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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Exhausted Brent Goose along North Beach

On Sunday 15th October, a Grey Wagtail flew over the garden at 11am calling but not seen. walking north from Ness Point at about half way along I saw a Brent Goose on the sea along the rocks on the North Beach, it was swimming around the rocks even standing on the rock and flapping its wings it kept trying to search for something to eat. I took a few pics but it looked exhausted, it was swimming dangerously close to the rocks of the original seawall (the last picture accompanying this text clearly shows the strong eddies and waves) something had to be done to save the poor bird getting injured or worse. So after seeing the poor bird being buffeted by the sea around the rocks, I stood up and gently coaxed the poor bird out to sea and it then swam north for around hundred yards towards the groyne, which I knew was seaweed encrusted, and like a homing beacon, it headed for one of the groynes northern wooden supports, which had copious amounts of seaweed on it. The hungry bird then spent a long time voraciously feeding on the seaweed. I left it in peace still feeding, lets hope it gives it the strength to move down onto its wintering grounds. At Ness Point, by the compass, I saw an adult Mediterranean Gull flying south close in. The male Eider was in Hamilton Dock over the far side in the south western corner, after eluding both Neville S and I yesterday. Checking both Crown (where a Grey Wagtail heard flying over) and Maltsters score I failed to see any YBWs although it was late in the afternoon. Between 10.25 and 10.35pm I heard first one and then another Redwing, newly arrived Scandinavian immigrants, calling in quick succession and flying south over the house.

Porpoise and Bramblings

On Saturday 14th October, a look around Hamilton Dock, it was good to see Neville S, but little did I know at the time I should have been looking seaward as a WBD was flying past around that time, I took some scenic shots of Ness Point for my forthcoming talk and Andrew broke the news. As Andrew was leaving just north of the finger I spotted a fine Harbour Porpoise with its characteristic "rolling over" motion. It surfaced about 4X. A look around Warren House Wood and Gunton Dunes failed to reveal much save for a Parasol Mushroom on the green just south of the Wood and a Migrant Hawker flying around too. Look around Lake Lothing later revealed 1 Little Grebe on the water and looking from the bay just beyond the railway bridge, a Little Egret feeding by the side of the rocky edge was a new one at this site. As I was about to leave, I heard the rasping call of a Brambling from a tall tree just south of the bridge and 5 Finches flew out the last one calling the rasping call, a Brambling as it flew. I heard another rasping call from the tall tree just north of the bridge, and another calling Brambling flew out from the tree flying north. at 1.20pm in the garden, I heard the call of a Coal Tit, it was in the left hand tree, it called again before flying over to Fallowfields.

Phalarope & Yellow- brows

On Sunday 8th October, a check around Gunton woods failed to reveal any YBW, but calling 8 Siskin flying over and constant Redwing calls heralded their return, just 1 Redwing seen flying over. A look at Ness Point failed to reveal the YBW there although good to catch up with both Chris M and Rob Win. Rob & I checked Mariners and Malsters Scores, a YBW watched by someone else seen flying off but un-tickable views for me. 4 Chiff- Chaff seen here and a male Blackcap seen. Next stop was Southward Flash so parking at the last space available by the water tower I walked down and saw 1 couple set scoping the flash. No need o ask them where it was as I picked up instantly, a super Grey Phalarope, constantly feeding in the water along the left hand edge, often obscured by grass along the northern edge, but occasionally it would venture into the middle having a wing stretch and preen or two before recommencing its feeding. 2 Ruff suddenly walked into view from the far side. Mid afternoon, a tweet from Craig about hearing a YBW from trees bordering the Station Road children's playground and I drove straight over. As I was walking across the field, I heard the bird call and the first bird I saw looking in the large sycamore was the excellent Yellow- browed Warbler, flitting around showing typical white belly cream super cilia and 2 cream wing bars, I watched the bird for around 2 minutes before it flew right. Checking Old SW, I heard a Yellow- browed Warbler from the hedge behind but I didn't see the bird. A look in Belle Vue Park, by the Ravine just east of the bridge revealed a male Great- spotted Woodpecker that flew into a large tree in the top most branches.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Carlton Marshes this evening

On Sunday 1st October, approaching the Carlton Marshes Scrape, I saw a Migrant Hawker flying around, it didn't last long as a Hobby tore through caught and fed on it whilst flying over the scrape and then east. no sign of Little Stints this evening at Carlton Marshes missed by 1 minnute! On the middle of the Scrape were 3 Black- tailed Godwits and 2 Dunlins feeding on the water. Round the other (southern side) side 2 Green Sandpipers flew off and as the light was fading 20 Ruff flew in, whilst14 Snipe+ and a Barn Owl flew west of the scrape and one hunted over Share marsh.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Red- throated Pipit at Landguard

After an agonising wait, after first hearing of a switchable RTP at Landguard on Wednesday and having left work at 4pm that day I had judged leaving home at 4.30pm (when I found out) I wouldn't arrive at Landguard until 5.45pm and it would be practically dark by 6.30pm, leaving only 35 mins birding time factoring in a 10 minute walk to the spot. Saturday dawned bright and early and I was ready when the first BINS message came through around 7.35pm. Around 70 minutes later I was pulling into the car park and followed a couple of birders walking across the common to the southern tip. People were gathered half way down the easternmost boardwalk roped off the area bordering the beach which was grassy with sueda either side bordering the boardwalk and by the seaward side. I made my way to near the front. Only problem was it wasn't immediately apparent where the bird was. After 5 anxious minutes, I finally picked the bird up. a superb Red- throated Pipit, which was actively feeding to the left of the grassy channel feeding in and out of the vegetation. Fleeting views were seen, but then it fed by the side of the boardwalk often obscured by the weeds. It came close by the first post but mainly feeding by the second and third posts along, occasionally showing very briefly out in the open but was always active moving and feeding. A heavily streaked bird, it had a whitish super cilia, dark streaked brown crown, it showed distinctive whitish mantle stripes further emphasised by bordering black mantle stripes. It was also streaked on the rump (unlike Meadow Pipit) It had a fine bill with yellowish base. Underparts it showed a pale peach throat, which was quite distinctive in good light but less so in poor light.the rest of the underparts were a uniform cream white with streaks on the breast and flank sides. Unfortunately at 10.15am, a dog walker ignored requests and deliberately walked along the boardwalk and inevitably flushed it. It flew up called "pssst" and flew north and appeared to settle in the distance along the north common. However, despite me hearing it call 'pssst' around here at around 10.40amthere I didn't see it or know which direction it was flying in. This was the second bird I have seen in the Uk, my first one seen on Tresco, Isles of scilly. I have previously heard one flying over north at Stirrup's Lane, Corton, but this is a mainland and Suffolk tick. As we walked over I heard the distinctive drawn out "teez" of a Tree Pipit, but couldn't see it. Initially I walked over and saw a Wheater by a fenced off area, the Wheatear was quite confiding. 4+ Wheatear seen in total. As I was photographing the Wheatear, I spotted a fine Clouded Yellow butterfly flying left behind it. I then met Barry W and a group he was leading. It was seen on several other occasions along the common. My first look over just north of the cottages, a female Redstart flicked up onto the wall of the cottage, whilst a Whitethroat flew from one bush to another. Just north of the cottages by a fenced area, first an obliging female Redstart seen perched and then on the ground and back on the fence again. Whilst a male Redstart seen by bushes as I walked by behind the fence, a female Whitethroat flew into the bush too. The Clouded Yellow butterfly flew past us again here. I walked back onto the common hoping to get some pics of the male bird on the fence but it flew. It then posed on the fence and then finally in a small bush then large bush by the track and was inevitably flushed by a dog walker inadvertently. The RTP was later picked up along the middle common where distant, feeding around c20 Meadow Pipits which were slightly smaller and browner. The RTP was more grey- brown above and whiter below. but good views were seen feeding in the short grass. It later flew to the edge of the south common and standing on a mound I had very close views where it fed by some bare sticks. It later flew of its own volition back to its original area, where we good views again. Albeit, against the light, so Barry W. and I walked around the beach edge and had much better views looking from the fence over to the boardwalk, where it was again feeding near the boardwalk, it ran out on the open and showed reasonably well here.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Yellow- browed at Corton

On Tuesday 26th September, after checking this precise area the day before after work, it was good to get a tweet from Rob H to say he had just had a YBW. At 6pm I arrived and just 30 yards down the track, I heard the "tusk" call of a YBW and a bird was seen flitting in the right hand side of the track. I saw a bird which showed silky white underparts. It flew over the track and although we didn't pick it up even when Rob & I went over to the eastern track. Back at the other track, a bird flitting about flew back left and I saw the main body of the bird with double wing- bars, the fine Yellow- browed Warbler. It then darted left and 10 seconds later we heard a distant YBW call, surely a second bird? It eventually flew back and then flew back 10 yards to the road, where I saw the creamy brow and head of the bird as darted about in a tree. It later flew over to a very mellow- leaved tree at the middle of the track at 6.33pm.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Hard work on local patch

A look around Corton on Sunday 24th septenber was very disappointing despite the east wind blowing with the only species seen 4 Large White butterflies, a Grey Wagtail was heard calling as I did the loop path back to the car bordering Stirrups lane. A Green Woodpecker flew up and flew left as I was entering the Corton church car park. Nothing at Radar Lodge. A look around the Denes revealed 6 Pied Wagtails on the Oval and I was relieved to finally see a Wheatear this autumn perched on the fence of the northern perimeter of Ting dene permanently sited caravan park. The bird perched there for a while before flying down back into the fenced off area. A young and Adult Herring Gull perched on the west and east wall of the seawall near Ness Point.