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May 2008

 

Saturday 31st May

A late start at Sparham Pools and few interesting birds, though 2 Cuckoos were calling, a Hobby hunting and a Grey Wagtail flew over. Non-avian interest included a range of dragonflies including teneral Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmers, Broad-bodied Chaser, Four-spotted Chaser, 2 Large Red Damselflies and 3 species of blue damselfly. A few butterflies on the wing too, and a moth: my first Treble-bar.

Nearby at Bylaugh the 2 Mallard x Egyptian Goose hybrids were again present, and with them were 2 Ruddy Shelducks.

 

Blue-tailed Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08 Large Red Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08

Blue-tailed Damselfly (left) and Large Red Damselfly (right), Sparham Pools, 31st May 2008

 

Common Blue Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08 Azure Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08

Common Blue Damselfly (left) and Azure Damselfly (right), Sparham Pools, 31st May 2008

 

Black-tailed Skimmer, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08 Red-eared Slider, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08

Black-tailed Skimmer (left) and Red-eared Slider (right), Sparham Pools, 31st May 2008

 

Treble-bar, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08 Treble-bar, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08

Treble-bar, Sparham Pools, 31st May 2008

 

beetle, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08 beetle, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08

beetles, Sparham Pools, 31st May 2008

 

Ruddy Shelducks and Mallard x Egyptian Goose hybrids, Bylaugh, 31-May-08 Ruddy Shelducks and Mallard x Egyptian Goose hybrids, Bylaugh, 31-May-08

Ruddy Shelducks and Mallard x Egyptian Goose hybrids, Bylaugh, 31st May 2008

 

Red Fox, Bylaugh, 31-May-08 Silver-ground Carpet, Bawdeswell, 31-May-08

Red Fox cub, Bylaugh, 31st May 2008

 

Silver-ground Carpet, Bawdeswell, 31st May 2008

 

Bird's nest, Sparham Pools, 31-May-08  

Bird's nest, Sparham Pools, 31st May 2008 - this had fallen to the ground (or been put there by someone); any ideas what built it?

 

Friday 30th May

Not for the first time, this Green Carpet threw me by not being green...

Green Carpet, Bawdeswell, 30-May-08 Brimstone Moth, Bawdeswell, 30-May-08

Green Carpet (left) and Brimstone Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 30th May 2008

 

Thursday 29th May

Thornham is a good place to check during my lunchtimes when there are passerine migrants around as it represents one of the few places on the coast where I have time to get to that I can see decent migrant cover without going far from the car. I once had a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers here (one of which looked and sounded like a Hume's) but most of the time I draw a blank. Today was no exception, nothing better than a posey Chiffchaff singing.

Chiffchaff, Thornham, 29-May-08 Chiffchaff, Thornham, 29-May-08

Chiffchaff, Thornham, 29th May 2008

 

Common Wainscot, Bawdeswell, 29-May-08 Garden Pebble, Bawdeswell, 29-May-08

Common Wainscot (left) and Garden Pebble (right), Bawdeswell, 29th May 2008

 

Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 29-May-08 Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 29-May-08
Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 29-May-08 Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 29-May-08

Common Pugs (I think - if I keep posting enough sooner or later someone will tell me that one of them's actually something more interesting), Bawdeswell, 29th May 2008

 

Wednesday 28th May

Moths are hotting up now...

Silver-ground Carpet, Bawdeswell, 27-May-08 Common Swift, Bawdeswell, 27-May-08

Silver-ground Carpet (left) and Common Swift (right), Bawdeswell, 27th May 2008

 

Common Marbled Carpet, Bawdeswell, 28-May-08  

Common Marbled Carpet, Bawdeswell, 28th May 2008

 

flower, Thornham, 28-May-08  

Columbine aquilegia vulgaris, Thornham, 28th May 2008. Thanks David for the ID!

 

Tuesday 27th May

Par for the course, the day we all have to go back to work tonnes of good birds turn up everywhere.

After work popped up to Titchwell to see the best of these, a Citrine Wagtail. After over an hour's wait it eventually appeared - a stunning bird, 18 years minus a couple of days after my last spring Citrine, a bird I found at my local reservoir (the first accepted spring record for the UK, though there have been a few since). This one was a beauty, a first-summer (with complete necklace) and said to be a female, though I'm not sure about that. Initially the back looked worryingly olive-brown toned but in subsequent (and better) views from a different direction it looked grey like it should be.

While waiting for it to appear a few other birds of note included 3 Temminck's Stints, Red-crested Pochard, Garganey, Yellow Wagtail, Cetti's Warbler and lots of Little Gulls, Common Sandpipers, etc.

Citrine Wagtail, Titchwell, 27-May-08 Citrine Wagtail, Titchwell, 27-May-08
Citrine Wagtail, Titchwell, 27-May-08 Citrine Wagtail, Titchwell, 27-May-08

Citrine Wagtail, Titchwell, 27th May 2008

 

Temminck's Stint, Titchwell, 27-May-08 Temminck's Stint, Titchwell, 27-May-08

Temminck's Stints, Titchwell, 27th May 2008

 

Little Gull, Titchwell, 27-May-08 Little Gull, Titchwell, 27-May-08

Little Gulls, Titchwell, 27th May 2008

 

Little Tern, Brancaster Staithe, 27-May-08 Little Tern, Brancaster Staithe, 27-May-08

Little Terns, Brancaster Staithe, 27th May 2008

 

Monday 26th May

Well, with a wet and windy bank holiday week-end and things like a new computer and plumbing emergencies keeping me away from the birds, I've finally got up to date with the diary.

I've also completed sorting out my photos from Corsica and Sardinia last month. Click here to see them all, but here's a selection of the highlights:

Audouin's Gull, Porto Torres, 18-Apr-08 Lammergeier with Golden Eagle, Calacuccia - Castirla, 16-Apr-08

Audouin's Gulls, Porto Torres (Sardinia), 18th April

 

Lammergeier with Golden Eagle, between Calacuccia and Castirla (Corsica), 16th April

 

Corsican Finch, N of Sagone, 15-Apr-08 Corsican Nuthatch, Foret d'Aitone, 15-Apr-08

Corsican Finch, north of Sagone (Corsica), 15th April

 

Corsican Nuthatch, Forêt d'Aitone (Corsica), 15th April

 

Blue Rock Thrush, Capo Caccia, 13-Apr-08 Corsican Crossbill, Evisa, 14-Apr-08

Blue Rock Thrush, Capo Caccia (Sardinia), 13th April

 

Corsican Crossbill, Evisa (Corsica), 14th April

 

Marmora's Warbler, near Rena Majore, 18-Apr-08 Moltoni's Subalpine Warbler, Aleria, 17-Apr-08

Marmora's Warbler, near Rena Majore (Sardinia), 18th April

 

Moltoni's Subalpine Warbler, Aleria (Corsica), 17th April

 

Scopoli's Shearwater, south of Bonifacio, 18-Apr-08 Barbary Partridge, Capo Caccia, 19-Apr-08

Scopoli's Shearwater, from ferry from Corsica to Sardinia, 18th April

 

Barbary Partridge, Capo Caccia (Sardinia), 19th April

Porto to Evisa, 15-Apr-08 Restonica, 14-Apr-08

between Porto and Evisa (Corsica), 15th April

 

Restonica Valley (Corsica), 14th April

Crocus, Restonica, 16-Apr-08 Orchid, Sainte Lucie, 17-Apr-08

Croci, Restonica Valley (Corsica), 16th April

 

Butterfly Orchid, Sainte-Lucie-de-Tallano (Corsica), 17th April

 

Tuesday 20th May

Little Tern, Brancaster Staithe, 20-May-08 Little Tern, Brancaster Staithe, 20-May-08

Little Terns, Brancaster Staithe, 20th May 2008

 

Sunday 18th May

The Nightingale is still singing away at Swanton Morley. Other bits and pieces included Barnacle Goose, Common Sandpiper, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, 2 Barn Owls, Kingfisher and Cetti's Warbler.

In the evening when travelling home from Norwich I was surprised to see another Barn Owl flying low over houses right in the middle of Lenwade - not quite their usual habitat!

Whitethroat, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Whitethroat, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08

Whitethroat, Swanton Morley, 18th May 2008

 

Reed Warbler, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Reed Bunting, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08

Reed Warbler (left) and Reed Bunting (right), Swanton Morley, 18th May 2008

 

Grey Heron, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Cormorant, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08

Grey Heron (left) and Cormorant (right), Swanton Morley, 18th May 2008

 

Common Sandpiper, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Rabbit, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08

Common Sandpiper (left) and Rabbit (right), Swanton Morley, 18th May 2008

 

Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08
Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08
Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08
Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08
Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08
Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08 Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08
Swift, Swanton Morley, 18-May-08  

Swifts, Swanton Morley, 18th May 2008

 

 

Saturday 17th May

Another spring Saturday goes by with not enough time for birding :-(

Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 17-May-08 Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 17-May-08

Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 17th May 2008

 

Friday 16th May

Ringed Plover, Brancaster Staithe, 16-May-08 Ringed Plover, Brancaster Staithe, 16-May-08

Ringed Plovers, Brancaster Staithe, 16th May 2008

 

Turnstone, Brancaster Staithe, 16-May-08 Dunlin, Brancaster Staithe, 16-May-08

Turnstone (left) and Dunlin (right), Brancaster Staithe, 16th May 2008

 

Monday 12th May

Moths tonight included my first Sandy Carpet. Need help identifying the pugs please (again). I think the left hand one is a Common Pug (but could well be wrong) and am wondering if the other one is Oak-tree Pug, or possibly Brindled, but not sure. Please let me know if you can solve these. Thanks.

Update: the right hand Pug is a Mottled Pug - thanks Rob!

Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 12-May-08 Mottled Pug, Bawdeswell, 12-May-08

Common Pug, I think, (left) and Mottled Pug (right), Bawdeswell, 12th May 2008

 

Sandy Carpet, Bawdeswell, 12-May-08 Sandy Carpet, Bawdeswell, 12-May-08

Sandy Carpet, Bawdeswell, 12th May 2008

 

Saturday 10th May

Apologies for the delayed updates - have been pretty busy lately but hope to catch up in the next week or so.

Started early this morning with an unsuccessful look for the Great White Egret that was again at Bintree Mill last night. A Little Owl nearby but not much else in the early morning mist. Looking from Bintree Woods over towards Sennowe Park didn't fair much better although there were 3 each of Barn Owl and Turtle Dove.

After that I headed down to Minsmere to help with a group. Bitterns were booming and seen in flight twice. A couple of Nightingales were singing, one even showing briefly. Waders included a distant Curlew Sandpiper but it was mostly pretty standard stuff. The group seemed to enjoy it though, especially the Treecreepers.

If news of the Subalpine Warbler on Westleton Heath had come out an hour or so earlier I would have gone to see it on the way out - which would have been a particularly good move as it turned out to be Britain's fifth Spectacled Warbler. By the time I was home it wasn't worth going back to see this (I saw the first and second), but it would have made a nice end to the day if news had seeped out just that little bit earlier.

Barn Owl, Bintree Wood, 10-May-08 Common Tern, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Barn Owl, Bintree Woods, 10th May 2008

 

Common Tern, Minsmere, 10th May 2008

Nightingale, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Reed Bunting, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Nightingale (left) and Reed Bunting (right), Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Barnacle Goose, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Barnacle Goose, Minsmere, 10-May-08
Barnacle Geese, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Barnacle Geese, Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Common Tern, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Common Tern, Minsmere, 10-May-08
Common Tern, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Common Tern, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Common Tern, Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Whitethroat, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Magpie, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Whitethroat (left) and Magpie (right), Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Swallow, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Swallow, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Swallow, Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Black-tailed Godwit, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Lesser Black-backed Gull (left) and Black-tailed Godwit (right), Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Knot, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Knot, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Knot, Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Turnstone, Minsmere, 10-May-08 Turnstone, Minsmere, 10-May-08

Turnstone, Minsmere, 10th May 2008

 

Thursday 8th May

House Martins have only just arrived back in Bawdeswell today! They're normally the last of the three common hirundines to arrive but they are usually easy to find well before the end of April, long before the first Swifts arrive in their breeding areas - Swifts arrived in Bawdeswell on Sunday.

Brimstone, Bawdeswell, 7-May-08 Woodpigeon, Thornham, 8-May-08

Brimstone Moth, Bawdeswell, 7th May 2008

Woodpigeon, Thornham, 8th May 2008

 

Tuesday 6th May

The field behind my house has always proved rubbish for birds but recently it's been ploughed and whatever they were doing to it today (planting potatoes I think) attracted loads of birds this evening. Most of them were common species like Starlings and Pied Wagtails but in far larger numbers than I normally see here, and among them was a nice male Yellow Wagtail. Not a species I had expected to see from the house - I haven't even managed to see one at any of the more likely sites like Sparham Pools or Swanton Morley yet.

Yellow Wagtail, Bawdeswell, 6-May-08  

Yellow Wagtail, Bawdeswell, 6th May 2008

 

Monday 5th May

Sparham Pools was a bit disappointing this morning: Little Egret, Grey Wagtail and Turtle Dove being the best. Drove through Worthing later on where there was another Little Egret and a Grey Wagtail in the river beside the bridge.

Chiffchaff, Sparham Pools, 5-May-08  

Chiffchaff, Sparham Pools, 5th May 2008

 

Sunday 4th May

Didn't have long this morning so just popped in to Swanton Morley briefly. Didn't go all the way round, just a quick look at Holkham Lake. Long enough, however, to see my first Black Tern for the local area bouncing around, as well as Common Sandpiper and Barn Owl, and to hear yesterday's Nightingale singing in the distance. I was pleased with one Black Tern but a little later there were apparently 20 present.

Black Tern, Swanton Morley, 4-May-08 Black Tern, Swanton Morley, 4-May-08
Black Tern, Swanton Morley, 4-May-08 Black Tern, Swanton Morley, 4-May-08

Black Tern, Swanton Morley, 4th May 2008

 

caterpillar, Swanton Morley, 4-May-08  

caterpillar, Swanton Morley, 4th May 2008 - if you can identify this, please let me know!

 

Saturday 3rd May

A misty start at Swanton Morley but it soon brightened up. More summer visitors in this week with Turtle Dove singing and Reed Warbler numbers rising to at least 12.

A pair of Little Egrets were feeding in one of the dykes. Top bird today though was a Nightingale, my first in the local area, singing away with a Cetti's Warbler.

Marsh Tit, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Little Egret, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

Marsh Tit (left) and Little Egrets (right), Swanton Morley, 3rd May

 

Common Tern, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Common Tern, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

Common Tern, Swanton Morley, 3rd May 2008

 

Garden Warbler, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Garden Warbler, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

male Garden Warbler, Swanton Morley, 3rd May

 

Willow Warbler, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Willow Warbler, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

male Willow Warbler, Swanton Morley, 3rd May

 

Whitethroat, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Lesser Whitethroat, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

female Whitethroat (left) and male Lesser Whitethroat (right), Swanton Morley, 3rd May

 

Sedge Warbler, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Wren, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

male Sedge Warbler (left) and Wren (right), Swanton Morley, 3rd May

 

Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

Tufted Ducks, Swanton Morley, 3rd May 2008

 

Pochard, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Pochard, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

male Pochard, Swanton Morley, 3rd May 2008

 

Little Ringed Plover, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Little Ringed Plover, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

Little Ringed Plover, Swanton Morley , 3rd May 2008

 

Canada Goose, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Canada Goose, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

Canada Goose, Swanton Morley, 3rd May 2008

 

Great Crested Grebe, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Great Crested Grebe, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

displaying Great Crested Grebes, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 3rd May 2008. Click here for a longer series of photos of these birds displaying.

 

Gadwall, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Gadwall, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

Gadwalls, Swanton Morley, 3rd May 2008

 

Mute Swan, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08 Sun, Swanton Morley, 3-May-08

Mute Swan (left) and the Sun, both in the early morning mist, Swanton Morley, 3rd May 2008

 

Green Sandpiper

Nightingale (and Kingfisher), Swanton Morley, 3rd May 2008

 

Friday 2nd May

Had a nice pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls fly over at Choseley at lunchtime. Also Yellow Wagtail and Marsh Harrier between there and Thornham (but no Dotterels).

 

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