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October 2010

 

Sunday 31st October

Just Juniper Carpet and Emmelina monodactyla tonight.

 

Saturday 30th October

Eleven moths again tonight, though more of them were left over from the day before. A second Satellite was new, as was Chestnut, Juniper Carpet, Emmelina monodactyla, Eudonia angustea and what I think is Agnopterix arenella.

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Satellite (left) and Chestnut (right), Bawdeswell, 30th October

 

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Emmelina monodactlya (left) and Agonopterix arenella (right), Bawdeswell, 30th October

 

Friday 29th October

A better night for moths with a replacement MV bulb in place, comprising my second ever Satellite, a Brick, something that I think must be Blastobasis lacticolella though its not as well marked as most, 2 November Moth-types, 3 Juniper Carpets (doubling the number I've ever seen), Emmelina monodactyla and a really worn moth that I've not identified. Also yesterday's Feathered Thorn still here making a total of 11 moths, not bad for this time of year.

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Juniper Carpets, Bawdeswell, 29th October

 

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Blastobasis lacticolella (left) and Satellite (right), Bawdeswell, 29th October - not sure about the Blastobasis so confirmation (or an alternative ID) would be appreciated

 

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unidentified moth(left) and flies (right), Bawdeswell, 29th October - can anyone have a stab at these? I wondered if the moth might be a very worn Brown-spot Pinion, but I'm far from certain

 

Thursday 28th October

Tonight's new moths included Feathered Thorn, November Moth sp. and Green-brindled Crescent.

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Feathered Thorn, Bawdeswell, 28th October

 

Wednesday 27th October

Sitting at my desk in the office today I was pleased to be distracted from the grindstone by a trilling noise coming from outside, which I instantly recognised as belonging to a flock of Waxwings. They were perched up momentarily but in no time they were off - about 12-15 birds in total. We're in the throws of what may be the largest ever invasion (at least for so early in the season) so it was no surprise that I'd come across some sooner or later, but it was a nice birthday present to have them to come to me.

Five moths tonight: Brick, my first Juniper Carpet of the year, November Moth (I think), Feathered Thorn and Eudonia angustea.

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November Moth (left) and Juniper Carpet (right), Bawdeswell, 27th October

 

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Brick, Bawdeswell, 27th October

 

Sunday 24th October

We were lunching in Berkshire today on the way home so I took the opportunity of stopping off in Dorset on the way back from Cornwall to Berkshire. Here I found my quarry, a bird I'd seen on the internet a couple of times but something that is very rarely recorded indeed. There are a few records, mainly ancient, but I don't know anyone who's seen another in the UK and, apart from this bird, there are hardly any photos in existence. It's an elegant, rare, distinctive and conspicuous bird, and yet it seems not to have made the headlines in the birding community - in fact it's barely been noticed as far as I can tell.

I didn't have precise details of its location but I knew it was on the River Frome at Wool. Wool isn't a big place and there are two bridges crossing the river, and I thought I recognised one from the photos when I looked on Google's street view, so being a fairly obvious bird I thought I stood a fair chance of finding it. Find it I did, and got some fabulous views of a most exceptional bird. Beats American Bittern any day. Also there were 3 Siskins.

Oh, you want to know what it was? It was a Swoose, a hybrid between a swan and a goose, in this case Mute Swan x domestic Goose, the latter itself being a hybrid between Greylag Goose and Swan Goose. Click here for some more images and commentary on this exciting bird.

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Swoose (Mute Swan x domestic goose, the domestic goose being a hybrid between Greylag and Swan Geese), Wool, 24th October - more photos and commentary HERE

 

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Sparrowhawk (left) and Swoose (right), Wool, 24th October

 

Saturday 23rd October

With a moderate north-westerly following south-westerlies overnight there was a reasonably good chance of some seabirds this morning, though it didn't look like it would be "mega". In these conditions Pendeen would be the place to be, but we had to exit our cottage in Porthgwarra by 10.00 which meant I either had to go to Pendeen early and then tear myself away after an hour or so, or I had to persuade Vitty to get up really early and vacate the cottage first. Neither were particularly attractive options so I settled for watching at Porthgwarra instead - not likely to be as good but hopefully there would be a few things. The path up to the watchpoint at Porthgwarra is quite steep and not good for my ailing knees, and there was a bit of rain, so I decided to watch from the comfort of the cottage which has a view over the sea. From here there didn't seem to be a lot happening - in fact there were fewer Kittiwakes, Auks and Gannets than I'd seen in a short watch from the same place late yesterday afternoon. Indeed only one bird worth noting was seen in the end, an adult Pomarine Skua.

We left at 10, disturbing a Parsnip Moth in the process, and I considered heading up to Pendeen for a while, but with so little seemingly passing Porthgwarra and no news from Pendeen I decided not to, which, when news did eventually emerge, sounded like it might have been a big mistake. My only consolation is that even if we'd gone straight there I wouldn't have arrived in time to see the Little Shearwater that was reported at 10.10 there. Don't know what time the Sabine's Gulls were, but I can live with not seeing them, as nice as they would have been! We spent the rest of the day slowly heading out of Cornwall, stopping off at a variety of places either to bird (fairly half-heartedly in the cold wind, and with no results) or doing Vitty-stuff (Roskilly, Trerice, Padstein, etc.). Pretty much all of it was disappointing in just about every respect, so not a great end to the week in Cornwall!

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Trerice, 23rd October

 

Friday 22nd October

My last full day in Cornwall started reasonably well with almost the first bird I saw being a Firecrest. Indeed there seemed to be quite a few more birds around and before long I'd had at least one other Firecrest. At Sixty Foot Cover I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler calling loudly and then glimpsed a quick view of it in flight. I bumped into another birder shortly afterwards and he'd also found one, but his was by the car park so most likely a different bird. A pair of Choughs flew over and I then found a Black Redstart on the way back down to the cottage and another Yellow-browed Warbler below the doctor's garden (quite possibly the bird from the car park).

With Vitty I walked along the coast path to St Levan, through the fields to Polgigga and then across to Faraway Cottage and back down to the valley. This didn't turn up much except for Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest at St Levan, although I bored Vitty witless waiting for a glimpsed small rufous-tailed bird to reappear, which it never did. I don't think it was a Wren!

The final night's mothing was done with a broken bulb as I dropped it yesterday - but it still seemed to work ok, attracting Rusty-dot Pearl, Feathered Brindle, Feathered Ranunculus and Autumnal Rustic.

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Peregrine, Porthgwarra, 22nd October

 

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Kestrel, Porthgwarra, 22nd October

 

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Buzzards (with Ravens), Porthgwarra, 22nd October

 

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Yellow-browed Warbler, St Levan, 22nd October

 

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Black Redstart (left) and Yellow-browed Warbler (right), Porthgwarra, 22nd October

 

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Chough (left) and Mushroom (right), Porthgwarra, 22nd October

 

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Firecrest, St Levan, 22nd October

 

Thursday 21st October

There was some evidence of birds moving overhead as I walked up the valley this morning so I joined Brian Mellor who was watching vis mig near the Coastguards. Chaffinches were in the majority, with a few Greenfinches, Bramblings and Siskins. Redwing was the most numerous thrush but we also saw Fieldfare. Other passerines on the move included good numbers of Skylark, a few Reed Buntings and at least one Lapland Bunting. A Water Rail called and I later saw it cross the path (there were 3 more calling from more typical habitat at Trevean Pool). While we were standing there I thought I heard a Dartford Warbler calling - after two other birders had independently heard it we eventually all got some views of it. We also saw Merlin and heard Chough but I spent the rest of the morning having a good look round and failed to turn up anything else interesting.

In the afternoon I stopped off at Sennen to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper that's been there all week. It wasn't close enough or in good enough light to get any photos worth keeping, but it was easy enough to see contrary to my expectations having heard accounts from others about how difficult and elusive it could be. After doing tourist stuff with Vitty (Godolphin House) we stopped off briefly at Hayle where the Spoonbill was present and an interesting Greylag Goose bearing a blue neck collar. I've submitted the details but not heard anything back yet, but I have since seen on the Cornwall Birding website that it was ringed in southern Sweden in 2000, arrived in NE England in February 2010, passed Porthgwarra on 9th October and arrived at Hayle the next day. Also here were at least 12 Greylag x Canada Goose hybrids - the most I've ever seen in one flock.

There were lots of Feathered Ranunculuses at the light this evening (at least 5) but not much else.

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Dartford Warbler (left) and Chiffchaff (left), Porthgwarra, 21st October

 

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Peregrine, Porthgwarra, 21st October

 

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Kestrel (left) and Sparrowhawk (right), Porthgwarra, 21st October

 

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Herring Gull, Sennen (left) and Greylag Goose, Hayle (right), 21st October

 

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Feathered Ranunculus (left) and Autumnal Rustic (left), Porthgwarra, 21st October

 

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Fox Moth caterpillar, Porthgwarra, 21st October - thanks to Andrew for suggesting the ID

 

Wednesday 20th October

There seemed to be a few more birds around at Porthgwarra this morning but nothing remotely unusual - things like Brambling and Siskin, and nearby Fieldfares at Polgigga were about it. Penberth and Lamorna Cove were similar - a few migrants but just very common ones. The afternoon was spent doing the tourist thing with Vitty, visiting Godolphin House - no birds there either! A final look at Porthgwarra for a couple of hours in the late afternoon produced a Wheatear and more Siskins arriving. The cold clear nights are proving unattractive for moths with just two new moths found tonight - including what I think was my first Brindled Ochre.

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Grey Wagtail, Penberth, 20th October

 

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Starling (left) and House Sparrow (right), Porthgwarra, 20th October

 

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Feathered Ranunculus (left) and Brindled Ochre (left), Porthgwarra, 20th October

 

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flowers (Kaffir Lily maybe?), Penberth, 20th October

 

Tuesday 19th October

With a light northwesterly blowing this morning I headed up to Pendeen, though I didn't expect much. A few seabirds were moving, but it wasn't great - 1 Sooty, 8 Manx and 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Arctic and 4 Great Skuas was all I managed. It's been quite a few years since I last saw a Rosefinch so I headed off to the Lizard to see the Common Rosefinch at Church Cove. It kept us waiting for a while but eventually showed really well. Spent some time exploring a couple of sites on the Lizard that looked good on the map - but weren't in reality. Paused briefly at Hayle where 5 Mediterranean Gulls were seen then returned to the cottage where mothing was poor compared to recent evenings.

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Common Rosefinch, Church Cove, 19th October

 

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Redshank, Hayle, 19th October

 

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Feathered Brindle (left) and Autumnal Rustic (left), Porthgwarra, 19th October

 

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Angle Shades, Porthgwarra, 19th October

 

Monday 18th October

Very few migrants at Porthgwarra this morning, the best being a Lapland Bunting, a Short-eared Owl and a heard-only Tree Pipit. The Merlin was seen again and a flock of 86 Golden Plovers flew around, arriving from the direction of Sennen where a Golden Plover flock has contained a Buff-breasted Sandpiper recently. No small birds in this group though!

Next stop was Nanquidno with Vitty who wanted to do a coastal walk, so we headed off along the coastal path from here to Sennen. Close to the start of the path a lone Oystercatcher was on the rocks below and I noticed it appeared very brown-backed. Nothing to be concerned about here, it wasn't necessarily any browner-backed than some Eurasian Oystercatchers, but worth a look and I set up the scope in order to do so. As I did, I heard an unfamiliar call, I thought from overhead. Looking up at a large flock of corvids I was unable to work out what was producing the call until it dawned on me that it was vaguely Oystercatcher-like and wasn't overhead at all. I looked back down only to find that the Oystercatcher had flown off without me seeing its bill, legs or wing pattern. I immediately played the recording of American Oystercatcher from the Sibley app on my iPhone and it was a near-perfect match (it was a different type of call, longer, but exactly the same tone). Had I just let a first for Britain slip away? Probably not, but I could so easily have resolved it either way if only I hadn't looked up! I scoured the rocks along the rest of the walk carefully but couldn't relocated it so I don't suppose I'll ever know for sure. Apart from this it was a pleasant enough walk (though hard on my dodgy knees) but few birds except for things like Merlin and Raven, and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls in the bay.

Back at Porthgwarra the 2 Turtle Doves showed themselves at Arden Sawah Farm and the MV light produced more Autumnal Rustics and Lunar Underwing along with Common Marbled Carpet, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Green-brindled Crescent and Large Yellow Underwing. Another Common Marbled Carpet, Feathered Brindle and Feathered Ranunculus were all inside the cottage and possibly left over from yesterday.

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Turtle Doves, Porthgwarra, 18th October

 

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Raven, Nanquidno - Sennen, 18th October

 

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Buzzard, Nanquidno - Sennen, 18th October

 

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Kestrel (left) and Rock Pipit (right), Nanquidno - Sennen, 18th October

 

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Mediterranean Gull, Sennen (left) and Stonechat, Nanquidno (right), 18th October

 

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Jackdaws, Sennen, 18th October

 

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Feathered Ranunculus (left) and Feathered Brindle (right), Porthgwarra, 18th October

 

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Green-brindled Crescent (left) and Setaceous Hebrew Character (right), Porthgwarra, 18th October

 

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unidentified moth, Porthgwarra, 18th October - not sure about this worn individual (quite big) - please let me know if you recognise it

 

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Lunar Underwing, Porthgwarra, 18th October

 

Sunday 17th October

After a very late start I received news of a probable Azorean Yellow-legged Gull down the road at Sennen. Before long I was watching the bird which did indeed appear to tick all the boxes for this distinctive form. The afternoon was spent at Porthgwarra where migrants were few and far between and I had to make do with the likes of Merlin, Peregrine, Raven, etc.

There was more activity among the moths than the birds with 18 species including several interesting ones (well, interesting to me anyway). Highlights were a Delicate, 2 L-album Wainscots, 2 Black Rustics, at least 2 Autumnal Rustics and Feathered Brindle with supporting cast including Rusty-dot Pearl, Angle Shades, Dark Chestnut, Lunar Underwing and Beaded Chestnut. Micros included Eudonia angustea, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths (one of which was twice the size of the other) and what seemed to be Clepsis consimilana. Glad I bought the MV light!

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apparent Azorean Yellow-legged Gull, Sennen Cove, 17th October

 

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Kestrel (left) and Merlin (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Pheasant, Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Black Rustic (left) and Feathered Brindle (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Autumnal Rustics, Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Dark Chestnut (left) and L-album Wainscot (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Beaded Chestnut (left) and Delicate (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Rusty-dot Pearl (left) and Lunar Underwing (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Angle Shades (left) and Green-brindled Crescent (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Light Brown Apple Moth (left) and Common Marbled Carpet (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Double-striped Pug (left) and Garden Carpet (right), Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

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Grasshopper, Porthgwarra, 17th October

 

Saturday 16th October

We left Hampshire early this morning (following a wedding there yesterday) and headed to Black Hole Marsh in Devon where a Solitary Sandpiper had been present for a few days. Sadly though, it had taken the opportunity of a clear night to go its way and all I could manage was a Curlew Sandpiper. We'd had the worst coffee ever from a Starbucks early this morning so we took advantage of our proximity to Axeminster and tried out the coffee at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage - a great improvement and the bacon butty was pretty good too.

Green Heron was a lesser priority, being a bird I'd seen before, but it was at a place where I'm sure Vitty would want us to visit during our week in Cornwall anyway. So next stop was the Lost Gardens of Heligan and in no time I was enjoying fantastic views of the Green Heron as it worked around the edge of the top pond in the Jungle. Eventually it flew to the next pond down where it sat on the boardwalk just inches away from the bemused visitors.

Arriving at Porthgwarra at dusk I set up the MV light in the cottage garden over an old white sheet and waited for the moths. With no trap some got away but several stopped including Rusty-dot Pearl, 2 Beaded Chestnuts (my first, despite this supposedly being a common species back home), Common Wainscot, 2 Large Yellow Underwings and Green-brindled Crescent. The best moth came into the cottage - another new one for me, a lurvely Feathered Ranunculus.

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Green Heron, Lost Gardens of Heligan, 16th October

 

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Lost Gardens of Heligan (Jungle), 16th October - favoured habitat of the Green Heron

 

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Curlew Sandpiper (with Dunlin), Black Hole Marsh, 16th October

 

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Buzzard, Porthgwarra, 16th October

 

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Feathered Ranunculus (left) and Rusty-dot Pearl (right), Porthgwarra, 16th October

 

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Beaded Chestnut (left) and another Beaded Chestnut and Large Yellow Underwing (right), Porthgwarra, 16th October

 

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unidentified moth, Porthgwarra, 16th October - please let me know if you recognise it

 

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Oystercatcher (left) and Curlew (right), Axemouth, 16th October

 

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flowers, Lost Gardens of Heligan, 16th October

 

Thursday 14th October

With lots to do before heading down to Cornwall I didn't go out this morning, though I would have found time to twitch the Waxham Bluetail had news of its continued presence come out earlier.

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Brick, Bawdeswell, 14th October

 

Wednesday 13th October

The start of my autumn holiday didn't go according to plan - Sheringham failed to deliver any decent birds. It wasn't completely dead though, on the sea a trickle of birds included Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser and a nice close trio of Velvet Scoter. On land the reduction in numbers of passerines compared to the weekend was very obvious, though still a few Robins, Song Thrushes and Chiffchaffs around, and 2 Wheatears still. The highlight of the morning was while I was standing at the pool and heard a loud, deep "chipping" call that was almost more reminiscent of Crossbill than Redpoll, although I knew it wasn't a Crossbill. Three not-very-small birds dropped in, one remaining in view for a few seconds where it proved to be the blondest looking Redpoll I've seen for years. Obviously a Mealy type, but could it even be an Arctic? Was that a white rump? I quickly rattled off a few shots and then just a couple of seconds after they'd arrived, they flew off, without giving me a chance to check key features like the undertail coverts. They didn't get far before they returned, but this time went down out of view and when they eventually emerged it was to flight right off. On reviewing the photos (which don't do justice to the "whiteness" of the bird) it does indeed appear to show an extensively unmarked white rump, but the heavy streaking down the flanks and other features seem to point to Mealy Redpoll. Thanks to Rob for the reassuring second opinion!

A few moths tonight, the same species that there have been in recent nights.

probable Mealy Redpoll, Sheringham, 13th October - or with that rump could it be a well-marked Arctic?

 

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Green Woodpecker, Sheringham, 13th October

 

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Green-brindled Crescent, Bawdeswell, 12th October

 

Tuesday 12th October

Another quick lunchtime stop at Thornham produced what I assume was the same Ring Ouzel. Tonight's moths were Sallow, Barred Sallow and Green-brindled Crescent.

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Ring Ouzel, Thornham, 12th October

 

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Redwing, Thornham, 12th October

 

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Sallow (left) and Green-brindled Crescent (right), Bawdeswell, 12th October

 

Monday 11th October

A quick look for migrants in my lunch break produced a Ring Ouzel at Thornham. Tonight's moths were Yellow-line Quaker, Sallow, Light Brown Apple Moth and one that appears to be Blastobasis lacticolella although it looks rather different from ones I've seen previously.

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Ring Ouzel, Thornham, 11th October

 

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Sallow (left) and Blastobasis lacticolella (right), Bawdeswell, 11th October

 

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Woodpigeon, Thornham, 11th October

 

Sunday 10th October

I'd regretted not going to see the Radde's Warbler yesterday as I've only ever seen two, one I self-found 15 years ago and another just seen in flight. With other commitments this morning I didn't have time to wait for news so I started at Warham Greens early in the hope that it stayed the night, but, with the clear sky many birds had departed and sadly this seemed to be one of them. There were a few thrushes still present including a couple of Ring Ouzels but the next best bird was a Greenshank!

In the afternoon a report of an Olivaceous Warbler at Wells got me out again, this being a potential first for Norfolk. But the single observer had had to leave before anyone else could get there and there was some confusion about exactly where it had been seen, and the inevitable doubts about the accuracy of the observation were quickly raised. A Pipit running through the pine needles in the middle of the wood had my heart racing for a second, as it behaved in a manner identical to Olive-backed Pipit and in virtually the same place as one I'd seen there many years ago. But sadly this one looked, and then sounded, like a Meadow Pipit. In the end the best thing I saw here was Jupiter and four of its moons!

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Jupiter and what I assume were some of its moons, from Wells (left) and Feathered Thorn, Sheringham (right), 10th October

 

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Yellow-line Quaker (left) and Brown-spot Pinion (right), Bawdeswell, 10th October

 

Saturday 9th October

A good and lively day though disappointing for its absence of rare and scarce birds. The sea was quiet apart from a few hundred Dark-bellied Brent Geese arriving and a few Eider, so the focus was on the land where passerine migrants were plentiful. The fields were full of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and a few Lapland Buntings, the hedgerows contained Robins, Song Thrushes and Goldcrests while most of the Redwings were flying overhead. Freshly arrived Goldcrests are often in strange places but I was surprised to find 3 feeding around my feet in the middle of a clifftop stubble field!

Less numerous birds included a Redstart, 2 Whinchats, 4 each of Wheatears and Stonechats, a Quail, 7 Snow Buntings and Bramblings and Siskins. It was a good day to be out, with the promise of something rare just around the corner. Sadly though, just around the corner is where it stayed! I'd have liked to have gone and looked at the Olive-backed Pipit and Radde's Warbler at Stiffkey and Wareham but on a day like this it didn't make sense to go chasing other people's birds - it was my best chance of finding my own. But having failed to do that I rather wished I had gone twitching!

I did go off-patch though, with a brief excursion to Muckleborough Hill - here Whinchat and a fly-over flock of 5 White-fronted Geese were the only birds of note.

A good variety of moths tonight, including at least one I've not seen before: Lunar Underwing. Another is proving problematic to identify with Brick, Dusky-lemon Sallow, Lunar Underwing and Beaded Chestnut all considered, but with some of these being very variable I can't find an exact match among any of them. I'm leaning towards Brick or Dusky-lemon Sallow, and of these two Brick is by far the most likely (update: Jim thinks it is indeed a Brick - thanks Jim).

New for the year were Feathered Thorn and November Moth, while Red-line Quaker, White-shouldered House-moth and the same Common Wainscot provided the supporting cast.

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Goldcrests, Sheringham, 9th October

 

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Chaffinch (left) and Redstart (right), Sheringham, 9th October

 

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Whinchat, Muckleborough Hill, 9th October

 

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Eiders, Sheringham, 9th October

 

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Lapland Bunting, Sheringham (left) and White-fronted Geese, Muckleborough Hill (right), 9th October

 

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Lunar Underwing (left) and Chestnut (right), Bawdeswell, 9th October

 

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November Moth (left) and Red-line Quaker (right), Bawdeswell, 9th October

 

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Feathered Thorn, Bawdeswell, 9th October

 

Friday 8th October

I picked up an MV bulb from Jon Clifton on the way home from work, mainly with a view to using it (if the weather permits) when I'm in Cornwall shortly. To see how effective it was I rigged it up inside the bedroom and in no time it had attracted a few moths. Of course I've no idea how many the ordinary lights would have attracted without it, but it seems like a good start. None of the species were remotely unusual but two were nevertheless new to me: 2 Yellow-line Quakers and 3 Brown-spot Pinions. Other species included a Pinked-barred Sallow, my second-ever Acleris sparsana, 2 Diamond-back Moths, Silver Y, Light Brown Apple Moth and a Common Wainscot (I think the latter was left over from a while back - it doesn't seem to want to leave).

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Yellow-line Quakers, Bawdeswell, Bawdeswell, 8th October

 

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Diamond-back Moths, Bawdeswell, Bawdeswell, 8th October

 

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Brown-spot Pinions, Bawdeswell, Bawdeswell, 8th October

 

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Pink-barred Sallow, Bawdeswell, Bawdeswell, 8th October

 

Thursday 7th October

Only a single moth in this evening, but an interesting one, given the date: Small Fan-footed Wave. These normally fly in or around July and it seems that they're only occasionally recorded at this time of year.

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Red-legged Partridge, Bintree (left) and Small Fan-footed Wave, Bawdeswell (right), 7th October

 

Wednesday 6th October

I spent my lunch break looking for migrants at Thornham but it was completely dead and I left early taking a scenic route back to work through some back lanes, including a favourite of mine that runs south from the Ringstead to Burnham Market road, towards Stanhoe. Shortly after turning into this road I was surprised to see a strangely familiar-looking bird flush from the verge. It landed out of sight in the hedge but as I drove on I flushed it twice more, each time just getting poor flight views through a mucky windscreen. I never got any plumage details but the jizz only left one option: not something I see very often, but something I had seen recently - another Wryneck! A very nice inland find, though I'd have liked better views.

A bit cold and clear for moths tonight, the only arrival being a Eudonia angustea.

 

Tuesday 5th October

A small but interesting selection of moths tonight: my first ever Red-green Carpet, a Barred Sallow (exactly one year after my first), my first Red-line Quaker of the year and a Light Brown Apple Moth, my third in three nights and all three very different in appearance.

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Barred Sallow (left) and Red-green Carpet (right), Bawdeswell, 5th October

 

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Red-line Quaker, Bawdeswell, 5th October

 

Monday 4th October

Popped in to Hunstanton during my lunch break and got a few quick views of the Wryneck by the lighthouse. The only moths tonight were micros - 1 Brown and 2 White-shouldered House-moths and another Light Brown Apple Moth.

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Wryneck, Old Hunstanton, 4th October

 

Sunday 3rd October

Tonights moths were another Sallow, my first Green-brindled Crescent of the year, a Light Brown Apple Moth and a Small Dusty Wave.

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Green-brindled Crescent, Bawdeswell, 3rd October

 

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Sallow (left) and Light Brown Apple Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 3rd October - well, half a moth is better than no moth, no?

 

Saturday 2nd October

Another interesting day at the coast began with a fruitless search for a recent Radde's Warbler but this was conveniently interrupted by a call from Rob saying he'd got a Yellow-browed Warbler. I could see him from where I was standing so quickly joined him to see this delightful Siberian waif busily feeding in a small weedy hedge. Always good to see but so much easier when they're freshly arrived in a not-very-suitable piece of habitat than when they're hiding in a wood. Nice one Rob!

A few other migrants were around too, including Redstarts, Garden Warblers and more Siskins, but it wasn't as lively as Wednesday had been.

On hearing that the Barred Warbler at Salthouse was showing well I decided to pop in there and, squeezing past a giant Parasol mushroom the size of a house (I exaggerate, but only slightly), I got good views for a short while. My time here was interrupted by the news that an Icterine Warbler at Holkham had been reidentified as a Melodious Warbler. The latter is extremely rare in Norfolk, with just one record in my lifetime (and I was on another continent at that time), so I was keen to see it. A few minutes later I arrived to find there were no Hippolais warblers of any description on show, despite the best efforts of one well-known stringer to turn Chiffchaffs into one. Eventually as accounts of the morning's sightings began to emerge it started to sound increasingly likely that those who had reidentified the bird as a Melodious Warbler had in fact seen one of the several Chiffchaffs that were present, or a Willow Warbler, or maybe even a Reed Warbler. Most of the subsequent comments from those involved have been contradictory and unconvincing and given the standard of some of the people involved I think it might just as easily have been a Pheasant or a passing dog-walker that was misidentified as a rare warbler. At the moment I'm inclined to believe that there might, possibly, have been a genuine Icterine Warbler there early on and that all subsequent observers saw any one or more of the various other birds present, or something else completely, like a banana. A farcical situation anyway, and an expensive one given the car park charges at Holkham, and it's no wonder that so many people chose to suppress the rarities they find when releasing the news will mean a bunch of total numpties will turn up and starting calling rarities whenever they see a movement in a bush. I look forward to being proven wrong when someone produces a photo of a Melodious Warbler!

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Yellow-browed Warbler, Sheringham, 2nd October

 

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Parasol mushroom (left) and Barred Warbler (right), Salthouse, 2nd October

 

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Garden Warbler (left) and Long-tailed Tit (right), Sheringham, 2nd October

 

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Skylarks, Sheringham, 2nd October

 

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Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sheringham, 2nd October

 

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Sparrowhawk with Linnets, Sheringham, 2nd October

 

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Carrion Crow (left) and Linnet (right), Sheringham, 2nd October

 

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Small Copper, Sheringham, 2nd October

 

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