Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Return to Draycote Water

A message from RBA and John J informed that the mornings elusive Lesser Scaup had been relocated in Toft Bay. Should I go? Well its back to work tomorrow, so it would have been rude not to. Parking in Thurlaston to avoid the long walk, I met a group of three birders in Toft who were on the bird. It was distant, in the willow area of Greys Barn, and it took me a while to get onto it. Glad I returned.

Draycote Water

With the sun shining and the possibility of a Lesser Scaup, Draycote Water was the place to be. Well, the sun shone but the wind chill negated its potential, but worse, after scanning the water for five hours, there was no sign of the Lesser Scaup.

The reservoir was rather quiet. Several Yellow Wagtails graced the perimeter, with an obvious passage of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. Warblers included Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. Four juvenile Ringed Plovers were in Rainbow. A female Shoveler was off the inlet, with Greater Black Backed Gull and Yellow Legged Gull. Meeting up with Bob H, our unproductive search for the Lesser Scaup continued. Two Ravens honked over Toft.

With limited opportunity to photograph any birds, attention was turned to butterflies with Comma and Small Copper being most obliging.

Small Copper

Small Copper



(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Todays Sightings:

Blue Tit; Wood Pigeon; Kestrel; Carrion Crow; Black Headed Gull; Rook; Great Tit; Blackbird; Robin; Magpie; Green Woodpecker; Chaffinch; Skylark; Wren; Pied Wagtail; Goldfinch; House Martin; Swallow; Mute Swan; Coot; Dabchick; Great Crested Grebe: Tufted Duck; Cormorant; LBB Gull; Yellow Wagtail; Dunnock; Mallard; GBB Gull; Canada Goose; Blackcap; Teal; Lapwing; Jackdaw; Meadow Pipit; Grey Heron; Moorhen; Shoveler (f); Buzzard; Long Tailed Tit; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Gadwall; Coal Tit; Wigeon; Raven; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff; Bullfinch; Yellow Legged Gull.

Caption Competition

Just for a laugh change, I thought I would add an image of a popular local birder, and encourage you to add a caption (use comments).

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Bearded Tits - Cley 16th September 2010

Cley is always a good place to see Bearded Tits. Unfortunately, the wind being very strong, kept them well down in the reeds with only their "pinging" call and brief flight views - until today! The wind had dropped to a gentle breeze and the birds were quite obliging with several family groups including a good number of juveniles.

(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Lapland Buntings - Cley 16th September 2010

Varied reports of between three and fourteen Lapland Buntings were coming in from Cley Beach near Arnolds Marsh. Having met up with Max S on the east bank, we decided to set off to find some (a lifer for me). They were soon located on the shingle bank above Arnolds Marsh, very flighty and numbering at least ten. We were lucky - several birds landed on the path in front of us.

(More images on my website - see link opposite)

A walk to Stiffkey Fen 15th September 2010

Stiffkey Fen is another little gem but takes a bit of effort to get to. A do not like parking in the narrow layby on the A149, so parked at Morston Quay, and walked about a mile to the fen. Significant feature of the day was the gale force wind that had me bent over like the elderly couple on the roadsign! Also, almost impossible to keep the scope steady.

The start of my walk saw a Peregrine hunting the marshes. Arrival at the fen was a treat, bent double, very cold with the windchill so it was up to the birds to cheer me up. I was not disappointed, with Green Sandpiper, Black Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Avocet, Wood Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Dunlin and Little Stint.

And now for something COMPLETELY different!

The Tour of Britain Cycle Race hit North Norfolk on 16th September. Having competed in cycle races during the 70's and 80's, I still get a thrill with these events. The event arrived in Cley and as I was at the road end of the east bank, felt it rude not to take some pics. This was my first time taking sports pics!

Marsh Harriers - Cley 14th September 2010

At least six Marsh Harriers graced Cley Marshes but usually stayed quite distant. It is impossible to resist attempting to photograph these birds of prey!

(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Cley Wildfowl - 14th September 2010

Some obliging wildfowl



Drake Teal


(Many more images on my website - see link opposite)

Cley Waders - 14th September 2010

Another visit to Cley (who can stay away?) and a few more obliging waders.

Little Egret

Ruff, Black Tailed Godwit, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon

Black Tailed Godwit

Black Tailed Godwit

(Many more wader images on my blog - see link opposite)

Friday, 17 September 2010

Titchwell Marsh 13th September 2010

Finding myself close to Titchwell Marsh again, I decided to end the day here. Walking towards the Island Hide, a number of Bearded Tits were heard pinging and a Kingfisher flew down the newly created path. Four Little Stints accompanied by Dunlin and Ringed Plover were close in front of the hide.

Dunlin & Little Stint

Dunlin & Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Stint


Dunlin & Little Stint

Back to Holme - Record Images of Arctic Warbler 13th September 2010

I had to go back and I am glad I did! Unfortunately, the juvenile Red Necked Phalarope had departed from Redwell Marsh so I headed directly to the pines in the hope that the Arctic Warbler was still present. My attention was drawn to about twenty birders, all looking up into one of the pines, all with an air of enthusiasm. It would have been rude not to have joined them, and I was soon on the elusive and mobile Arctic Warbler. This bird was so frustrating, not staying still fo more than a second, and insisting on keeping branches between it and my camera. I observed the bird before attempting any images. Appended below are a few record shots.

A quick look along the beach produced three Grey Plovers, one of which was still in summer plumage, Black Tailed Godwits, several flybys of Bar Tailed Godwits, Curlew and Sanderling.