April 2013

 

Tuesday 30th April

Tonight's moths were Clouded Drab and Early Grey.

 

Monday 29th April

Moths tonight were much as they were before I left - small in number and the same sort of thing: Hebrew Character and Early Grey.

 

Sunday 28th April

Arrived home from Florida this afternoon and nipped straight out to the patch. It seems I missed spring while I was away - it was cold when I left and cold when I got back! A few summer migrants had arrived while I was away and I added Greenshank to the Rawhall patch list along with Common Sandpiper, Swallow, Yellow Wagtail (4), Wheatear, Blackcap and Whitethroat at other sites in the patch.

 

Saturday 13th April

Flew to Florida today. Awesome birding, of which more later.

 

Thursday 11th April

I was a bit distracted during our team meeting this morning when a Red Kite spent some time flying around just outside the office window. The evening's moths consisted of Flat-bodyAgonopterix sp. (heracliana-type), Small Quaker, Hebrew Character, Early Grey and Chestnut.

 

Wednesday 10th April

A small flock of Siskins is still seranading me when I leave home in the mornings - wonder if they'll stay to breed or if they just think it's still winter (like all the summer migrants). Had a look at Ringstead Downs in my lunch break today - not a place I've been to before for some reason but Penny keeps on saying how good it is (or at least was) for Ring Ouzels so I thought I'd better check it out. There's not enough time in my lunch break to cover the whole area, but in the parts I did reach I saw no Ouzels, nor much else of note.

On the way home a very brief stop at the patch produced Little Ringed Plovers and a Jack Snipe (more than likely the same one reappearing). The best evening for moths so far this year followed, not that it had to be very good to achieve that. There were 2 Flat-bodies Agonopterix sp. (heracliana-type), 2 Small Quaker, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Early Grey.

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Small Quaker, Bawdeswell, 10th April

 

Tuesday 9th April

A lunchtime search for spring migrants at Heacham produced zero migrants, which is about normal for this spring. Barely better on the moth front: this evening produced Small Quaker and Common Quaker.

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Grey Partridge, Heacham, 9th April

 

Monday 8th April

A quick look round the patch before work produced the same escaped Ruddy Shelduck and a couple of pairs of Little Ringed Plovers. More moths tonight: a Dotted Border and a Common Quaker.

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Brown Hares, north of Docking, 8th April

 

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Black-tailed Godwits, Brancaster Staithe, 8th April

 

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Teal, Brancaster Staithe (left) and Common Quaker, Bawdeswell (right), 8th April

 

Sunday 7th April

The long-awaited swing to southwesterly winds was met with much anticipation from birders up and down the country, so long has it been since we've had anything but strong cold northeasterlies! And spring was in the air, although it was more like the second week of March than the second week of April! A new Chiffchaff was in, heard singing very briefly, and a Sand Martin passed through. I saw at least 4 Little Ringed Plovers but Dave reckons he had 9 today, clearly involving some new arrivals. A White Wagtail was one of the previously-seen birds reappearing. A brief flurry of activity while we were stood at Hell Pit consisted of a Curlew, Little Egret and Peregrine flying over. A Green Sandpiper flew off from a site where we'd not seen them before, so perhaps also a fresh migrant. The other sign of spring was an Egyptian Goose gosling, albeit just the one.

My first moth since 18th March also appeared this evening: a Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla.

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Stock Doves, Bittering (left) and Ruddy Shelduck, private site (right), 7th April

 

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Barn Owl, Bittering (left) and Little Ringed Plovers, private site (right), 7th April

 

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Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla, Bawdeswell, 7th April

 

Saturday 6th April

I was up early this morning and hammered the patch first thing, but despite the beautiful sunny conditions the birding was surprisingly hard work with very little indeed to show for my efforts. All done by 9.00 am and spent the rest of the day getting ready for Florida.

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Pheasant, Rawhall (left) and Brown Hares, Bittering (right), 6th April

 

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Greylag Geese, Creaking Gate Lake, 6th April

 

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Grey Heron (left) and Greenfinch (right), Creaking Gate Lake, 6th April

 

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Sparrohawk, Rawhall Wood, 6th April

 

Friday 5th April

A Peregrine at Beetley was the highlight of this evening's after-work patch birding. Also the escaped Ruddy Shelduck and a couple of Little Ringed Plovers on the patch.

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Pheasant, Bittering (left) and Lapwing, Beetley (right), 5th April

 

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Golden Plovers (left) and Peregrine (right), Beetley, 5th April

 

Wednesday 3rd April

No sign of the Jack Snipe on the patch today, just Snipe, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover. A flock of 98 Golden Plover nearby.

 

Tuesday 2nd April

Sped down to Rawhall after work to see the Jack Snipe Dave had found there. It was still showing, in uncharacteristic full view, along with Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover. The 2 Curlew flew in towards dusk - they seem to roost here most nights - and a Fox appeared.

Jack Snipe, Rawhall GPs, 2nd April - not sure which is worst: the digiscoped one (left) or the DSLR version (right) - either way it could have done with being a bit closer!

 

Monday 1st April

A good look round the patch with Dave and Kieran this morning produced rather little. The Chiffchaff was still there, still not singing, and a Little Ringed Plover was still present, but that was as far as spring went. I suppose a Red Kite (our first on the patch) might have been a spring migrant but I doubt it. The 2 Ruddy Shelduck are still at the private site and Siskins were seen on the patch and in my garden. Not a very impressive haul for the Easter bank holiday.

 

Next month: May 2013

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