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November 2010

 

Monday 29th November

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Fieldfares, Thornham, 29th November

 

Saturday 27th November

Stu's Harrier has now been seen regularly at Thornham for a few days, after weeks (?) of occasional sightings at various different locations. What's more the photographs support the initial descriptions and it does indeed seem that this bird ticks all the boxes for the North American form of Hen Harrier, known as Northern Harrier. It would appear that either this bird is indeed a Northern Harrier, or Hen Harriers can look identical to Northern Harriers. Either way it sounded like an interesting bird that I really ought to see, so having failed to find it during my lunch breaks I headed up this morning. It had flown off to Holme when I arrived but after a bit of a wait I picked it up heading back towards us. Good views were obtained over the next hour or so as it hunted Thornham Marsh, though it wasn't quite close enough for decent photos. Well stuck at Stu!

After this I headed back towards home but popped in to Swanton Morley to see if the snow had brought anything in. Two Kingfishers darted past as I parked, with Siskins overhead, and Holkham Lake homed a first-winter male Goldeneye. A good start, but a wander round the complex didn't really turn up much else apart from a late (presumably wintering) Chiffchaff, more Siskins and a Barn Owl.

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apparent Northern Harrier, Thornham, 27th November

 

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Goldeneye, Swanton Morley, 27th November

 

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Siskin (left) and Marsh Tit (right), Swanton Morley, 27th November

 

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Barn Owl, Swanton Morley, 27th November

 

Friday 26th November

A brief lunch time viist to Thornham failed to deliver any interesting Harriers - my only raptor of the day was this Kestrel on the way back to work. An enormous flock of Pink-footed Geese is currently feeding in the fields around my work - I can see them from the office window and hear them constantly, but, not wanting to set up my scope in the office (don't think that would go down very well!) I haven't been able to get a decent look at them. They don't seem to be visible from any of the roads in the area.

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Kestrel, west of Burnham Market, 26th November

 

Monday 22nd November

Today's Winter Moth must have arrived last night, though I didn't see it then. My first of the year but not half as attractive as yesterday's December Moth.

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Winter Moth, Bawdeswell, 22nd November

 

Sunday 21st November

An attempt to find some Waxwings before I returned home from Norwich this afternoon was a dismal failure. In the absence of avian activity though, lepidopteran activity just about hangs on, with another fine December Moth this evening.

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December Moth, Bawdeswell, 21st November

 

Friday 19th November

A lunchtime dash to Wolferton failed to deliver any interesting birds though a whitish deer was cool. Would have made a nice photo if there hadn't been a car right behind me - I had to take it through the windscreen and didn't have time to put it on the right setting first. Any ideas what species of deer it was? Never seen Roe this colour.

The evening produced 2 Epirrita moths, probably November Moths I imagine.

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Pheasant (left) and Deer sp. (right), Wolferton, 19th November

 

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Grey Partridges, Shernborne, 19th November

 

Thursday 18th November

An interesting looking Acleris-type micro appeared this evening but as I reached for the camera it dived under cover and I couldn't relocated it. Fortunately it reappeared a couple of hours later and, if I'm not mistaken, it was Acleris ferrugana. In the process of looking this one up I discoverd that the one I thought I had in August 09 was in fact the much commoner A. laterana, so this becomes my first. However, I'm not sure if A. notana is eliminated - some aren't separable without genitalia examination but when present, a "small black tuft of scales a short distance from head" is diagnostic for A. ferrugana - is that what the two small spots are, or are they something different?

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Acleris ferrugana, Bawdeswell, 18th November - or is this best left unidentified as either ferrugana or notana?

 

Wednesday 17th November

Another lunchbreak - two in one week, things must be getting back to normal! This one was mainly wasted stopping off at places that didn't have much on view but I ended up at Brancaster Staithe. It's one of my favourite lunchtime haunts but only in the winter when it's not too busy with tourists. Today it was busy only with birds and I wished I'd got there with more than five minutes to spare! Loads of common waders, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and a flock of 13 Twite.

Back home in the evening a slightly warmer night than of late was enough for my first ever Mottled Umber to appear.

Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 17th November

 

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Dunlins, Brancaster Staithe, 17th November

 

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Common Gull, Brancaster Staithe, 17th November

 

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Mottled Umber, Bawdeswell, 17th November

 

Monday 15th November

Looked over the marshes from the car park at Burnham Norton during my lunch break today. No Northern Harriers but 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards and a Barn Owl.

 

Saturday 13th November

Another Scarce Umber tonight.

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Scarce Umber, Bawdeswell, 13th November

 

Monday 8th November

Stopped off at Houghton during my lunch break to see what gulls were still in the pig fields, but there were none close to the road. So instead I went to Flitcham where the Rough-legged Buzzard was cavorting with 3 Buzzards. Interesting to watch them together - the difference in size and structure was quite impressive at times. Far too distant for half a chance of any photos, but if you know me you'll know that won't have stopped me trying, so here are some blurry dots:

Rough-legged Buzzard (with Buzzard in lower left image), Flitcham, 8th November

 

Sunday 7th November

Another weekend bites the dust as I drown in non-birding activity once again (although I did hear some Pink-feet flying over the house). No let up in the immediately foreseeable future but hopefully I'll be out again before too long. With the cold, windy and wet weather we've had lately not much mothing activity either, but tonight produced a Scarce Umber - a species I've only seen once before (2 one night last November).

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Scarce Umber, Bawdeswell, 7th November

 

Thursday 4th November

Not much good for moths this week but a Feathered Thorn tonight.

 

Tuesday 2nd November

Not entirely sure about this, but I think it's a worn Yellow-line Quaker. Not sure I've eliminated Brick, but it was quite small.

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Yellow-line Quaker?, Bawdeswell, 2nd November

 

Monday 1st November

Just one moth tonight, but it was a new species for me, and quite a smart one at that, especially compared to the Epirritas and things that seem to be the norm at this time of year. It was a December Moth.

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December Moth, Bawdeswell, 1st November

 

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