Monday, 29 May 2017

Potter Heigham

The patch has been dire nothing of note so ive been nipping out in the afternoon off patch.
Highlights of a trip to Potter Heigham were 12 Spoonbill, 3 Little Stint, 2 Greenshank, 2 Grey Plover and 89 Tundra Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover and a Wood Sandpiper. Lastly 2 Ruff including a cracking summer plumaged birds 

Back on patch a few butterflies best being Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Painted Lady.
Dragonflies 4 Spot, Emperor, Norfolk Hawker and a Hawker sp.

Best bird of the weekend however was a Hobby over COSW. Garden Warbler at CNSW was a patch tick and a Willow Warbler at Furse wood was unusual.
In the Garden i awoke to a nice surprise in the form of a Singing Reed Warbler, it stayed all day.Video of it singing from the hedge

Again a bank holiday weekend gone far too quick.
Almost Moth update blog soon.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Potter Heigham Marshes

Friday night i found a nice Spotted Flycatcher. It was still there early Saturday morning and i could only add a hunting Marsh Harrier to the patch list.

Had a trip over to the new Marshes at Potter Heigham.

Unfortunately it looks like the scrapes wont last due to the Trust making them into a reedbed instead.
Anyway its brilliant at the moment with 6 Spoonbill.

Then this cracking Caspian Tern.

The Caspian Tern i noticed had a metal ring the same as the bird that frequented Breydon Water last year so almost definitely the returning bird.
We walked into Potter Heigham for lunch which made the walk very pleasant, dreaming of owning the old Windmill and house boats along the river.

We returned to the Marshes after lunch and had a second look at the Spoonbills and Caspian Tern.
found a couple of nice Whimbrel too

On the return home via Horsey mill to see the new top that was put back on during the Week.

Today a couple of hours on patch produced just a Painted Lady Butterfly. Rach wanted to visit Sherringham park before the Rhododendrons went over, this gave me the opportunity to see what birds were on site, no less than 3 Firecrest singing.
Nipped to Cley for the singing Iberian Chiffchaff, nice song with a couple of brief views. Nothing of note on the reserve so headed for Kelling Heath for a drink and another singing Firecrest. Nightingale was singing on the way to Salthouse heath crossroads.via Old Woman's Lane just before the Salthouse heath crossroads and we never actually heard any there.
Thats been it really. Its been a really good weekend though and just to finish ill add a special moth that i caught this morning in the trap. Swallow Prominent

Friday, 19 May 2017

April Mothing

So ive just started Mothing, i built a trap last year but it didnt work and everything had escaped by the morning. So i bit the bullet and brought myself a 15w Actinic Skinner Trap
This Skinner Moth trap is approximately 45cm square and 35cm high and is constructed from exterior ply, complete with base and treated with a wildlife friendly preservative for extra durability, very easy to collapse down for storage. Skinner Traps are a popular choice due to price. The moths inside the trap can be accessed while the trap is running very easily by lifting the Perspex panels. 
Anyway first night out Conditions werent great as it was cold, all the regular mothers were catching nothing so it was nice that i did catch some moths, my first moth were 3 Early Grey

Next day it warmed up a little and had some amazing moths including 2 Pine Beauties. 

 I continued to add to my species list. 

Then i was in Majorca for the week so i had to wait a week before going for it again. Mullien was a cracking moth and watching others catch it i was so pleased to catch one so soon.

Ill do a May Mothing at the end of the month but heres Aprils list if anyone is interested.

April 2017 Moth List Garden VC25 Corton

3 Early Grey  20.04.2017 Started clear woke up over cast. 

1 Early Grey 21.04.2017 Clear Black Sexton Beetle
2 Pine Beauty

7 Clouded Drab

3 Hebrew Character

1 Common Quaker

1 Powdered Quaker

1 Double Striped Pug

2 Shuttle Shaped Dart

2 Muslin Moth 22.04.2017 Some Rain overnight Black Sexton Beetle
2 Early Grey

1 Shuttle Shaped Dart

1 Powdered Quaker

1 Spruce Carpet

1 Brimstone moth

2 Clouded Drab

4 Common Quaker

23.04.2017 Clear befor bed, full cloud early morn
2 Muslin Moth

2 Shuttle Shaped Dart

2 Hebrew Character

1 Early Grey

1 Powdered Quacker

2 Clouded Drab


1 Hebrew Charater
Windy Clear
1 Powdered Quaker

2 Early Grey 29th April Cloudy  Black Sexton Beetle
2 Hebrew Character

1 Mullien

1 Clouded Drab

1 Light Brown Apple 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Majorca 29th April -6th May 2017

Saturday 29th April
So Rachel and i decided to visit Majorca again but this time in April, not like our usual September trips. We flew into Palma airport around mid afternoon and arrived at our room in the Eix Lagotel hotel Playa de Muro on the 6th floor. They gave us the same room as last year over looking the S'Albufera NR.

Immediately it felt like the birds would be better this time of year than it was last September.
Just from the Balcony i could scope a Greater Flamingo, Marble Teal, Garganey, 10 Glossy Ibis, 3 Great White Egret, lots of Red Crested Pochard, Purple Herons and Night Herons. A few Record shots from the balcony. 

Sunday 30th April
I spent a couple of hours watching from the Balcony again, didnt feel like i neede to leave the room at this point as i could scope scare 4 Black Terns a Whiskered Tern, Gull Billed Tern, Squacco Heron loads of Purple Heron, a Turtle dove was nice as was a Stone Curlew. The amount of Swifts over the reserve was tremendous tens of thousands mostly Common with plenty of Pallid. I did pick up a Swift with odd colouring a white back and belly with dark wings, just an aberrant bird. a Red rumped swallow joined the Barn Swallows.


As Black Tern is a scarce passage migrant i wanted to try prove id seen them by heading onto the reserve, typically by the time id arrived at the tower platform all the Terns had gone. Its a long walk and the Robust Orchid, (i think) Bee and  Bug Orchids took my eye.

A Hornet Moth took my eye and the Nightingales were singing everywhere as were the Serin.

Visited the hides where the waders were excellent and really quite close. A mix of Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Little Stint, Curlew Sand, Common Sand and Green Sand. Along with Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and Black Winged Stilts.

That was from Bishop 1 and 2 as were these Black Winged Stilts shot.

Onto CM hide where a there was 2 cracking Collared Pratincoles and a Squacco Heron along with a few different Yellow Wagtails. a record shot of a late European Starling. Purple Swamphens always show well from here.

Finished the day at the Son Bosc Deck and this is where a Black Tern was still and a nice Whiskered Tern Phew...

Our First Bee Eaters of the holiday were distant as were Wheatears and Whinchats and then 2 funny looking ducks Bahama Pintail that were escapees.

Monday 1st May
Started back on the Reserve where this stunning Collared flycatcher and was only my second ever, what a bird. Had a quick look from the other areas for Great White Egret, Hoopoe, Marble Teal, Night Heron, Red Crested Pochard, Red Knobbled Coot and a few plants. Pale Toadflax and Milk Thistle.

After returning to the hotel to collect Rachel i had Another short watch from the balcony, i was able to add Osprey, Audouins Gull and Booted Eagle to the list.

We were heading to Vilafranca de Bonany today but the bike race was shutting roads and preventing us getting there very easily but a detour past Son Real had us spotting our first Roller.

We didn't get to Vilafranca but did get to Maria de la Salut where we were amazed to get at least 3 Red Footed Falcons 2 Females and a male. Stunners. (Spotted by Rachel) Another surprise were 2 Female Lesser Kestrels and what looked like a male distantly.

From the same are or the Plains as people call them it was good for Species such as Short Toed Lark, Tawny Pipit and 3 Quail. Also Raptors such a Red Kite, 7 in total and a Black Kite. As we took the scenic route we saw a couple of Turtle Doves, Peregrine and more Red Kites. The countryside was awesome.

Heading back towards the Hotel via Campanet we watched as 7 Black Vultures and a Griffon took off from what was probably a carcase in a field by the main road. When we stopped to look Rach spotted a Moorish Gecko.

Tuesday 2nd May
A Trip up the mountains to Cubar dam was the plan today, the push bikes were filling up the roads making driving conditions difficult but we made the slow drive to the dam picking up lots of Firecrest as we went.
My one and only life as we reached the damn a cracking singing Moltoni's Warbler the 2 males.
Pics don't do it justice.

Pied Flycatchers and Spotted Flycatchers as well as stunning views of Firecrest were had, also my best views of a few Cirl Buntings and a big surprise was a female Ring Ouzel, can just see it in the picture below ;-) 5 or 6 Viperine Water Snakes were in the watery edges munching on small fish. More nice Black Vulture too and we heard several Wryneck.


We made our way to Port de Soller were there was no birding although there was a Shag in the harbour.

Back at the hotel 5 Great White Egret flew together to roost.

Wednesday 3rd May
Walked up the Boquer Valley starting with nice scope views of Roller and hearing Wryneck. Pied fly and Common Redstart on the way up then Balearic Warbler on the flat top. Blue Rock thrush and the local Peregrine seeing off the Booted Eagle, a Golden Oriol was a nice surprise at it flew over. On the Sea a couple of Shag and lots of Purple Stingers preventing Rach from having a paddle. On the way back down the Wryneck gave itself up and a Woodchat shrike showed nicely. Plenty of Willow Warbler.


Bit of Touristy stuff done then back to the hotel where a Gull Billed Tern was feeding in the water to the front of it, Audoins and Yellow Legged Gulls too.

Thursday 4th May
Formentor lighthouse was todays trip we had been putting it off due to the amount of pushbikes going up but we left early and the trip up was easy.

Crossbill everywhere with plenty of Firecrest on the way up. At the lighthouse and dark phase Eleanoras, Peregrine a few distant Shearwaters probably Corys and then Blue Rock Thrush, Pied Fly and Redstarts, plenty of White Asphodel growing lower down.

Then onto Cala Sant Vicenç a lovely little quiet harbour area with 16 Shag and plenty of groups of Bee Eaters over.

Moved onto Campanet Caves for lunch which was great, nice meal and great birds Bonellies Eagle and Egyptian vulture were a great surprise. I only had a hand held 70mm lens on the camera so no scope so pictures were impossible but i still tried.

Humming Bird Hawkmoths are always showy here and always worth the trip just for them. Swallowtail and Cleopatra butterflys were added bonus's.
Finished the day back at the Son Bosc hide which had Black Kite, Bee Eaters, Gull Billed Tern, and Short Toed  Lark, back at the hotel room the Flamingo again.

Friday 5th May
Son Real
We had the day at Son Real spending a lot of time in the hide which id never been in before, it was awesome and would probably have been even better had it been really warm.

Still a nice collection of birds visiting the pool, Spotted and Pied Fly, Hoopoe, Corn Bunting, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Nightingale and Woodchat shrike, also male and Female Spectacle Warblers and Sardinians too. Hermanni tortoise and African Green Toad? was a new species to me.

A Walk further round the area produced 2 Balearic Warblers and a Turtle dove.

Orchids were nice with Pyramid, Tongue and something i am very unsure about.

Saturday 6th and time for home, but a few hours spent at Valldemossa but no birding done. except for the Reef/Little Egret that flew over the road as we left the hotel.

A great time had and probably better than ever. Started planning for next year :-)

I'm sure Ive got a lot of the orchids and mammals wrong if i have please feel free to email me

Probably missed some silly ones but Species list  HERE