Monday, 24 May 2010

Catching up about falling behind!!

The last couple of weeks have been a bit hectic although I have managed a few visits to the local patch picking up a few species, a singing Nightingale at Gapton estate the highlight and Cuckoo numbers have increased dramatically in the last week with 2 or 3 calling around Bradwell, one at Breydon south wall and two near Haddiscoe. Johnboy at Aberlady has taken advantage of my slackness and holds a 127 - 118 lead! A few non-bird things were new for me on my local patch, a couple of Muntjacs near Burgh Castle and more and more butterflies are about with my first Orange Tips and Small Coppers of the year appearing on the 14th. On the night of the 20th a Quail called briefly near Habland Hall, a very pleasant suprise and good patch tick.

On the weekend of the 15th and 16th I visited Thetford Forest. I visited the usual places, didn't see Stone-curlew at Weeting, at Lakenheath (what a change since my last visit 10 years agao!!) I heard a Golden Oriole and 3 booming Bitterns. The highlight of Thetford for me was the Kings Forest to the south. The chorus of song early in the morning was incredible, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Woodlarks, Tree Pipits, Nightingale and Cuckoo to name a few were in full song. We saw a few Red Deer, many Roe and few Muntjac Deer, Brown Hares seemed unusually tame and butterflies were everywhere, including my first Brimstones and Dinghy Skippers of the year.

On the 22nd I headed off patch again to a small lane near Toft Monks which had been recommended to me for butterflies and althought there weren't huge numbers there were still 9 species including my first ever Brown Argus. Canoeing near Beccles on the 23rd was a relatively quiet affair although it was a great way to get good views of Sedge and Reed Warblers. There was a few Banded Demoiselles and Emerald Demoiselles but jesus its hard taking photos on a canoe!!!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dirty, filthy twitching and the Black Sea

Since the last time I posted anything I was banished to the Black Sea to save some dolphins! It all started with some filthy patch twitching on the 26th of April when I nipped into Breydon after work to get a a distant view of a feeding Spoonbill (113). The next morning I was sent to the Black Sea as 'punishment'. I could go into detail about the Black Sea but all I done for 12 days was sit on deck looking for dolphins, which there were lots. Although I had missed the main migration there were still a few birds about and I think I will let these pictures tell the story!
Along with these there was a Levant's Sprawk, Saker, Montagu's harrier, Quail, Collard Fly and a few other more common bits and bobs. There were several gulls about and I am still sorting through some of the pic's, Armenian, Caspian, YL??? So stay posted for some boring gull photos later. The Caspian gull above won the fight with the Sprawk, laying claim to the front deck for the rest of the day!