Friday, 29 June 2007

2nd Year in a row - Longsands - 29th June 2007

I have a gain caught one of my most colourful moths in my back Garden.

1884 The Magpie (Abraxas grossulariata)

Moth sp - Longsands, Preston - up to 23rd June 2007

I have really just started Mothing this year and am about to purchase a moth trap.
I have caught a few Moths so far, without the aid of a trap. These include:

Above :Clouded Bordered Brindle

Below :Barred Yellow

Above: Common Marbled Carpet

Below: Riband Wave

Above: Green Pug

Below: Gold Spot
Lets hope My Moth Trap Brings in Some more...

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

White Tailed Plover - Leighton Moss RSPB - 17th June 2007

This was the second time I had attempted to see my first ever Mega, as the first time I had missed the Bird by only 30 Seconds!

A feeling of relief passed through me when I was asked if I would like to look through a scope, and there it was, my first ever Mega, and in Lancashire too.

Above: White Tailed Plover - Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancs

The Plover showed quite well for a while before it Flew Off towards Heysham Power Station and landed on the Marsh Half Way there!

Above: White Tailed Plover, Flying away from Leighton Moss, Lancs

I was really pleased at the end of the visit, even though I wanted my first Mega to be the Murrelet in November 2006, but on setting off to do the Mammoth trip to Dawlish, but I wasn't bathered after watching this.

North Norfolk - May/June 2007

As I had never been to Norfolk on a Birdwatching Trip before, I felt the need to do so. After Going to Wembley (seeing 6 Red Kite and Hobby on the way up) on the 27th May to watch Blackpool get promoted into the Championship, we headed for Norfolk. Stopping just outside Thetford for the Night.
28th May 2007.
I personally started off at 05.45, to have a look around the Hotel Grounds, this produced Spotted Flycatcher and Green Woodpecker.

After Breakfast we went to Lakenheath RSPB in the hope of Finding Hobby and the main attractions - Common Crane and Golden Oriole. However I did not feel optimistic for any as the weather was the even worse than any weather in the Winter of 2006/2007, and it was now the end of May! My suspicions were correct, none of the target Species seen!

Next stop (after a warm cup of tea!) Weeting Heath NWT, and the 3 target species were seen - Stone Curlew, Wood lark and Green Woodpecker. Wood lark was the only tick as I had previously seen a Stone Curlew in Preesall, Lancs in April.

After this we Started driving towards the North Norfolk Coast, however we did feel duty bound to stop off at Norwich on the way there. A brief stop in the everlasting rain allowed us to get out of the car and not get wet. This was in Colney, to look for the Long staying male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF. About 3 minutes after arriving, myself and another birder suddenly heard a warbler, I described it as a cross between a willow warbler and a chiffchaff. The song came from inside a small wooded area on the West side of the road. We entered and a burst came from a Bush, 2 meters away! A Bird flew out of the bush to a larger tree, it appeared on a branch shortly after allowing myself and the other assembled birder to see it singing. A New Bird for me and one that has been a target for a while.
A Link to Youtube, where the Iberian Chiffchaff can be Heard on a video -

Now with a big grin on my face and a new bird added to the list, we Headed to Sheringham where we would continue the rest of our Holiday.
On Arrival, the sea was rough, and I was eager to get out there Sea Watching. After unpacking, I went 100 yards to the prom and began an evenings Sea Watch. Birds included:
2 Little Tern (new)
Great Skua (new)
2 Arctic Skua
15 Fulmar
3 Kittiwake
and lots of Sandwich, Common, and Arctic Tern. est 300 of each.
29th May 2007
Next Morning I again rose at 05.45, the weather had improved slightly, unfortunately the Sea Watching hadn't, in fact the only new year tick was a group of 6 Razorbill, although some decent views of Little Tern didn't go a miss and more Fulmar. Our first point of call for the Day was Cley although a Brief stop at Salthouse was necessary for a group of3 Egyptian Geese. Another Tick.

At Cley itself I managed to get quite a few decent birds. 4 Little tern flew right over the pathway above Our heads. 2 Temmink's Stint and 5 Little Stint were seen from the coastal hide. But the Best bird (in My opinion) was a Manx Shearwater that I saw from the Pebble dune, during a brief Sea Watch. Manxie has been on my top 10 Must since I really began properly Birding, so to see one finally, gave such a good feeling

The Funny thing was, during the Holiday I bumped into Margaret Breaks (a Fellow Lancashire Birder) who was also on the North Norfolk coast. Whilst I was at Cley she texted me saying - male Red Backed Shrike at wells wood. Of course, only ever seeing one of these and only being 10 minutes away, I could not refuse. After 20 mins of searching, myself and Margaret found it.
Also at this location was a singing male Cetti's Warbler (lifer) and a Barn Owl.

After this we went to see the North Norfolk Montagu's Harrier's, although only the male was showing, however I was not bothered as this was again another lifer and the views were great!

A check that night for Nightjar at Salthouse Heath produced Fruitless except my fist British Nightingale.

30th May 2007

Today produced possibly one of my best moments in Birding. At the end of a, well, rubbish Sea Watch, I had a walk up to Beeston Bump, a small coastal Hill to the East of Sheringham. At 07.05 I decided to head back to the Guest House. I suddenly noticed a small passerine on a Bush, that was not a Sparrow. In fact, it was a female Common Rosefinch! Not only my first find of this bird, my first ever Rosefinch! The Bird showed Briefly 3 times until 07.54 when it was not found again, despeit myself, Margaret and her Husband Brian Breaks.

Above: A poor Record shot of female Common Rosefinch - Sheringham

Nothing much else happened Bird wise that day except, that evening when I actually got to see the Nightjars, my 10th Lifer of the trip!

1st June 2007

Our first stop was Titchwell RSPB where in the First Hide, we got decent views of 4 Bearded Tit, and also a Cuckoo, which sang whilst flying by and then landed on a tree. Also at this site was a few Common Lizard and 24 Little Gull(22 of which were 1st summer)

above: Common Lizard - Titchwell

below: 1st summer Little Gull - Titchwell

After this I got a text from Margaret telling me about a male Woodchat Shrike at Holme NOA. Again, being close I could not refuse. On Arrival the bird could well have been a kilometer away! but Scope views were ok, as this was my first adult. Also at this site i found my first Turtle Doves.

Final stop on the way back home was at Great Ryburgh Raptor Watchpoint, just to the east of Fakenham. This produced straight away with what I thought was a Dark Morph Honey Buzzard, but has subsequently been ID'd as a Common Buzzard. What do you think?

Possible Honey Buzzard but ID'd as Common - Great Ryburgh.

2nd June 2007

Today we headed home and not much Birding was done, but now was time to look back at the trip.

21 added to the Year list.

11 Lifers.

Not bad!