Sunday, 30 September 2007

Kent - Norfolk

An early start, arriving at St. Margaret's at Cliffe shortly after first light with heavy overcast skies and rain. Accepted weather conditions in this case as these factors are the reason why the Paddyfield Warbler probably stayed overnight. We enjoyed close views 300 yards north of the monument for a short period of time, before leaving.

Just a record shot of the Paddyfield Warbler in very dull conditions, therefore a slow shutter speed used. (c) Ashley Howe

Heading for Corton where a Red-flanked Bluetail had been reported the previous day, we stopped at Landguard to hear news....collecting a now elusive Barred Warbler after visitors were walking too close around the bushes. The Bluetail didn't turn up, though another had been found in Norfolk. My Dad and I headed North as soon as possible. But after being released the Bluetail had cleared off.

However there was a very showy Sabine's Gull at Cley Coastguards, which was a very welcome addition to what was becoming a fine day. It showed well on the beach and allowed birders to get very close. A Bonxie flew west very close inshore and 2 Arctic Skuas flew East.

Juvenile Sabine's Gull showing well on the shingle along Blakeney about along from the Coastguards, and then feeding over the surf. (c) Ashley Howe

On the reserve a remarkable count of 3 Grey Phaloropes and a Red-necked Phalorope together from the hides. Also 6 Little Stints were frequenting the mud between being flushed by Marsh Harriers.

Red-necked Phalorope (left) with a Grey Phalorope (right) on Cley reserve, excuse the poor quality becasue they were a fair way away. (c) Ashley Howe

Moving to Wells, reports had it that the Red-breasted Flycatcher hadn't been seen for hours now, so I was going to check out the area just encase, when i got a text from Steve Menzie of a Wryneck at Holkham. Before long we were there watching it from the end of Lady Ann's Drive. A unusual sighting in the form of a juvenile Gannet which passed over the freshmarsh.

A confiding Little Grebe along the track into the hides at Cley. (c) Ashley Howe

Friday, 28 September 2007

Pennington Marshes

A few spare periods during my college day, gave me enough time to make a trip to Pennington and have a look around. The main priority was to locate Starlings. After scanning a few small flocks, eventually the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling showed, all but briefly behind Butts Lagoon before flying off to East.

On Butts Lagoon was Water Rail and 3 Curlew Sandpipers, with another 3 on Fishtail Lagoon with Knot and 2 Little Stints.

One of two Little Stints on Fishtail Lagoon around midday, at a fair range and not the best weather. (c) Ashley Howe

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Farlington Marshes

Having watched my younger brother play football around midday in Surrey... we had the late afternoon spare. So Farlington with a few decent birds present had the chance to make my weekend complete!! (the third time visiting in a week).

It did not fail to deliver the goods. With a Temminck's Stint feeding along the mud on the stream opposite the visitor centre. The tiny bird was occasionally seen through the tall grass, but at the range good record shots were difficult.

Temminck's Stint feeding along the mud, but unapproachable hence poor record shots. My second of the year. (c) Ashley Howe

Gradually making my way round to the main lagoon, scanning for birds of prey and more waders (Green Sandpiper only bird of note) as I went. A few birders had gathered either looking for the Spotted Crake which hadn't been seen since half 10 this morning or observing birds on the lagoon which included Curlew Sandpiper.

I was just settling down to scan the reedy fringes, when the Spotted Crake made its first appearance. And over a 10 minute period showed well on and off in the reedy ditch before the main lagoon.

My third attempt for this little bugger!! But eventually it showed itself in the best place possible with cracking views. Well worth the journey today. (c) Ashley Howe

Friday, 7 September 2007

Farlington Marshes

Last Tuesday another 2-3 hours were spent attempting to see the Spotted Crake at the back of the main lagoon in the evening... last sighting was late morning so it was about time it showed again. Well, it didn't and left the reserve after recording decent numbers of waders at high tide including a few Curlew Sandpiper etc etc

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Farlington Marshes

A few hours spent looking for one of the Spotted Crakes recently seen on the main lagoon from 1pm was fruitless. But there was a good selection of waders available with a few Curlew Sandpiper, being the highlight, Snipe, Spotted Redshank, Knot and the usual gear.