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October 2008

 

Wednesday 29th October

Went looking for a large flock of Pink-feet that were near Heacham but unfortunately the farmer disturbed them just before I got there. The rest of the lunch break was spent at Ringstead where the fields were full of birds:

Fieldfare, Ringstead, 29-Oct-08 Golden Plover, Ringstead, 29-Oct-08

Fieldfare (left) and Golden Plover (right), Ringstead, 29th October 2008

 

Monday 27th October

Apart from the first one, I think the following are all Yellow-legged Gulls. Let me know if you agree! If I'm right then I'm a bit surprised that there are still so many Yellow-legged Gulls around. (Edit: Chris G agrees - thanks for the confirmation!)

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Houghton, 27-Oct-08 Yellow-legged Gull, Houghton, 27-Oct-08
Yellow-legged Gull, Houghton, 27-Oct-08 Yellow-legged Gull, Houghton, 27-Oct-08

Lesser Black-backed Gull (top left) and Yellow-legged Gulls, I think, Houghton, 27th October 2008

 

Saturday 25th October

A Little Blue Heron was reported at Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire yesterday and was thought possibly to have been present for 2 weeks. That being the case there was a pretty good chance it would still be there today, I thought, and, with it being a first for Britain, I really should go and see it. Before setting off I had a quick look at Bird Forum where someone who'd seen it had put some comments about how it looked. At this point I nearly called off because the description sounded decidedly dubious, but after a quick chat with Dave N we decided to head off anyway. I realised this was a big mistake as soon as I recognised the estuary as being the same hapless place where I spent a day dipping in the rain last year (the Glaucous-winged Gull). Lots of Little Egrets, including one among a group of three in flight which had green legs and no yellow on the feet. Quite a strong chance that it was the "Little Blue Heron" but a much more remote chance that it was a Little Blue Heron. I don't know how hard to see the dark primary tips should be on a juvenile Little Blue, or how obvious the structural differences are in flight, but I suspect rather more obvious than this thing. A Snow Goose was probably an escape, but at least it was real. Six Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Goosander were the most exciting birds seen all day.

Snow Goose, Kidwelly, 25-Oct-08  

presumed escaped Snow Goose, Kidwelly, 25th October 2008

 

Friday 24th October

Dunlin, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08 Dunlin, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08
Dunlin, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08 Dunlin, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08

Dunlins, Brancaster Staithe, 24th October 2008

 

Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08 Common Gull, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08

Little Egret (left) and Common Gull (right), Brancaster Staithe, 24th October 2008

 

Herring Gull, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08 Herring Gull, Brancaster Staithe, 24-Oct-08

Herring Gulls, Brancaster Staithe, 24th October 2008

 

Thursday 23rd October

Returned to Houghton at lunchtime today to check if there were still any gulls there. There were, and among them a nice adult Mediterranean Gull.

 

Tuesday 21st October

Turnstone, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08 Turnstone, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08

Turnstone, Brancaster Staithe, 21st October 2008

 

Ringed Plover, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08 Ringed Plover, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08
Ringed Plover, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08 Ringed Plover, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08

Ringed Plovers, Brancaster Staithe, 21st October 2008

 

Herring Gull, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08 Redshank, Brancaster Staithe, 21-Oct-08

Herring Gull (left) and Redshank (right), Brancaster Staithe, 21st October 2008

 

Epirrita sp., Bawdeswell, 21-Oct-08 Epirrita sp., Bawdeswell, 21-Oct-08

Epirrita sp. (left) and Green-brindled Crescent (right), Bawdeswell, 21st October 2008

 

Monday 20th October

I've been a bit pants at keeping this up to date lately - I'll try and catch up soon, but am juggling a few too many things at the moment (not least trying to sort out all my photos from Malawi).

Brick, Bawdeswell, 20-Oct-08  

Brick, Bawdeswell, 20th October 2008

 

Saturday 18th October

Swanton Morley produced a couple of Goldeneye and about 300 Redwings. The ever-so-wild Wood Duck is still present - I'm waiting to find it dead and wearing a North American ring, just to get my own back on those who went to see the Tophill Red-footed Falcon and didn't think to mention to anyone that it had Amurish white underwing-coverts...

Grey Wagtail, Swanton Morley, 18-Oct-08 Fieldfare, Swanton Morley, 18-Oct-08

Grey Wagtail (left) and Fieldfare (right), Swanton Morley, 18th October 2008

 

Wood Duck, Swanton Morley, 18-Oct-08 Goldeneye, Swanton Morley, 18-Oct-08

Wood Duck (left) and Goldeneye (right), Swanton Morley, 18th October 2008

 

Friday 17th October

Autumnal Moth, Bawdeswell, 16-Oct-08  

possible Autumnal Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 16th October 2008

 

Wednesday 15th October

A couple of moths, one of which might be an Autumnal Moth (or not) and one looks a bit like the Fruit-tree Tortrix moths but not quite. Opinions welcome. Update 2011: the Tortrix is a Light Brown Apple Moth.

Light Brown Apple Moth, Bawdeswell, 15-Oct-08 Autumnal Moth, Bawdeswell, 15-Oct-08

Light Brown Apple Moth (left) and possible Autumnal Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 15th October 2008

 

Sunday 12th October

While I've been away in Malawi I've missed out on a few good birds, with the likes of Melodious Warbler on the Point (first Norfolk record since the 1950s), Lesser Grey Shrike on my coastal patch at Sheringham and a very elusive Wilson's Phalarope at Cley/Salthouse, not to mention the first British record of Alder Flycatcher in Cornwall. However, being midweek birds I doubt if I would have seen the Warbler or the Flycatcher even if I'd not been on holiday, and I've seen Lesser Grey Shrike at Sheringham before.

The Wilson's was a disappointing miss though, until it kindly re-appeared for me this afternoon. I popped up to Cley following the news that it was there, and having missed the update saying it had flown off was surprised to find hardly anyone in the hides (despite a full car park). Of the few who were there one had never heard of Wilson's Phalarope, one thought it was a brightly coloured bird and the other told me it had flown off in the opposite direction to where it had really flown.

Bumped into Rob at Salthouse and together with Dave & Jackie the four of us tried looking from the hill between Walsey Hill and Salthouse. News came out that it was visible from the high ground behind Walsey Hill just as we arrived and scanning the pools we (well, Jackie) quickly located it. These North American waders turn up regularly enough in the UK, and with no particularly strong bias away from the east coast this wasn't exactly an unexpected record; nevertheless the last twitchable (not suppressed) Wilson's Phalarope in Norfolk was over 20 years ago so this was a welcome un-blocker for a lot of Norfolk listers.

Malawi, by the way, was quite good. Roughly 300 species of bird I think - more than I see in a year in the UK. Not bad for my first trip to Africa, no previous experience of the majority of species or even families, no guide, no tapes and no prior knowledge of calls. Rarest find was apparently the Turnstone - less than annually recorded in Malawi - though I think I preferred the Thyolo Alethes, Pel's Fishing-Owl, Bat Hawks, White-backed Night-Herons, Rwenzori's Nightjars, Montane Widowbirds, etc., etc. More of these, and photos of a Leopard, coming once I've sorted all the photos out (could be a while...)

Black-tailed Godwit, Cley, 12-Oct-08 Wilson's Phalarope, Salthouse, 12-Oct-08

Black-tailed Godwit (left) and Wilson's Phalarope (right), Cley/Salthouse, 12th October 2008. Now, which photo is best...?

 

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