Dec 102018
 

A first winter Red-rumped Swallow was found hawking over the East Bank at Cley Marshes in Norfolk, on 6th December. An extremely late date for this species, but occasionally young birds do make late appearances.

We watched the bird from around 08:50 till around 09:15 when a clear and sunny weather front moved in and soon after the bird disappeared. What was presumably the same bird, was later seen at Gorleston-on-Sea, near Lowestoft early afternoon.

A walk along the East Bank produced Marsh Harrier and lots of Wigeon, but little else. We finished the day off at Titchwell, with lots of Brent Geese and Teal putting on a great show. A few Avocets and the usual ducks and waders.

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW – Cley, Norfolk 
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW – Cley, Norfolk
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW – Cley, Norfolk

BRENT GOOSE – dark-bellied form – photo by Tony Davison
BRENT GOOSE – dark-bellied form – photo by Tony Davison

TEAL – drake – photo by Tony Davison
TEAL – drake – photo by Tony Davison
GREY PLOVER in winter plumage – photo by Tony Davison
GREY PLOVER in winter plumage – photo by Tony Davison
GREY PLOVER in winter plumage – photo by Tony Davison
GREY SEAL –  photo by Tony Davison
 Posted by at 7:44 pm
Dec 032018
 

I’ve recently spent a few mornings with the cameras at one of my local patches. You don’t always have to travel vast distances to take your photographs. When wildlife is on your doorstep, take advantage of it. Light plays a major part at this particular site and one needs to get in the right position to take advantage of it. 

Black-headed Gull– adults in winter plumage – Tony Davison©

Coot – Above 3 images – Tony Davison©

Shoveler – female – Tony Davison©

Great Crested Grebe – adult in winter plumage – Tony Davison©

Mallard – above 3 images – Tony Davison©

Mute Swan – adult – Looking after 6 juveniles from the recent breeding season  – Tony Davison©

Mute Swan – above 2 images – 2 of the 5 juveniles – Tony Davison©

Tufted Duck – above 7 images – This inquisitive and very obliging drake kept checking me out and allowed for some close up pictures – Tony Davison©

 

 Posted by at 5:04 pm
Nov 102018
 

A 1st winter male Pied Wheatear was found along the sea wall at Meols, on the Wirral on 4th November but news didn’t get out until 6th. The bird was very obliging giving stunning views and seemingly oblivious to close human presence. I managed to get to see the bird on the 9th November, which turned out to be a good move, as the bird was not seen on the 10th.

Pied Wheatear is a rare vagrant visitor to the British Isles from Far Eastern Europe and beyond. It can be tricky to identify as Black-eared Wheatear, especially the eastern race, can be a confusion species. The tail pattern is the clincher, along with the more scaly patterning on the back and crown and the greyer and colder colouration. Pied Wheatear also have a small head in comparison to the overall structure of the bird and a very “Pot-Belly” appearance, giving it a distinctive “Jizz”.

A superb little bird performing exceptionally well and wasn’t at all bothered by our presence or by local people passing by. 

In duller light the colours became much colder and greyer. In brighter light the orange-buff tones became more prominent. – Tony Davison©

The above 3 images show the distinctive tail pattern of Pied Wheatear.

Pied Wheatear – 1st winter male – above 25 images – Tony Davison©

 

 Posted by at 5:02 pm
Nov 052018
 

Sunday 4th November and another day spent in North Norfolk. A second winter drake King Eider, although showing distantly, was favouring the sea off the lifeboat station at Sheringham and the probable Stejneger’s Stonechat was still being faithful to it’s favoured field at Salthouse. Both birds giving good scope views, but not so good for the camera.

So an opportunity to see a King Eider, a rare species this far south of the Arctic Zone and Richard was able to see the Stejneger’s Stonechat. With a small flock of Waxwings, showing off their “Pink Punk” hair-does in Kelling, it was a very successful day.

Waxwing – first winter birds – Above 4 images – Tony Davison© – always good to see the first arrivals, it maybe a good winter for this species.

Probable Stejneger’s Stonechat – Salthouse, Norfolk – This first winter male, discovered on the 19th October, was still at Salthouse, Norfolk now in it’s third week. A few more of the subtle ID features can be seen here. The all black tail, except for the creamy edges to the side and fringes and the black underwing, which helps to exclude any European “morph” of Stonechat.

Robin – This young bird showed off quite well whilst watching the more distant rarity at Salthouse. Pity the Stejneger’s Stonechat wasn’t so obliging.. Tony Davison©

 

 

 

 Posted by at 12:55 pm
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