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February 2010

 

Sunday 28th February

I had to nip in to Fakenham this afternoon and on the way home I popped in to Pensthorpe where I've heard rumours that some Lady Amherst's Pheasants are showing outside of confinement. One bird was quickly discovered wandering around the car park but this was not a pure Lady A's - it had the red belly of a Golden Pheasant! I didn't see any other birds in the teeming rain but I might pop by again sometime soon. I think any suggestions that these birds represent a new feral population might be pushing it a bit - whilst they're not technically confined within a pen this one was wandering in and out of an open gate to the main complex so wasn't exactly independent!

Lady Amherst's x Golden Pheasant hybrid, Pensthorpe, 28-Feb-10 Lady Amherst's x Golden Pheasant hybrid, Pensthorpe, 28-Feb-10

male Lady Amherst's Pheasant x Golden Pheasant hybrid, Pensthorpe, 28th February

 

Saturday 27th February

Last week my computer had a virus, this week my wife has - hopefully it won't be me next...

After another late start I headed up to Stiffkey Fen where I failed to find much of interest apart from more Barn Owls: at least 4 but I suspect 6-7 in the area. The Boating Lake at Wells now holds 4 Scaup and a quick stop at Holkham produced at least 49 Barnacle Geese among perhaps a couple of hundred White-fronts (not counted as I couldn't stop for long as there wasn't room to park without sticking out into the road).

Finally a quick trip to the visitor centre at Titchwell in the hope of a) some refreshments, b) a book on where to see birds in Turkey and c) a Mealy Redpoll. I achieved an abismal 33% success rate (securing only the refreshments) but enjoyed a Woodcock that had spent the day right next to the path and a Water Rail whilst putting up with more un-forecasted rain.

Woodcock, Titchwell, 27-Feb-10 Woodcock, Titchwell, 27-Feb-10

Woodcock, Titchwell, 27th February

 

Robin, Titchwell, 27-Feb-10 Robin, Titchwell, 27-Feb-10

Robin, Titchwell, 27th February

 

Scaup, Wells, 27-Feb-10 Scaup, Wells, 27-Feb-10
Scaup, Wells, 27-Feb-10 Scaup, Wells, 27-Feb-10

Scaup, Wells, 27th February

 

Thursday 24th February

Updates have been slow lately, partly thanks to a virus that infected my computer last week. Cleverly it made sure that I couldn't run or install any anti-virus software and also disabled my task manager to make sure I couldn't stop it that way. In the end I had to take it in to a very helpful bloke in Bintree who managed to sort it out for me.

It's not especially unusual for me to see a Barn Owl during my lunch break but today's 4 Barn Owls within 10 minutes over lunch was indeed unusual. Also Nuthatch and my first Egyptian Goose goslings of the year at Holkham Park.

 

Tuesday 22nd February

I've not seen many Corn Buntings in the Choseley area recently - but I guessed they were still around somewhere. One there today.

Corn Bunting, Choseley, 22-Feb-10  

Corn Bunting, Choseley, 22nd February

 

Saturday 20th February

Had to pop in to Dereham this morning which gave me a chance to take a look at the large bunting flock I'd seen on the Swanton Morley road a little while back. Easily 200 Yellowhammers there, perhaps many more than that - but no Cirls among them (or even Reed Buntings for that matter)!

A quick look round Swanton Morley with Dave produced little of note, Buzzard and Little Egret being about it.

Yellowhammer, Dereham, 20-Feb-10 Yellowhammer, Dereham, 20-Feb-10

Yellowhammers, Dereham, 20th February

 

Buzzard, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10 Buzzard, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10

Buzzard, Swanton Morley, 20th February

 

Grey Heron, Swanton Morley, 6-Feb-10 Little Egret, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10

Grey Heron (left) and Little Egret (right) , Swanton Morley, 20th February

 

Pochard, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10 Pochard, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10

Pochard, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 20th February 2010

 

Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10
Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10 Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10
Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10 Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 20-Feb-10

Tufted Ducks, Swanton Morley, 20th February

 

Friday 19th February

The Pinks at Choseley now held 3 Tundra Bean Geese and the leucistic Pink-foot.

Tundra Bean Goose, Choseley, 19-Feb-10 Tundra Bean Goose, Choseley, 19-Feb-10
Tundra Bean Goose, Choseley, 19-Feb-10 Tundra Bean Goose, Choseley, 19-Feb-10

Tundra Bean Geese with Pink-footed Geese, near Choseley, 19th February

 

Thursday 18th February

A flock of Pink-feet near Choseley contained 1 Barnacle Goose, 1 Tundra Bean Goose and 1 leucistic Pink-footed Goose.

Tundra Bean Goose, Choseley, 18-Feb-10 Pink-footed Goose (leucistic), Choseley, 18-Feb-10

Tundra Bean Goose (left) and leucistic Pink-footed Goose (right), near Choseley, 18th February

 

Wednesday 17th February

One of the presumed Barnacle Goose x White-fronted Goose hybrids is still at Flitcham, where this gull also confused me. My first impression was that it was far too pale-mantled to be a Lesser Black-backed Gull but I ended up leaving thinking that that's probably what it was. Still not completely convinced though. Any larophiles out there care to cast an opinion?

Gull sp., Flitcham, 17-Feb-10 Gull sp., Flitcham, 17-Feb-10

Lesser Black-backed Gull?, Flitcham, 17th February

 

Hybrid Goose, Flitcham, 17-Feb-10 Hybrid Goose, Flitcham, 17-Feb-10

Presumed Barnacle Goose x White-fronted Goose, Flitcham, 17th February

 

Tuesday 16th February

There's been a huge flock of Linnets at Thornham recently (along the Choseley Road). Lots of Chaffinches there too but so far I've not found anything remotely interesting among them all.

Linnet, Thornham, 16-Feb-10  

Linnet, Thornham, 16th February

 

Saturday 13th February

Starting late and with little time I decided to pop in to Salthouse to photograph the Snow Buntings. At first the number of other photographers, dog walkers and small children seemed to make this too difficult so I pottered off to have a look at the Brent Geese nearby. Among these were 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, including one first-winter. Then I returned to the car park where I managed to park up close to where the buntings were coming down to seed. All very nice, though frequently flushed, mainly by one small child who seemed to think he was more photogenic than the birds.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10

four Pale-bellied Brent Geese (with Dark-bellied Brent Geese), Salthouse, 13th February

 

Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10

Snow Buntings, Salthouse, 13th February

 

Pied Wagtail, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10 Turnstone, Salthouse, 13-Feb-10

Pied Wagtail (left) and Turnstone (right), Salthouse, 13th February

 

Sunday 7th February

I see James has photographed that fantastic hybrid goose that I've been looking for at Whitlingham, and with Ring-necked Duck having been a little more reliable there again during the last few days I thought I'd head back there for the umpteenth time this year. Needless to say I didn't see either of my targets. Great Northern Diver, Red-necked Grebe, 2 Smew and Goosander would have been pretty ample compensation had I not seen them all before, but as I had, the highlight had to be the first-winter drake Scaup that I'd missed previously.

Great Northern Diver, Whitlingham Broad, 7-Feb-10 Great Northern Diver, Whitlingham Broad, 7-Feb-10

Great Northern Diver, Whitlingham Broad, 7th February

 

Red-necked Grebe, Whitlingham, 7-Feb-10 Red-necked Grebe, Whitlingham, 7-Feb-10

Red-necked Grebe, Whitlingham Broad, 7th February

 

Scaup, Whitlingham Broad, 7-Feb-09 Scaup, Whitlingham Broad, 7-Feb-09
Scaup, Whitlingham Broad, 7-Feb-09  

first-winter Scaup, Whitlingham Broad, 7th February

 

Saturday 6th February

I didn't have much time today but just managed to squeeze in an hour or so down the road at Swanton Morley. Others had already failed to find the Black-throated Diver this morning but had compensation in the form of Bittern and Hen Harrier, two excellent local birds. When I arrived I quickly realised why the Diver had gone - pretty much every lake was frozen over. One lake had a small patch of ice-free water which was packed with wildfowl but nothing more exciting than a Wigeon. The best I could manage in the short time I was there was a flock of about 28 Pink-footed Geese flying over, a Buzzard and a brief glimpse of a Water Rail.

Little Grebes, Swanton Morley, 6-Feb-10

Little Grebes, Swanton Morley, 6th February

 

Wigeon, Swanton Morley, 6-Feb-10 Coot, Swanton Morley, 6-Feb-10

Wigeon (left) and Coot (right), Swanton Morley, 6th February

 

Buzzard, Swanton Morley, 6-Feb-10  

Buzzard, Swanton Morley, 6th February

 

Thursday 4th February

Saw the Snow Goose again at lunch time, this time from the road between Brancaster Staithe and Docking.

Managed to get out of work more or less on time for a change and consequently managed to see Woodcock and Long-eared Owl.

Snow Goose, S of Brancaster Staithe, 4-Feb-10 Snow Goose, S of Brancaster Staithe, 4-Feb-10

Snow Goose, between Brancaster Staithe and Docking, 4th February

 

Wednesday 3rd February

A muddy Barwit was the best I could find at lunchtime.

Bar-tailed Godwit, Brancaster Staithe, 3-Feb-10  

Bar-tailed Godwit, Brancaster Staithe, 3rd February

 

 

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