Had a good walk from home with the family and the dogs, heading through Corton Woods where I noticed a Firecrest almost straight away, probably 2 but couldn't see the second to be sure.
Onwards to the beach where the Med Gulls were circling but wouldn't land. Not much on the sea but a few RT Divers went North and 2 Brent geese South. A nice Surprise was when a Snow Bunting came in off the sea and landed on the sea wall before flying off when passed by some people.
Moving onto Ness point but I couldn't find and Sandpipers. On our return walk an Adult and a 2nd Winter Med Gull put in an appearance.
.The Firecrest was still calling on the way back but otherwise that was it. Still a nice walk from home.
Had a look from Ness point hoping to see Purple Sandpipers, managed to find 4 birds which showed fairly nicely in the gloom.
Nipped back down to Oulton Broad where the Great northern Diver was still about but it was more distant so I didn't bother with any pictures.
Saturday 24th December
Had the day at Minsmere and started at Island mere but it was very quiet minus the 6 displaying Marsh Harriers a brief Water Rail and 4 Goosanders.
Moved onto the Bittern hide where I managed a yes Bittern but only briefly in flight a Kingfisher and a nice Otter too.
Onto the other hides where there was many ducks and a few waders, mainly Black tailed Godwit, a Knot and half a dozen Dunlin.
Onto South Levels where it was nice to go through the Gulls, 2 Adult Yellow Legged Gull, and a 1st Winter Caspian Gull.
2 Bewick Swans were a bonus.
I then stood on the beach and scoped the sea around Sizewell where I managed to pick up a Juv Glaucous Gull.
I was going to head up that way but luckily the bird came to me instead, picking up the Glauc behind east hide.
On the way back to the VC 6 Stonechats and then a nice Chocolate cake back at the Café.
Finished back at Island mere for the start of the Cracking Starling Murmuration.
Nice day with all the birds on site ticked off.
Finished Work until 2018 yesterday so as Rach was at work I headed out towards Hazelwood Common for an Arctic Redpoll (Coues's apparently). Anyway arrived on site to no sign for an hour or so but I wasn't too worried. Eventually the bird dropped out the sky with a few Lessers and a Common. It was a very striking individual and quiet large too. The light was diabolical so I didn't take many.
Couple of shots of the Lessers too.
The Chainsaws started up so it was time to leave. I met Gary as I was heading back to the car so we teamed up and headed to Upper Hollesley Common for some Parrot Crossbills, Directions weren't great so it wasn't until I spotted a birders car did we know we were in the right car park. Stopping at the side of the road we heard our first singing Woodlarks of the day. Once parked up we still managed to take the longer more scenic route to the drinking pools. on the way round the track 3 more Woodlarks in flight. Eventually we found the birders and were soon watching 6 very smart Parrot Crossbills. We waited hoping they would come down to the drinking pools but no such luck.
Whilst waiting for the crossbills to come down it was nice to see and hear a Dartford Warbler and a nice pair of Stonechats. Good to be out and about again.
So whats been going on over the last couple of months, still been out on the patch although its not fun anymore due to the poor conditions of all the paths.
31st of October i found my latest ever Spotted Flycatcher which lingered into November, (2nd). This was on the edge of Furse wood. Had my first Fieldfare of the Autumn too.
2nd Of November as i said the Spotted fly was still present and a Firecrest had returned for another Winter hopefully.
November 4thFrom radar lodge, 2 Velvet Scoter with 50 common. Also a great Crested Grebe. Starlings and chaffinches in off in small groups. Red throated Divers and Gannets were numerous.
CNSW a nice flock of 40 Lapwing.
November 5th a Nice Marsh Harrier over CNSW and some Common Darters still on the wing at the CNSW pond.
November 14th and a Single Waxwing feeding on one of my Properties in Norwich, few and far between so far this winter.
November 28th and i spotted a Ring Necked Paraket on the edge of Oulton Broad, there has been one knocking about for some time now, still nice to see it at last without trying.
December 4th Firecrest again Furse Wood and a Woodcock CNSW.
December 9th 2 Flocks of Skylarks, and 8 Snipe COSW cliffs, the sea held good numbers of Red thrpated Divers moving North including a flock of 40. A few Guillemots moving too. A couple of really good birds however were a Bar-tailed Godwit and a fly over Snow Bunting.
2 Greylag Geese in off was a rare patch bird.
December 11-15th a really nice fun trip to Disneyland Paris. Kingfisher was the only bird of note really. oh yeh and Mickey Mouse and Friends ;-)
Anyway back to the birding.
December 16th headed for Potter Heigham it was really quiet except for 14 Whooper Swans and a Green Sandpiper.
Chinese Water Deer
Lastly 17th December and finally managed a trip over to Oulton Broad for the Great northern Diver that had been present all week. A Shower too shame the sun wasn't out though.
Thats it for now. Break up for Christmas soon so hopefully will be able to get out more.
Then Stopped in the static van on Kelling Heath to do a weekend of birding and visiting the local villages.
Saturday we started at Sherringham which held a wintering Purple Sandpiper then found a Black Redstart on the Roofs by the promenade. Moved onto the flooded fields South of Stiffkey which held 2 Cattle Egret no where to stop to get decent views so only seen from the car. At Wells large flocks of Brent Geese.
Back to Cley where i scoped the Grey Phalarope from the VC which was being harassed by Crows on Simmonds Scrape. Cley Beach held 30+ mobile Snow Buntings, lots of Golden Plover, Pintail and Ruff. Great Northern Diver on the sea.
Between Cley and Salthouse the Black Brant was still with 50 Dark Bellied Brents.
A quick check of the 1000 Pink-footed geese heralded nowt. Back for a cracking walk around Kelling heath even though we saw few birds. Days ares short so early back to the van.
Sunday started again at Cley for a brilliant sea-watch, Another Great Norther Diver, year tick Little Auk, a distant brief Petrel almost sure it was Leach's a group of 5 Bonxie. Plenty of ducks, Waders and Gannets. A Snow bunting flew past just as i was leaving. The Black Brant was still at Salthouse and another quick check of the pinks heralded again nothing new. The rain was now setting in so headed home.
Had a nice day with friends for our regular meet up, always great as we get to cover Cley properly visiting all the hides and the cafe. Highlights on the reserve were 2 Little Stint with many many Ruff and Dunlin.
It was very windy so LBJs were short on the ground, Cettis were heard as was the ping of the Bearded Tit.
A Sandwich Tern arrived with a few Gulls on the spit from the hides.
After a good day around the hides we finished at the beach carpark watching the Gannets feeding very close, a couple more Sandwich Terns, Pintails flying OUT to sea, Red Throated Diver, a few Waders such as Dunlin and Knot and a few Guillemots also a few ducks.
Golden plover were in the fields and a great finish to the day with 4 Snow Bunitngs over our heads as we were saying goodbye.
Lastly nipped into the Iron Rd car park where the Black Brant had been all day.
Sea Watch from Corton Bench's today was brilliant I had quality rather than up and down the coast they had Quantity.
1 Storm Petrel, Description species for Suffolk
1 Leach's Petrel
1 Eider (fem)
1 Short Eared Owl
1 Bonxie, others had 20+ From Lowestoft
35 Guillemots/Auks, Others had 1200+
6 Red Throated Diver
hundreds if not thousands of mixed Gannets and Cormorants
2 Grey Plover
50 Brent Geese
30 Common Scoter
2 Tufted Duck
1 Long tailed duck (juv)
A passerine that looked like a Lapland Bunting.
2 Rock Pipit
40+ Med Gulls
All in all great days watching