Tuesday 31 October 2017

20171031 Cattle Egret Stiffkey Flood

Western Cattle Egret
Parked up to check white dots about the cattle and found a second Cattle Egret.
If they haven't bred in Norfolk in 2017 surely they'll be added to the breeding birds list in 2018... 
Western Cattle Egret
20171116 Western Cattle Egret

Monday 30 October 2017

20171030 bleached Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Kelling Water Meadows

It that a pale or grey belly?
Note brownish-grey feathers on back within the mid-grey.
SJMG commented, rather bleached Dark-bellied, Pale-bellied look much cleaner.
AMS commented, the dark belly extends back between legs enough to eliminate Pale- bellied....the wash on the fore-flanks and belly is clearly grey, any wash here should always be slightly brownish on Pale-bellied.
In addition note the pale barring on the upper flanks does not extend down onto the belly or forward enough onto the breast to meat the black neck area.

Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Pale bird flew in with these 2. Note odd upper belly patch on left bird.
20171210 Pale-bellied Brent 
In with flock of 400 Dark-bellied near Gravelpit Hill.
Extensive white in flanks on this bird.

Thursday 26 October 2017

20171026 Spotted Redshank Kelling Water Meadow

Spotted Redshank
Confiding 1st winter bird.
Kelling WM is holding onto waders well. 3 Little Stint, 2 Jack Snipe and a Curlew Sandpiper today. 

Spotted Redshank
Little Egret
Demonstrating its skills in the shallows here.
Spotted Redshank
Bird still showing well against good light on the 30th.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

20171003 Photography Workshop RSPB Titchwell. Tawny Owl & Pectoral Sandpiper

Leaflet for Photo course at Titchwell this autumn.
A great time was had by all on the first day.
Pectoral Sandpiper and Ruff shot at Titchwell.
Birdwatch Scarcities review July 2017.

The  scarce but the commonest  American vagrant  to the British Isles a  Pectoral Sandpiper turned up at Cley on the 9th September and showed well from the East Bank on the Serpentine. Cley attracts this species consistently in spring and autumn as it is a very long distance migrant that has a keenness to go off course. It is actually the longest distance migrant of any North American shorebird wintering in deepest South America,  Australia and even  New Zealand and having breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic. The bird at Cley was a juvenile of the year and therefore has an excuse for being over this side of the Atlantic and way off course.  Unusually a Pectoral Sandpiper at Titchwell Freshmarsh recently at the end of July was an adult in breeding plumage. This bird was probably a female as it was dull and rather small and the timing suggesting  an early  failed breeder. One theory has it that adult individuals arriving earlier on the east coast may be birds that arrived the previous year and are undertaking the pattern of north south migration, but on this side of the Atlantic and wintering in Africa. Another possibility to consider is that the early birds arriving on the east coast are from the Siberian population and have therefore come in from the east.
Both Pecs associated with the bulkier Ruff providing a good comparison of the two similar wader species. Males of both species are larger than females by up to 30% and can be twice the weight.
Wader return migration is now well under way down on the Marshes with commoner vagrants much in evidence,  the vanguard of much rarer things to come....
Tawny Owl
Day roost beside the Fen Trail just above head height.