Home | Photo Pages | Trips | Diary | Contact me

March 2012

 

Friday 30th March

Joined Rob for some mothing at Felbrigg this evening as the skies had seemed to be clouding over. By the time darkness fell all cloud had departed, the moon and stars shone brightly and the temperature dipped, resulting in much less being attracted to the light than we would have liked, and nothing that I've not had at home recently: 3+ Diurnea fagella, Brindled Pug, Early Thorn, 4 Small Quakers, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, 3 Satellites and 2 Chestnuts. On returning home I found just 2 Agonopterix sp., Double-striped Pug and Early Thorn.

click for larger image click for larger image

Satellites, Felbrigg, 30th March

 

click for larger image  

Diurnea fagella, Felbrigg, 30th March - a dark individual - female?

 

Thursday 29th March

My second ever Caloptilia rufipennella was the highlight tonight. Also Amplyptilia acanthadactyla, 2 Small Quakers, 4 Common Quakers, Clouded Drab and 3 Early Greys.

click for larger image click for larger image

Caloptilia rufipennella (left) and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (right), Bawdeswell, 29th March

 

Wednesday 28th March

I wasn't aware that my area was particularly favoured by Allium growers, but from the number of Leek Moths I record I think it must be. I saw my first in 2010, really the first year I tried hard to identify every micro - and this was one of only 3 recorded that year in Norfolk (after just 1 the previous year). Then last year I got 4 - and there were only 3 others recorded in the whole of Norfolk. Last night was my first so far this year and tonight came my second. Like most micros I'm sure they're under-recorded and the paucity of records isn't a true reflection on their status, but it does seem odd that I get such a large proportion of the ones that are recorded!

Another nice moth was a Red Chestnut; the rest were Diurnea fagella, Agonopterix sp., Small Quaker, Common Quaker, 4 Clouded Drabs, Hebrew Character and 2 Early Greys.

click for larger image click for larger image

Red Chestnut (left) and Leek Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 28th March

 

Tuesday 27th March

Moth interest seems to be starting to build at last... the number of moths was down tonight (mainly because I was out for the evening) but the few that did turn up included 3 species new for the year: Leek Moth, Brindled Pug and Double-striped Pug. Also Small Quaker, 2 Clouded Drabs, 3 Hebrew Characters and Early Grey.

click for larger image click for larger image

Clouded Drab (left) and Leek Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 27th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Brindled Pug (left) and Double-striped Pug (right), Bawdeswell, 27th March

 

Monday 26th March

At last a more interesting moth tonight - a gorgeous Oak Beauty. Otherwise a Twin-spotted Quaker and the remaining 25 moths consisted of the same 4 species that have dominated for ages - 7 Small Quakers, 10 Clouded Drabs, 2 Hebrew Characters and 6 Early Greys.

click for larger image click for larger image

Pheasants, North Creake (left) and Tatterford (right), 26th March - a nice 'tenebrosus' and a good ol' fashioned Ring-necked

 

click for larger image  

Oak Beauty, Bawdeswell, 26th March

 

Sunday 25th March

Mothing continues to produce much the same each night at the moment - I look forward to a bit more variety! Tonight 6 Small Quakers and single Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Twin-spotted Quaker, Hebrew Character and Early Grey.

 

Saturday 24th March

A stroll round Swanton Morley was pleasant but didn't deliver anything outstanding. I then joined Dave for a visit to Rush Meadow, Dereham where Ian had flushed a Jack Snipe from the iris beds. We sloshed around for a bit seeing not much, and then a bit more and flushed perhaps 12-20 Common Snipes, but no sign of the Jack Snipe. Then just as we were about to give up and leave Ian and Dave walked towards me and put up not one but two Jack Snipes from under their feet! We saw roughly where they'd gone down but a further search of that area failed to produce any repeat sightings so we left them in peace.

click for larger image click for larger image

Buzzard, Swanton Morley, 24th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Great Crested Grebe, Swanton Morley, 24th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Coot (left) and Egyptian Geese (right), Swanton Morley, 24th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Wren (left) and Treecreeper (right), Swanton Morley, 24th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Jay (left) and Linnet (right), Swanton Morley, 24th March

 

click for larger image  

Comma (and Six-spot Ladybird), Swanton Morley, 24th March

 

Friday 23rd March

My first Wheatear of the year at Heacham in my lunch break. I often get Tawny Owls calling behind my house and tonight was no exception; however tonight I heard something quite different from the usual calls (and different too from the occasional Little Owl that calls out there). This one sounded incredibly similar to an Eagle Owl! With Tawny Owls calling before it and again after it I'm not in a hurry to claim it, but if it was a weird Tawny Owl then it was a truly bizarre and unusual call for one!

Meanwhile moths were again much the same as recent nights, but of 3 Twin-spotted Quakers 2 had indistinct reddish twin-spots which I think makes them f. immaculata (although my previous example of that form was truly immaculate with no spots at all). Apart from these there were Diurnea fagella, Agonopterix sp., Engrailed, 5 Small Quakers, 2 Common Quakers, 2 Clouded Drabs, Hebrew Character, Early Grey and Satellite.

click for larger image click for larger image

Wheatear (left) and House Sparrow (right), Heacham, 23rd March - not sure what the sparrow had been rolling in but I'm pretty sure the brown underparts were dirt rather than an aberrant plumage feature

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Varied Carpet Beetle (left) and Engrailed (right), Bawdeswell, 23rd March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Twin-spotted Quaker (left) and Satellite (right), Bawdeswell, 23rd March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Twin-spotted Quakers, Bawdeswell, 23rd March - oddly marked individuals with relatively indistinct reddish "twin spots" - I think these are f. immacualata, although my previous example of that form showed no spots at all

 

Thursday 22nd March

Still much the same on the moth front, except 3 Diurnea fagella in one night is unprecedented for me. Apart from these 12 Small Quakers, 3 Common Quakers, Clouded Drab, Twin-spotted Quaker, Hebrew Character and Early Grey.

click for larger image click for larger image

Diurnea fagella (left) and Small Quaker (right), Bawdeswell, 22nd March

 

Wednesday 21st March

Found a lurvely flock of 3 Red Kites and a Marsh Harrier at Burnham Norton in my lunch break! Red Kites are becoming much easier to see in Norfolk nowadays thanks to the misguided reintroduction scheme, but continental birds turn up in early spring too so not too sure where this trio came from. Annoyingly for the second time this month I'd somehow managed to switch off my image stabiliser so most of the photos aren't sharp, but a few are ok-ish.

Tonights moths were much the same as in recent nights: Shoulder Stripe, 12 Small Quakers, Common Quaker, 8 Clouded Drabs, 3 Hebrew Characters and 3 Early Greys.

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Red Kites, Burnham Norton, 21st March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Redshank (left) and Curlew (right), Brancaster Staithe, 21st March

 

Tuesday 20th March

An Owl sp. on the way home at dusk was intriguing - most likely a Long-eared Owl I think.

Lots of moths tonight, though not as much variety as I'd have liked: Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, 3 March Moths, 3 Small Quakers, 9 Clouded Drabs, 2 Twin-spotted Quakers, 3 Hebrew Characters, 3 Early Greys and Chestnut.

click for larger image click for larger image

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (left) and Chestnut (right), Bawdeswell, 19th March

 

Monday 19th March

A Green Sandpiper at Coxford on the way home was, I guess, a spring migrant - the sort of site one could winter at but I've not seen one here all winter and I have looked a few times. Moths tonight were Dotted Border, 3 Small Quakers, Common Quaker, 6 Clouded Drabs and Hebrew Character.

click for larger image click for larger image

Clouded Drab (left) and Common Quaker (right), Bawdeswell, 19th March

 

click for larger image  

Dotted Border, Bawdeswell, 19th March

 

Sunday 18th March

I nipped down to Cantley today to see the 4 Glossy Ibises that have been showing really well there recently. Well, in the sense that they were in full view I suppose they were showing well, but they weren't exactly close like some of the pager and Twitter messages had suggested they had been! But I stuck it out, hoping they would move nearer and in the end, after an hour and a half, they got up, flew round over my head and plonked themselves down in the close pool. That was more like it... worth the wait! Just a shame it was raining by this time.

Dave managed to find Woodlarks yesterday at not one but two different locations within my local patch area. One was potential breeding habitat, although I've never seen them there before, but the other was most likely a migrant, at a site where I certainly wouldn't expect to see one except perhaps flying over if I was very lucky. I was heading over to look for this one this afternoon when Dave called to say he'd refound it - good timing! It was pretty tough to locate this Woodlark on the ground at first and all we got were a few flight views, but eventually it went down in a more open area where we got a very good look at it. Great patch bird - thanks Dave! Not much else seen in the valley this afternoon - the most notable being my first Egyptian Goose goslings of the spring.

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image
click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image

Glossy Ibises, Cantley, 18th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Woodlark, Wensum Valley, 18th March

 

click for larger image  

Egyptian Goose, Swanton Morley, 18th March

 

Saturday 17th March

A number of deadlines have been and gone this week which means for once there wasn't anything I needed to do so pressingly that I couldn't get out birding this weekend. Today I headed down to the Brecks to check out an area where I've heard Reeves's Pheasants are being seen regularly - not far from where I've seen them before. My main hope was to find and photograph a hybrid as one I'd seen previously was too distant and brief to get decent shots, but pure birds are spectacular so always good to see too. A cruise round the area failed to turn up any pure birds, although plenty of variety in the plumages of Common Pheasant, and a few Stone-Curlews were nice. Eventually I found what I was looking for - a stunning Reeves's Pheasant x Common Pheasant hybrid, right next to the road and displaying!

A few more sites in the Brecks produced some nice birds, like some Crossbills flying over at Lynford (two of which sounded eerily similar to Two-barred, but in silhouette I couldn't see if they had white in the wings or not), a pair of Grey Wagtails and a singing Firecrest. I ended up near Welney, so popped in there, but not much doing apart from some fine, if very expensive, cake. Heading back through the Brecks I located a reservoir on the map that I figured was worth checking out; access was tricky but eventually I found where someone had kindly created an 'entrance'. Interesting place which I reckon must turn up some good birds occasionally, but no such luck today - just extraordinary numbers of Shelduck and Oystercatchers and a good variety of common birds. A wander down a footpath near where I'd been in the morning produced no less than 6 Reeves's Pheasants - all males. On the way home Little Owl and Barn Owl entertained me - the end of a pheasantastic day!

The evening's moths were Small Quaker, Common Quaker, 2 Clouded Drabs, Twin-spotted Quaker, Early Grey, Satellite and Chestnut.

click for larger image click for larger image

Reeves's Pheasant x Common Pheasant hybrid, Threxton Hill, 17th March

 

click for larger image

Pheasant (var. tenebrosus), Saham, 17th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Pheasants, Great Cressingham, 17th March - 3 females, a pale one, a 'tenebrosus' one and a normal one

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Pheasants, Great Cressingham, 17th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Pheasants, Saham (left) and The Arms (right), 17th March - a leucistic female and a normal male

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Grey Wagtail, Lynford (left) and Whooper Swan, Welney (right), 17th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Whooper Swans, Welney, 17th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

White-fronted Goose (left) and Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (right), Wissington Beet Factory, 17th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Oystercatchers, south of Cockley Cley (left) and Reeves's Pheasant, Great Cressingham (right), 17th March

 

click for larger image  

Satellite, Bawdeswell, 17th March

 

Friday 16th March

Tonight's moths were Diurnea fagella, Pine Beauty, 4 Small Quakers, 4 Common Quakers and 2 Clouded Drabs.

click for larger image click for larger image

Diurnea fagella (left) and Pine Beauty (right), Bawdeswell, 16th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Common Quaker (left) and Clouded Drab (right), Bawdeswell, 16th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Small Quakers, Bawdeswell, 16th March

 

Thursday 15th March

Got Dotted Border, 2 Small Quakers, 5 Common Quakers, 2 Clouded Drabs, Twin-spotted Quaker and 4 Hebrew Characters tonight.

click for larger image  

Twin-spotted Quaker, Bawdeswell, 15th March

 

Tuesday 13th March

7 Small Quakers tonight; also Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character and Early Grey

 

Monday 12th March

Tonight's moths were Shoulder Stripe and 2 Clouded Drabs.

click for larger image click for larger image

Shoulder Stripe (left) and Clouded Drab (right), Bawdeswell, 12th March

 

Sunday 11th March

After hopefully the last weekend in a while where I've been too busy to do any birding, tonight's moths were Twenty-plume Moth, Common Quaker, Twin-spotted Quaker, 2 Hebrew Characters and 3 Early Greys.

click for larger image click for larger image

Twin-spotted Quaker (left) and Early Grey (right), Bawdeswell, 11th March

 

Saturday 10th March

Best moth tonight was an Acleris hastiana, only my second. Also 4 Agonopterix sp., 2 March Moths, Shoulder Stripe, Dotted Border, Small Quaker, 5 Common Quakers, 3 Hebrew Characters and Dark Chestnut.

click for larger image click for larger image

Acleris hastiana (left) and Shoulder Stripe (right), Bawdeswell, 10th March

 

Friday 9th March

Moth numbers continue to build, slowly, and tonight for the first time in 2012 these included a new species for me - in fact two new species! Both were common species that were overdue here - Yellow Horned and Tortricodes alternella (2 of the latter). The Yellow Horned was a splendid little beast - unlike the 2 Tortricodes! As well as these there were 2 Agonopterix sp., 4 March Moths, Common Quaker, 2 Hebrew Characters and a Chestnut.

click for larger image click for larger image

Yellow Horned (left) and Common Quaker (right), Bawdeswell, 9th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Hebrew Character (left) and Chestnut (right), Bawdeswell, 9th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Tortricodes alternella, Bawdeswell, 9th March - not the prettiest of beasties!

 

Thursday 8th March

Despite a clear sky and full moon tonight was the best night for moths yet this year: 2 Agonopterix sp., 5 March Moths, Shoulder Stripe, Dotted Border and 2 Small Quakers.

click for larger image click for larger image

Shoulder Stripe (left) and Dotted Border (right), Bawdeswell, 8th March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

March Moth (left) and Small Quaker (right), Bawdeswell, 8th March

 

Monday 5th March

Lunch today produced more Buzzards - 6 over farmland north of East Rudham.

 

Friday 2nd March

4 Buzzards in the air together near Amner in my lunch break; a Common Quaker was the only moth tonight.

click for larger image click for larger image

Buzzards, near Amner, 2nd March

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Grey Partridge (left) and Pheasant (right), near Amner, 2nd March

 

click for larger image  

Common Quaker , Bawdeswell, 2nd March

 

Thursday 1st March

March kicked off, appropriately, with a March Moth.

click for larger image  

March Moth, Bawdeswell, 1st March

 

Next month: April 2012

Current month

Previous months:

2007: Jan ; Feb ; Mar ; Apr ; May ; Jun ; Jul ; Aug ; Sep ; Oct ; Nov ; Dec ;

 

2008: Jan ; Feb ; Mar ; Apr ; May ; Jun ; Jul ; Aug ; Sep ; Oct ; Nov ; Dec ;

 

2009: Jan ; Feb ; Mar ; Apr ; May ; Jun ; Jul ; Aug ; Sep ; Oct ; Nov ; Dec ;

 

2010: Jan ; Feb ; Mar ; Apr ; May ; Jun ; Jul ; Aug ; Sep ; Oct ; Nov ; Dec ;

 

2011: Jan ; Feb ; Mar ; Apr ; May ; Jun ; Jul ; Aug ; Sep ; Oct ; Nov ; Dec ;

 

2012: Jan ; Feb