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Sunday, 31 January 2016

A Linc to winter Grebes

I made a trip over the Humber Bridge into North Lincs and Cleethorpes CP where a showy Red Necked Grebe has taken up residence on the lake there, as a bonus two Slavonian Grebes had also dropped in last Friday, all three still present and showing well although the light was dire on a miserable drizzly morning, I checked out nearby Humberston Fitties next but apart from a couple of Little Egrets and a load of Dark Bellied Brents on the Saltmarsh it was fairly quiet. I headed back towards Far Ings calling in at Bonby Carrs on the way, the next village down from Worlaby I had heard a couple of Short Eared Owls were wintering there, it didn’t look good at first the rain had become more persistent and I wasn’t even sure I was looking over the right area however I decided to give it half an hour and have a bit of lunch by which time I had been joined by some Birding mates from West Yorks and with more eyes and the rain faring up we first found a Peregrine sat in a tree, a Buzzard went over and was later seen sat on a grassy bank and finally a distant Owl was picked up hunting over an area  looking back towards Worlaby, while watching this bird a second Owl got up then as luck would have it one of them flew over to our side and landed on a post, camera in the car I drove up the road and managed to get some pics, a bit further along the lane a load of Finches and Thrushes dropping into a field included several Corn Buntings. I ended the day at Far Ings where I saw my third Slavonian Grebe for the day but otherwise it was a bit quiet, a nice little Starling murmuratiom towards dusk attracted the attention of a few Raptors and as always several Cetti’s Warblers sang from the reeds.
a nice showy Red Necked at one end of the lake

and a couple of Slavs down the other end, feeding amongst the reeds at first to escape the attentions of Gulls

they eventually came out into the open

and showed very well

two for the price of one, keeping an eye on a passing Coot

Little Grebe at Humberston Fitties

bit of luck with this one

wasn't ready when it left its post then it was always flying away

Far Ings Slav

bit awkward photographing through a hedge

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Red Rooster

Nipped up to the Red Kite roost at Nunburnholme after work this afternoon, a bit more breezy than I was expecting but there were still a good number of Kites putting on a show although none particularly posed very well for the camera, also several Buzzards and a Peregrine that buzzed a couple of the Kites as it passed through.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Notts the best of starts but ended with Norfolk magic

Me and Mark had been thinking about going for the Hawfinch’s at Rufford CP this last weekend then as Paz and Pete decided to join us meaning we had a full car plus there being a few goodies in Norfolk we decided on an early start at Rufford then  carry on to Norfolk. As is so often the case though things don’t go quite to plan, we arrived at Rufford for first light but apart from a brief sighting early on by Paz and Pete it was to be mid-morning before we got decent views although we had at least six birds in the end, then the second part of the plan was put in doubt with negative news of the Serin at Downham Market and no news on the Pallid Harrier at Flitcham however with there being no particular alternative we decided to risk going anyway. As we reached Kings Lynn there had still been no news on the Harrier so we carried on to Wolferton and spent some time looking for Golden Pheasant, no sign though so we moved on to Choseley Drying Barns where a Rough Legged Buzzard had been reported this morning, no sign of that neither but the others had a male Hen Harrier then we got the news we’d been waiting for, the Pallid Harrier was showing, we high tailed it over to Flitcham but then had a bit of a wait, a couple of Egyptian Geese were on nearby Abbey Farm Pool, there was a nice mixed flock of Linnet and Twite in the scrubby field, Chaffinches and Bramblings in the hedge, a Chinese Water Deer made its way through the field then the shout went up, a ringtail Harrier was making its way across the back field, it never came close and although some were avidly claiming it as the Pallid it was eventually deemed to be imm Hen especially when a couple of mins later the Pallid whipped over the hedge behind us and flew across in front of us no more than 20 yards away, there was no way the first bird could have got back behind us so quick, a bit later it came back and gave us another close fly past, absolutely amazing, after all the disappointing dips I eventually get my second ever sighting of this species and boy what a view. Receiving news that the Rough Legged Buzzard had been relocated sat in a field feeding on a rabbit we made our way back to Choseley and although distant we had good scope views of it, we then carried on and ended the day at Titchwell collecting a few more year ticks and good birds such as Marsh Harriers, Little Egrets, Barn Owl, Water Pipit, Kingfisher, Cetti’s Warblers, Avocets, Black and Bar Tailed Godwits plus Spotted Redshank and a good few Geese heading off to roost.
when the Pallid Harrier first flew across I raised the camera and rattled off a series of shots but was horrified when I reviewed
the pics to find a totally dark screen, I obviously had not given the camera enough time to set the right exposure,
however I managed to salvage a few in photoshop

the second fly past, better exposure but further away

Black Tailed

and Bar Tailed Godwits at Titchwell

some handsome drake Pintail but it was quite dark by this time