Sunday, 30 December 2012

Ready, steady, recce

With only a few days of the year to go, I decided to spend the afternoon having a good look around the patch in search of hard to get species.

The farmland section was pretty good with a nice flock of 23 yellowhammers and further on, 30 skylarks. Will be scoping those next time for any Lapland buntings (well you've got to dream..) A male grey partridge with 2 females, kestrel and buzzard should get the list off to a good start.
Down on the common its was a walk through the fringing birch and oak woodland in search of woodcock. Despite the recent rainfall much of the woodland was pretty dry but right at the end, in some wetter areas, 2 birds were flushed. Don't go too far...
Green (2) and great spotted woodpeckers, treecreeper, marsh tit and mistle thrush along with several tits flocks should give me plenty to go at.

Mixed birch, beech and oak woodland fringing the common. Good for woodland birds especially tits, treecreeper and peckers

Nice wet area found today although didn't have willies to have a trash through. Could be where I add moorhen, a duck sp and even a water rail to the patch list...?
Away for January 1st but the patch is going to get a good pounding on the 2nd!!! 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

'Interesting birds...'

Shock horror, I actually managed to get out of the office yesterday afternoon although I still didn't make it to the sea. Mind you, I cant complain too much as it was a couple of interesting sightings that slowed  me down.

My main reason for getting out was to test a 20-60x zoom eyepiece for my Swaro scope (another story). The first birds to test on were some brent geese on thee grazing meadow but as I was setting up my scope I noticed a large raptor circling in the distance, 1st target for the zoom... As  soon as it circled and showed its upperside I could see that the uppertail was white!! I radioed to Richard and Tony to come out of the shop but the bird remained frustratingly distant and always in poor light. The bird spent most of its time quartering over the saltmarsh, hovering regularly and dropping several times. The underwings showed the isolated dark carpel patches and dark belly of a rough legged buzzard but I don't think I had enough to claim for sure. The main thing that worried me was the large broad black tail band that came at least half way up the tail making the white area rather small (not a good rough leg feature I thought) but looking in Forsman, it fits pretty well... The bird flew off over Thornham and unfortunately I couldn't chase it for better views.

The 2nd bird was a little more straightforward. I was looking over the fresh marsh with one of the volunteers when I spotted a drake teal asleep on one of the islands showing both the horizontal and vertical white stripes of a hybrid green-winged/common teal. The bird was pretty distant but the stripes were obvious. I hoped it might still be around this morning for our WeBS count but lots of the teal had left the reserve. Another one to keep an eye out for!

25 twite on the east along the beach, shag and bittern were the WeBS highlights this morning and a look around the patch this afternoon produced several calling marsh tits and a green woodpecker

Monday, 10 December 2012

Just testing

I have set up an automated update to my Twitter feed so just testing if it has worked....

Ignore me, if you can....!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Toys back in the pram!!!

After the 'goings on' back in the summer my toys have been picked back up and I am ready to get back into the blog. I wont be blogging much about my ringing activities as that will be staying on Twitter (@pauleele) as you can't get into much trouble with only 140 characters!!

So why the return...?
Well, after several years doing yearlists at Titchwell I was wanting to stay local to home and have my own patch where there was nobody else birding and the birds are all mine to find. Along came the @patchbirding account on Twitter and an idea was born.

So welcome to the patch.Centred around the village of Sculthorpe it is a mix of farmland, woodland, gardens and some poor quality heathland in Syderstone Common.
Most of the patch can be covered on foot although there are a few roads for a quick boot around before and after work when necessary. I have looked around the area since living here but not really given is much attention but there is already a good species list. Marsh tit and turtle breed on the common and I have seen red kite, stone curlew, little owl, common buzzard and firecrest in the area in the past. Ringing in the garden will hopefully bring in a few sculking species.

Thats is for now, roll on January 1st...