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May 2010


Monday 31st May

Not much to report, having resisted the temptation to go and twitch a Trumpeter Finch at Cley - it's only two years since the last one! A Spectacle in tonight.

Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 31-May-10 Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 31-May-10

Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 31st May


Sunday 30th May

Been busy sorting out photos from Turkey. Whilst there I saw a few Long-legged Buzzards and a smaller number of Steppe Buzzards. Most were fairly straightforward to identify but I remain uncertain about this one...

Buzzard sp., Monastery Valley, 19-May-10 Buzzard sp., Monastery Valley, 19-May-10

Buzzard sp., Cappadocia, 19th May

Anyone out there any good at these? Steppe Buzzard, or Long-legged Buzzard?


Saturday 29th May

Spent a couple of hours at Swanton Morley before the rain came (well, before most of it). Not much to shout about, Little Egret overhead, 60+ Swifts, 2 Greylag x Canada Goose hybrids and the usual bits and pieces. Talk of the autumn and winter last year was the apparently catastrophic failure of wintering Goldcrests to arrive in this country; not sure how the locally breeding birds are meant to be faring but usually at Swanton Morley there's only one site where I expect this species at this time of year, and that place is now out of bounds. Today though I heard Goldcrests singing in 4 different places around the complex (plus another at home).

Cuckoo, Swanton Morley, 29-May-10 Coot, Swanton Morley, 29-May-10

Cuckoo (left) and Coot (right), Swanton Morley, 29th May


Hybrid Goose, Swanton Morley, 29-May-10  

Greylag x Canada Goose hybrid, Swanton Morley, 29th May


Friday 28th May

Sometime this week my camera's date stamp has gone a day out so the dates for a few of the moths might be a little out, but I'm sure that won't matter much in the grand scheme of things. I think these were tonight... in addition to those shown below, Blood-vein was probably the most interesting.

Talking of technical problems, my PC has died this week. I learned today that it's probably not economical to repair but fortunately the data is safe. I'm now able to update this website via my laptop but I've still got problems with email via the laptop. I should be able to receive them ok but will only be replying to very urgent ones until I've got Outlook set up on a replacement PC.

Chinese Character, Bawdeswell, 28-May-10 Chinese Character, Bawdeswell, 28-May-10

Scorched Carpet (left) and Chinese Character (right), Bawdeswell, 28th May


Chinese Character, Bawdeswell, 28-May-10  

Garden Carpet, Bawdeswell, 28th May


Thursday 27th May

For the first time this week I got a lunch hour, well, most of one, and spent it looking for late migrants at Thornham. Just as I was about to leave an Acro started up beside the glass recycling bins. Presumably a Reed Warbler but it gave such a short burst of song before being interrupted by locals using the bottle bank that I couldn't be 100% positive and I couldn't give it any longer without being late back to work.


Wednesday 26th May

I'm always worried I'm overlooking other species among the Common Pugs but after a while trying to turn these two into something else I ended up sticking with Common. As always, please shout if I'm wrong with these or anything else. A Spectacle was new for the year.

Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 26-May-10 Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 26-May-10

Common Pugs, Bawdeswell, 26th May


Monday 24th May

Quite a few moths in tonight including my first Scalloped Hazel. Also a Rustic Shoulder-knot - and I'm wondering whether one of yesterday's unidentified moths could have been an unusually reddish example of this species? Red Twin-spot Carpet, Garden Carpet, Garden Pebble, Scoparia ambigualis were also recorded while Brimstone Moths continued to provide the numbers with at least 6 in.

Garden Pebble, Bawdeswell, 24-May-10 Scalloped Hazel, Bawdeswell, 24-May-10

Garden Pebble and Scalloped Hazel, Bawdeswell, 24th May


Rustic Shoulder-knot, Bawdeswell, 24-May-10  
Rustic Shoulder-knot, Bawdeswell, 23rd May


Sunday 23rd May

A few moths in tonight, to greet me upon my return from Turkey. However, with Turkish food having got the better of my digestive system I just rushed off a few photos and left identifying them for later. Two are still unidentified as I write (any help welcome!) and one was new for me, a White-pinion Spotted. Others included Flame Shoulder, Hebrew Character and at least 3 each of Common Pug and Brimstone Moth.

unidentified moth, Bawdeswell, 23-May-10 unidentified moth, Bawdeswell, 23-May-10

unidentified macros, Bawdeswell, 23rd May - please holla if you can identify these!

(update: looking back a few weeks later, I think the left hand one is a Brown Rustic. Right hand one perhaps a reddish example of Rustic Shoulder-knot?)


White-pinion Spotted, Bawdeswell, 23-May-10  
White-pinion Spotted, Bawdeswell, 23rd May


Sunday 24th May

Well, I'm back from Turkey. More to come later once I've recovered and sorted out the photos... Sounds like I didn't miss much - at least not from the twitching point of view although I see that a few folk in the east who prefer to work hard at finding their own birds did ok with a Bonelli's. Nice one guys! That's a bird I'd like to see in Norfolk having narrowly missed one on my patch a few years ago.


Wednesday 5th May

An Osprey had flown west over Blakeney Harbour at midday so I decided to spend lunch looking from the hill south of Thornham, though I though it would probably take its time and not reach me before I had to head back to work. Actually it was steaming through and not long after I started looking I noticed a flock of Brent Geese at Brancaster rising suddenly in a manner that suggested they'd been spooked, perhaps by an over-flying raptor. Sure enough, there was an interesting-looking raptor, high above them and quite distant from where I was, but looking like it was probably the Osprey. It wasn't hanging around at all but by the time it was level with me there was no doubting that it was indeed the Osprey. I phoned it out straight away for the benefit of those at Holme but with 2-3 minutes delay before it hit the pagers they had no chance if they hadn't found it by themselves.

This Shoulder Stripe was late - they're supposed to fly in March and April.

Shoulder Stripe, Bawdeswell, 5-May-10  
Shoulder Stripe, Bawdeswell, 5th May


Tuesday 4th May

Another Streamer was in tonight.


Monday 3rd May

For the second time this weekend I rushed down to Swanton Morley to connect with another good local tern - this time a Sandwich Tern. Ian, the bird's finder, thought the bird was still present when I arrived but I must have missed it by seconds as it wasn't seen again.

Holkham Lake was heaving with hirundines and Swifts, but still no sign of any Red-rumped Swallows among them. Unlike yesterday Swifts and House Martins were in the majority today, though there was no shortage of Swallows and Sand Martins too. Despite missing the tern it was good to catch up with Ashley, Dave and Ian, and while we were sheltering behind a tree from a viscious hailstorm a Greenshank flew through, a reasonably good local bird (though not as good as Sandwich Tern).

Common Tern, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10 Common Tern, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10

Common Terns, Swanton Morley, 3rd May


Swift, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10 Swift, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10
Swift, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10 Swift, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10

Swifts, Swanton Morley, 3rd May


Swallow, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10 Swallow, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10

Swallows, Swanton Morley, 3rd May


House Martin, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10 House Martin, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10

House Martins, Swanton Morley, 3rd May


Sand Martin, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10 Sand Martin, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10

Sand Martins, Swanton Morley, 3rd May


Fly, Swanton Morley, 3-May-10  

Fly sp., Swanton Morley, 3rd May


Sunday 2nd May

Dave called to let me know that there were Arctic Terns at Swanton Morley so I headed down to have a look. When I arrived I had a quick scan through the terns and thought I'd seen an Arctic. Before looking carefully I went over to join Dave, again seeing what looked like an Arctic Tern briefly. Then together we looked again and all the terns present were clearly Common Terns! Had I imagined it? Had Dave imagined it? Probably not, he'd seen 9 terns altogether and only 6 were on view, so the 2-3 Arctics had flown off - one of the birds I'd seen was flying off. But then there were 9 back again, and still they all looked like Common. Had we both been imagining things after all? Well, I might have been, but some of Dave's photos look pretty much like Arctic Terns so I don't think he was!

A calling Cuckoo and a Barn Owl were easier to identify and there were lots of hirundines, mainly Swallows but also plenty of Sand Martins as well as the odd House Martin and Swift.


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