Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Jammed in on a cracking 2nd calendar year male Montagu's harrier near home this evening hunting over a cereal field. Awesome birds especially with their graceful boyant flight.
Been going through a few photos and thought I would post a few.
3 of the 4 temmincks stint that were present in the spring. These birds were showing well near the Island Hide but unfortunatly the light wasn't good.
Straw underwing moth caught a few nights ago at home.
Still wet otter track on the small bridge on the path to the Island Mere hide at Minsmere - probably scared it as I was walking along!
Part of the recent roosting knot flock on the fresh marsh over recent high tides. Upto 3000 have been recorded many still in summer plumage.
Best ever breeding season for avocet with a peak of 80 nests and over 100 nesting attempts. Good numbers of young hatched with at least 12 staying on the fresh marsh to fledging.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Mid-summer blues I am afraid hence no real activity here. Wader numbers are starting to build up now with large numbers of knot and godwits. There has been a cracking summer plumage curlew sand for the last week and there was 6 spotshank this afternoon. It should only be a matter of time now before and good wader, probably a pec, turns up.
14 crossbills over the garden on Sunday was a nice surprise although there has been a small movement along the coast in the last couple of weeks.
After only just getting back from our Colorado trip, our next one is already planned. This one is a bit bigger - we are off to NE India in February next year. Very different to our last few trips, all the birds, culture and scenery will be very different. The trip still has a few things to confirm but we will be going to the famous Eagles Nest and into the foothills of the Himalayas. It will be a bit of an adventure especially as we are going with Dave and Mandy who are infamous for having something go wrong!!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Just got back for a manic weekend at Minsmere with Adam, Hayley and the boys. After building their new climbing frame on Saturday (rewarded with nice views of white admiral, brown argus and purple hairstreak), I got a few hours on the reserve on Sunday morning.

Despite the lack of recent rain, the scrapes were looking good. 3 spoonbill and a couple of juv med gulls were present but no sign of any roseate terns that had been around. The 'lucky pool' on the south levels had 10 little gull, 3 spotshank and 5 greenshank including a colour-ringed bird. It was also nice to see several broods of lapwing and redshank around the reserve. Scanning the moulting gadwall paid off as the fudge duck was sleeping with them although it is a pretty grotty individual. The highlight however were the bitterns. At least 4 indivuduals were feeding in various places around the mere with at least one doing a couple of flights around the pool. Back in the garden, we had at least 50 crossbills over in small flocks during the morning.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Found an icterine warbler singing on the reserve today...nice

Monday, 4 July 2011

An awesome morning ringing on Sunday. By the end of the session we had ringed 88 new birds are re-trapped 40 including a 48 bird net-round that used nearly all our bird bags! Mainly young birds (probably 85%) with dunnock, blue tit and blackcap making up the numbers. A net across one of the barns on site produced 14 swallow including 2 re-traps from 2010 and 2009 and a couple of fledged youngsters. Ringing in the garden has been very quiet with only 4 birds caught in about 8 hours of trapping over the weekend, however, a fly-over turtle dove (garden tick 92) on Saturday afternoon made up for it

Finally got round to sorting out some more pictures out.

Male western tanager - imagine what Big Garden BirdWatch could be like with these on your feeders!!

Stellers jay - cool birds

Ferruginous hawk checking out a prariedog town

Caspian tern

Male chestnut-sided warbler. Only the 3rd to be rung at the Chatfield State Park ringing site, operated by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and the 2nd this year. It certainly makes ringing exciting when you have yellow warblers, Swainson's thrushes, yellow breasted chat and an array of flycatchers to handle!!