and the volunteers on site that day. 

Jamie releasing a goldfinch