Dec 292021

We spent a few days in North Norfolk during late November, which turned out to be well worth while. I managed to see 94 species during our 4 days. Staying at Blakeney, proved to be a good choice as there was an Isabelline Wheatear available at the end of the East Bank.

Holkham produced 5 Shore Lark and on the sea 4 Red-necked Grebe, along with the usual sea duck, Common Scoter and Eider and several Great Northern & Red-throated Divers.

A sea watch at Cley Coastguards on 25th November produced a Black Guillemot, a Pomarine Skua, a Great Northern Diver and a Purple Sandpiper.

Late afternoon at Stiffkey and several Hen Harrier, including a grey male, small numbers of Marsh Harrier, a Buzzard and a Barn Owl.

On our final morning heading off home, I was at Titchwell when news broke of a Brunnich’s Guillemot in Wells Harbour. I arrived at around 12:30am managing to get reasonable scope views of it, along with a few record shots, as it was resting on a distant sand bar. Unfortunately the poor thing died of exhaustion later in the afternoon. This was a long overdue British tick for me but a rather sad end to a super bird, having travelled miles of course from the high arctic.

Isabelline Wheatear – East Bank, Cley
Isabelline Wheatear – East Bank, Cley
Brunnich’s Guillemot – Wells Harbour
Brunnich’s Guillemot – Wells Harbour
Shore Lark – Holkham – one of five birds present
Pink-footed Goose – Holkham, Lady Anne’s Drive
Pink-footed Geese – Holkham – one of Norfolks winter spectacles
Dec 292021
Local Round-Up

Two Caspian Gulls were at Attenborough NR, Nottinghamshire, during late November. Giving excellent views from one of the hides overlooking Clifton Pit, as they fed on Spiny-cheek Crayfish. A superb Jay gave me a great photo opportunity, a difficult bird to photograph. On the 20th November I discovered the 2nd record of Great White Egret for Staunton Harold Reservoir. Still present on 22nd November. On 21st November I visited Swithland Reservoir in Leicestershire. Two 1st winter Scaup had been present for several days, giving some reasonable photo opportunities.

Dec 062021
Lost the Will to Migrate?

On 1st November I decided to pay another visit to the RSPB reserve at Blacktoft Sands, in Yorkshire. The White-tailed Plover was still being faithful to the site and seemed to have lost its will to migrate.  On the 1st November it performed very well in front of the Xerox Hide, allowing me to obtain some of the best photographs I’ve been able to take of this vagrant wader from eastern Europe. I had only seen one previous White-tailed Plover in Britain, a bird that was found at Caerleverock, Dumfries & Galloway in 2007. As I write this post, it […]

Nov 182021
Hoopoe visits IBM

A Hoopoe recently took up residence on the grass lawns in front of the main IBM Offices in Warwick city. An extremely unusual location, but it stayed very faithful to the area for around 9 days. I managed to see it on the 30th October 2021 and it was very settled and confiding, until a large crowd had assembled when it moved more distantly and closer to the end of the grassy area. It was feeding on Cockchafer grubs and regularly raised its crest when it appeared to be alarmed or excited. A species from southern Europe and the Mediterranean […]

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