Sunday, 17 January 2010

Raptor Watch!

Spent the morning cycling around the local area, found no new patch ticks but there were good numbers of Fieldfares and Redwings everywhere. In the afternoon I decided to go to Burgh Castle and look for raptors as there is a good roost nearby at Haddiscoe. En route a pair of Egyptian Geese shared a field with 80+ Skylarks and 7 Stock Doves. At Burgh Castle there were good numbers of ducks, including patch ticks Pochard (3 males), Pintail (1 male) and a pair of Gadwall. There were a few waders about, an Avocet, a Ruff, 8 Blackwits amongst the Redshanks. I finally made it up onto the Castle ruins that overlooks the Broads and scanned the area for a couple of hours. On the river a Little and Great Crested Grebe swam past, while in the fields over the river there were 70+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 6 Canada Geese and 4 Pink-footed Geese.

At 3pm the first raptor appeared, a male Sparrowhawk, followed by Kestrels (5-6), Marsh Harriers (3), a Merlin and 2 Barn Owls. The reedbeds held 20+ Bearded Tits and 2 Water Rails. The last action of the day were 12 Woodcock flying into feed at dusk. A total of 11 patch ticks for the day leaves me on 84 for the year.
Fallow Deer (Albino?), near Browston Jan 17th

Egyptian Goose, Burgh Castle Jan 17th

Marsh Harrier, Burgh Castle Jan 17th
Windmill + 3 Pochard, Burgh Castle Jan 17th

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Early January highlights

A quick look at the highlights from the first half of January. Up to and including the 15th my list had reached a meagre 73 species, hampered by the poor weather at weekends and too much work!!! All is quiet from the north though so I can't tell if thats a good or bad sign!

Highlights have included 2 Waxwings in Bradwell on the 9th and a Spotted Redshank between Burgh Castle and Breydon on the 1st as well as a few local birds that Aberlady will struggle to get, such as Cetti's Warbler, Avocet, Egyptian Goose etc.

Male Eider; Gorleston Beach 2nd Jan
Goldfinch; Hobland Hall 2nd Jan
1st Win Med Gull; GY beach

2010 Local Patch Challenge - Aberlady versus Bradwell

To avoid spending all my time at the 'honeypot' birding sites around Norfolk I challenged a friend based near Aberlady, Lothian to a local patch challenge. We agreed to our local patch boundaries and agreed to three parts of the competition: 1) most birds seen; 2) most birds found & 3) best find. This blog is meant to help follow both our attempts throughout the year.