Thursday, 10 September 2015

Moths and Looking for a Bird

Thursday September 10.

Moth-ing at Cley brings several random visitors to the group. Two are becoming regular, joined by 4 occasionals this morning to bulk out the small core group present.
Tony brought in a Feathered Gothic which was new for us. We took a fresh Vestal (migrant having a good year) 

and one of the Cley traps included the much desired Great Brocade,  although it was a worn specimen. 

Greg has missed three good moths whilst away.
We tried hard to turn a strange Common Garden Carpet into a Galium carpet but the consensus was for the former. Pity.
The splendid Frosted Orange was in our trap yesterday morning, the one at Cley was less fresh.

Frosted Orange
 Now for the Red-backed Shrike and Redstart up a footpath behind the Dun Cow. The path was easily overlooked, narrow and overgrown between two houses. leading to a kissing gate where we'd been advised to turn left. There was a tractor in the field where we expected the shrike to be..... We were joined by Richard and two other birders, none of us could find the birds.
The hedgerows have a bountiful display of fruit this year. A heavily festooned Elder had jewel-like clusters gleaming deep purple in the sun.
Home via Roughton butchers and Sainsbury's to buy the necessary food for to-morrow night's supper with friends.


Moths and Birds - What Better?

Tuesday September 8

A much smaller group than usual to-day, two in Spain, two in Cornwall. one house-sitting in London and two looking after family. We drove to Natural Surroundings in rain and dry, the moth-ing session was all rather wet in heavy drizzle. Few enough of us to huddle on the balcony though. Enough moths for Richard and Andrew to ID and record. Of interest to us were and Yellow Belle, Pale Eggar and the Micros celypha rosaceana and epinotia tenerana.

Epinotia tenerana, Richard E's photo
 After the usual drink and chat in the cafe, we drove to Titchwell. Ages since we've walked here. It stayed dry for us to walk as far as the far seats on the freshmarsh. Nothing to hold us up as the north marsh pool was completely dry and studded with cows. We glimpsed two Red-crested Pochard as they flew in to the first pool on the right and immediately swam out of sight down a side creek. Cetti's called from a far clump and a Spoonbill flew in to join the two already asleep (of course) at the clubhouse end of the pool.
Hundreds of waders and eclipse ducks to sort through on the mud islands and pool shore. I counted over 60 Avocets then gave up counting the mass of Black-tailed Godwit, fewer Bar-tailed, many Ruff, three Redshank, a dozen Turnstone, 30+ Knot,  Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Shoveller. The flock of 30ish Dunlin were never still for long, scooting about the marsh, stopping long enough for me to start scoping and then taking startled flight again. Only one 'scare' was genuine. A Peregrine flew through - even the larger waders rose for that. Eventually I identified two Little Stints and three juvenile Great Ringed Plovers amongst the flock of Dunlin. 
We were both delighted to see an adult Yellow Wagtail on one of the islands, isolating itself from the Pied Wagtails which were dancing about.
Back to the car for a late lunch, before driving to Melton Constable to stock up with bird food. It rained for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Not the First -Yet Again

Tuesday September 1

Well, it is the 1st, but not a whole day birding one.
Tuesday morning always starts with a moth-ing session at Natural Surroundings. A full complement this morning, apart from Greg and Val who are in Spain. B and S are back from Scilly, their first visit at this time of year so the moths were mainly new with two Macro lifers for Steve. We had a lifer this morning too. Tony brought a fresh Vestal in and then one of the traps produced another.
We drove home via the coast road and Cley. Nothing along Beach Road nor in the Eye Field, the sea was empty too. 
Iron Road had a small flock of Sand Martins hawking the pools and reeds, a Kestrel hovered nearby and a Cormorant came in from the sea. Slow stuff.
Viewing from Salthouse duckpond was much more productive. More Sand Martins were joined by a few Swallows and a couple of House Martins. The large flock of slumbering Greylag held some Canada geese, 30+ headless Black-tailed Godwits, and a few Ruff. The latter largely moulting males.Scruffy part moult Shelduck, one Greenshank, two Redshank, a Curlew and a skulking Green Sandpiper were good to see. Driving Beach Road Salthouse added Egyptian geese bringing the total to over 40, very unexpected. 
Gunton lake was devoid of birds as were the woods. Stopping at the Sawmill, Pam spotted a large herd of Fallow Deer tn the field at the end of the road. Real segregation here. 
Males, many of them impressively horned, were grouped under a tree, the larger group of females gathered in a watchful circle nearby. These horns are spatulate at the top unlike Roe and Red deer.