Tuesday 20 December 2016

20161219 Ferruginous Duck RSPB Titchwell

Ferruginous Duck
Patsy's Reedbed Pool with Tufted Duck.
Note species has its own appendix 1a in Norfolk Report...

Ferruginous Duck
Darker feathering in belly indicate immature male.

Ferruginous Duck.
Clean white vent patch. Flanks paler and yellow to rear.

Ferruginous Duck
Minimal black nail area cf male Tufted
Ferruginous Duck
Male breeding plumage.
Blakeney wildfowl collection.

Ferruginous Duck
Female breeding plumage.
Blakeney wildfowl collection.

Norfolk Records Committee Description Submission Form


Species: Ferruginous Duck

Date/time first seen: 19/12/2016 1300hrs

Date/time last seen: 21/12/2016

No. of Birds: 1

Age/Sex: male

Location: RSPB Titchwell Patsy's Reedbed Pool


Finder: Tom Whiley

Email: tom.whiley@live.com

Identifier (if different):


Submitter (if different):


Other observers: Paul Eele, A Stoddart, S Gantlett.

Any who disagrees with identification? Nope...


Optical aids: 10x32 Bins, 840mm F5.6  E-M1 Olympus camera system

Distance from bird: 100-200m


Have you attached photographs? Yes

Was the bird videoed? No

If photos are available on websites then please give address: tomwhileybirdart.blogspot.co.uk,

Cleybirds.com, Birdguides.com

Have the photographs been published in magazines? If so, where: Birdwatch


Species present for comparison: Tufted Duck, Gadwall

Which species were alongside the bird: Tufted Duck, Gadwall

Observer(s) experience of the species: Many in BIsles from 1980

Observer(s) experience of similar species on the same day or previously:


Weather : Overcast dull

Wind direction and Force: SW light

Light conditions (good, dull, etc & sun behind, side etc): dull and grey

Visibility (distance): very good but dull, murky at horizon.


Address of submitter:

2 Regents Close


Norfolk NR25 6SJ


Phone No: 07968 490444,    01263 713902


And finally, is the record 100% certain? Yes.... ref description for debate....

In your description please include the following:

1. Circumstances of finding the bird (if applicable) but keep it brief

2. Plumage, bare parts etc and call (if possible)

3. Jizz (that ‘indefinable something’ about the way it behaved)


See shots attached.

The bird was new in with 10 more Tufted duck and a hybird Scaup x Tufted on the 19th to Patsy's Reedbed pool.

Many shots taken as hybrid issues needed to be rulled out.

Paul Eele and myself studied the shots on the back of my camera and felt the bird did not show any hybrid features.

I was concerned that the flanks paled slightly to the rear but this is ok for male Ferrus Duck in litt.


The bird flew a short distance allowing the flight shot and revelling a white mottled brown belly patch isolated by ferrus brown plumage indicating an immature male.

During further consultation the black nail area on the bill was thought to be too large for a genuine Ferrus Duck by The Stodd, indicting previous hybrid issues being bred out...

Others and a local 'authority on ducks' commented this was within normal parameters for the species...??

The birds origin is obviously suspect as with all wildfowl on the North Norfolk Coast which is a sad situation all round. I see in the 2017 Report the species has its own Appendix 1a!??

The bird is still present at NOA Holme to the 16th January at least.

 Record accepted as genuine duck!

20161219 Hybrid GScaup x Tufted Duck
Patsy's Reedbed Pool.
Female with darker back than flanks and small face patch all as Tufted, 
but bill and head shape as Scaup.

Sunday 4 December 2016

20161204 Great Black-backed Gull JC499 NT Blakeney Point

GBB Gull
JC499 1st winter.

GBB Gull
CR-Code Black ring with white code: JC499 LBM;RBNW(JC499)
Ringing Centre Stavanger Museum (Norway) Ring number 3050199
Species Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus
Sex Unknown Age Pullus

25.06 2016
Kalvøysund, Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway
58°32'23"N 008°58'53"E
Lome, Carsten
04.12 2016
Blakeney Point, Norfolk, Great Britain
52°58'43"N 000°58'45"E
Whiley, Tom

Wednesday 23 November 2016

20161123 Starling Roost Cley Marshes

Flock moving over road to roost in Main Reedbed.
Pre move down into reeds.
An almost fully leucistic bird can be seen in this shot.

Friday 21 October 2016

20161021 Fin Whale Holkham Beach

Fin Whale
Balaenoptera physalusStranded on West end of Holkham Beach.
2nd largest animal after Blue Whale.

Fin Whale
Front baleen plates and lip white on right side only.
White underside of tail flukes.
This shot was published in the Norfolk Bird & Mammal report 2016.

Notch in centre of flukes.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

20161014 Ring Ouzel Devil's Dyke South Downs Sussex

Ring Ouzel.
Adult male of a flock of 6 that flew in high from the West.
Flock kept to bushes in valley bottom.

October sees a good passage of migrant Ring Ouzel through the North Norfolk coast. Peak counts are recorded this month as the British and Scandinavian birds migrate back to the Mediterranean basin.
Birds that are recorded on Blakeney Point in October occur in conditions conducive to  arrivals from Scandinavia on wind drifted passage, and are considered not to be from the British stock.  About 30 birds were recorded here in 1951 which is the highest count for the Point. We have found Salthouse Heath and Village to be a regular stop off site and it is easier to connect with the species here. At least 4 birds seemed to stay in the area for a few days in October 2014. Although the species is under recorded on Birdguides as it is a semi- regular migrant, there were 4 separate records from Salthouse Village this month.

Whilst on holiday on the 14th we connected with a flock of 6 flying in high from the West to Devils Dyke on the South Downs, an ideal staging post to feed up at before leaving the British Isles. The birds were seen to drop into the valley floor giving a soft rolling 'tjuurr' or 'prriitt' flight call to each other as they came overhead. Described as similar to Dunlin's flight call but less piping... Walking down into this amazing valley we found at least 8 birds in the hedgerow here. Berries are a vital food source at this time of year so Devil's Dyke with its abundance of berry bushes along the valley bottom is an ideal stop over site. Whilst feeding, the birds gave their more familiar stony 'tuck' call and also the soft rolling note when flying from bush to bush. Occasionally a bird would drop onto the grass which gave direct comparison with Blackbird. The Ring Ouzel is the same size as the Blackbird but has a noticeably sleeker body so making the Blackbirds look extremely stocky and chunky. The slightly longer neck and tail adding to this effect and also is 10% longer in the wing, as expected for a long distance migrant.

Ring Ouzels breed above 250m on moorland such as Dartmoor in Devon which holds at the most 20 pairs, a small population just hanging on. I had most success in locating a singing male or two at Bennett's Cross near The Warren House Inn as the birds nest in the gullies here left by mining.
There are concerns over the winter quarters around the Mediterranean but South European hunting is damaging migrant numbers as ever. The EU despite passing legislation many years ago is still unable to stop this activity surprisingly even in Italy and France. Sadly 77% of the total ringing recoveries of British birds are from Southern France and have been deliberately killed by hunters.

Ring Ouzel

Ring Ouzel
Devil's Dyke.

Wednesday 21 September 2016

20160919 Migrants Blakeney Point

Song Thrush
2 birds on The Hood, this one popped up after some encouragement.
Will the Rubythroat do the same?
Pied Flycatcher
1st winter bird in The Plantation.
Note tertial step.

Monday 29 August 2016

20160825 Glossy Ibis RSPB Strumpshaw Fen

Glossy Ibis
Adult winter from the Tower Hide.
Great to find The Eastern Bush Chat on reception having moved on to this worthier conservation body.

Glossy Ibis 20100911
9 of flock of 20 reportedly from Spain on River Otter Devon.
Was reminded of this amazing occurrence by the above bird.
Glossy Ibis 20100911
Ringed bird with flock of 20, River Otter Devon.

Sunday 21 August 2016

20160820 Baltic Gull Cley Marshes

20160820 Baltic Gull Larus fuscus fuscus
2nd summer bird.
Dark feathers in tail.
Good mirror on P10 only and full set of adult remiges...

20160820 Baltic Gull
Dark band on upper mandible bleeds down onto rear of gonys spot.

20160820 Baltic Gull

20160820 Baltic Gull
With 2 Intermediate LBB Larus fuscos intermedius

Yellow-legged Gull
Adult in active wing moult.

Saturday 25 June 2016

20160625 Caspian Tern Breydon Water

Caspian Tern
Bird flew in Eastwards down Breydon Water and landed in roost near Asda's car park.
Good to see John Gale here on twitching camping trip.