Dec 312015

My last day of twitching rare birds for 2015 was spent in North Norfolk, on 29th December, when Glyn and I went to see the juvenile Pallid Harrier that has been frequenting fields around Abbey Farm at Flitcham. The bird showed well but distantly in the early morning sunshine. It disappeared several times across distant fields but eventually returned to it’s favoured areas around the farm. We also saw a single Barn Owl and a few Brambling nearby and several Grey Partridge. After a couple of hours at this site, we decide to head off to Thornham for Shore Lark. After a 45 minute walk out to Holme Dunes, we eventually located the three birds that had been regularly seen for the past few weeks. They were very confiding and were quite obliging and allowed reasonably close approach, that is until a dog walker flushed them, but they soon returned to their favoured feeding area.

We then spent sometime around the lanes at Choseley and eventually managed to see one juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard and several Common Buzzard. Plenty of Grey Partridges about to-day, more than I have seen for many a year. Our final stop was at Roydon Common near Kings Lynn. An area of bog and heathland and very good for roosting raptors. We saw at least three Hen Harrier, including at least one grey male, a Marsh Harrier and a Barn Owl. My 2015 Year List has finished on 243. Not a bad year with four British Lifers – Hudsonian Godwit; Hudsonian Whimbrel; Northern Harrier (added to British List 23rd December 2015) and Wilson’s Warbler.

Pallid Harrier 1_J4X4888 Pallid Harrier_J4X4886  Pallid Harrier_J4X4888 Pallid harrier_J4X4894 Pallid Harrier_J4X4895

Pallid Harrier – Juvenile – Flitcham, Norfolk – 29th December 2015 – Tony Davison© – above 5 images – record shots heavily cropped.

Shore Lark_J4X5210 Shore Lark_J4X5204 Shore Lark_J4X5193 Shore Lark_J4X5103 Shore Lark_J4X5150 Shore Lark _J4X5157 Shore lark_J4X4934 Shore Lark_J4X4949

Shore Lark – Thornham – Holme Dunes, Norfolk – Three birds, probably a family party – Tony Davison©

Dec 262015
A New Hide, a Dash of Blue

This morning, 26th December 2015, I decide to go and check out the brand new hide at Willington GP, a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Reserve. The hide was only completed last Tuesday and, as hides go, I must say it is an excellent addition to the reserve and for the local birders. I can imagine many an hour will be spent inside, over the months and years ahead. Not much about on the lagoons this morning, but a Kingfisher put in an appearance, albeit a little distant from the hide. I managed a few record shots. I’m sure better opportunities will […]

Dec 252015
Local "Shorties"

At last, the arrival of some local Derbyshire Short-eared Owls. It’s really great to have a few of these superb owls local to me. This autumn and winter period has seen an exceptional arrival of birds, spread right across the country, but many have been found dead due to starvation. I guess due to the lack of large numbers of rodents required to sustain them and the diabolically wet weather we have had over recent months. The last time I had encounters with Shorties was back in November, up on the Wirral. Any how there were two Short-eared Owls performing […]

Dec 202015
A Taste of the Med in the West Midlands

A wintering Hoopoe has spent the last week or so in a small quarry area, on landscaped reclaimed land, at Wall Heath, Kingswinford near Dudley in Staffordshire. During mild winter weather there is often a wintering Hoopoe somewhere in Britain, so it was rather good to have one 50 odd miles from home. The bird showed well on and off before it flew into cover just prior to a rain shower setting in. They become rather a dull pinky-brown in winter plumage. It was finding sufficient food in the mild conditions for the time of year. A nice year tick […]

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