Monday, 27 February 2012

Stinky washing

Just back from an awesome trip to NE India and now have the wonderful job of washing 2 suitcases of minging washing!!

I still don't think I have the energy to write a complete account here but here a few of the highlights.
Started of with a day's birding near Delhi at a small wetland site called Sultanpur. It was a good intro to a load of new species groups including babblers, treepies and a lot of familar waders and wildfowl. Highlights were 2 sarus cranes and 2 white tailed plover.
The nest couple of days were at Nameri (white winged duck and ibisbill) before moving to Dirang and Eaglesnest. The scenery was amazing along with the birding. The Sela Pass (13700ft) didn't produce Grandala put the views were breathtaking. Camping at Eaglesnest was 'interesting' but a great experience with Bugan liochiola, Ward's trogon and various wren-babbler seen.
The best was saved to last - Kaziranga. Too many hightlights but an elephant ride, 67 rhino in one day, Pallas's fish eagle and loads of vultures are a few that stick out.
My personal trip list ended on 391 although there were at least another 20 species that I heard but didn't see plus 5 that Dave saw bit I didn't, not bad in 2 weeks!

Dave and I have a load of images to download and edit but I will be adding the best as I complete them and I also plan to produce a full trip report if anyone is interested in more details.

2 yearticks added on the first day back. Drake long tailed duck and scaup on the sea this morning.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Woop Woop!!

Just finished the last day at work before our holiday so it is now time to kick back and relax before the madness that is India begins. Flight is tomorrow afternoon with an early morning arrival in Dehli. Get a days birding at a local wetland and then it is off to the NE early on Saturday morning.
There is going to be very little power for most of the trip and even less chance of WiFi but if I get the chance I will blog from afar.

Back at the end of the month, enjoy the snow.

Monday, 6 February 2012


For those of you that are not versed in the language of cricket, Nelson is when the score gets to 111.
I had to go in early to meet some contractors and it proved to be a very productive hour. First addition was 4 Lapland buntings south over the reedbed, the 2 fieldfares west and then 3 water pipits feeding in a cut area of reed. Final yeartick of the morning was an
adult whooper swan (111). I picked it coming in from the east and managed to radio Dave who was cleaning the toilets as it flew over the carpark.
2 merlins and a barn owl on the way home.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Now I am usually pretty sceptical when it comes to weather forecasts predicting bad conditions as it is usually a way for people to cover their backs, so it was a bit of a surprise to see 5" of lying snow when I got up this morning!
After breaking the ice on the birdbath and chickens water, clearing the birdtable of snow and topping up the feeders I sat back to see what would appear. Over the last couple of days there has been loads of blackbirds about (ringed 10 in 2 days) so it wasn't really a surprise to get a minimum count of 15. Finches were about in good numbers with 25 chaffinch and 20 greenfinch, a pied wag was an unusual visitor but the highlight was nice male siskin (#34) on the nyger seed.
After lunch, I decided to get out for a walk and have a look around the common and the surrounding fields. The roads were still pretty snowy so there was little traffic about and without any wind it was nearly silent.
A small tit flock on the common held a couple of treecreepers and a marsh tit, and there were a few redwings foraging through the leaflitter but not a great deal else. Still, it was nice to get out.
Docking to Fakenham road
Pigs enjoying the snow

Thursday, 2 February 2012

A touch of frost

With the first snow (only a cm but it all counts) of the winter today and the icy eastern blast, there has been a good number of birds on the move. Despite the frozen fresh marsh, pochard numbers are back upto the 100 mark and there was a decent movement of skylark today. The local goose flock is still commuting between Gypsy Lane and reserve and still includes the 10 white fronts - had really nice views of them flying over in the sun this morning. Managed to add a couple more birds to the yearlist this week. Treecreeper outside the feeders yesterday and finally added redding today. List now stands at 107.
The best sighting of the day was a water rail. Not amazing I hear you say but what made it different was what it was feeding on. I have heard of them killing birds or eating dead fish in cold weather but I have only ever seen them eating worms. Today there were 2 birds feeding in the ditch near the centre when one appeared with something in it's beak. That something turned out to be a live frog which the bird started to stab to death!! Unfortunalty I didn't have my camera with me.
This time next week we will be half way to India - all I need to do is pack