Friday, 10 February 2017

Thailand Blog Address

Very Enid Blyton.


Friday February 10

At Natural Surroundings last Tuesday : our first Treecreeper of the year - on the feeding station tree support 2 metres away from the cafe window. There was also a Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Blue and Great Tits and a Sparrowhawk flew through - twice - there and back again 10 minutes later.


A trip to pick up prescriptions in North Walsham culminated in the Sheringham car park above the Funky Mackerel.. As soon as we stopped,  2 Purple Sandpipers flew from the groyne in front of the pub to the rocks below us. Jammy. We didn't want to walk on such a dull grey day with a biting easterly.

Flowers have appeared in two pots of the alpine Iris I planted in the Autumn. Probably because they were taken into the leanto greenhouse for shelter from the torrential rain we had earlier in the winter. Then, I forgot to take them out again.......
The main varieties whicjh I planted in a trough and left outside, look as though they'll flower whilst I'm away. Ah well !!
Iris Reticulata Katherine Hodgson

Iris Reticulata Blue Note

Friday, 3 February 2017

After Two Hours Sleep

Thursday February 2

Not at my most alert to-day.......a lot of cat napping between birds. We did manage a few year birds , namely Tree Sparrow at our usual spot, Tundra Bean Goose at Holkham, Greenshank at  both Thornham and Morston, Linnet at Morston, Mistle Thrush at Snrttiaham and Great Ringed Plover at Burnham Overy Staithe.

Still no Grey Wagtail at Sculthorpe Mill but,  a new site tick, a Red Kite idled its way around the mill and river. We then saw another near Harpley Dam Cottages and a third at Burnham Overy Staithe - another site record.
Our gamekeeper friend's garden feeders came up with Coal Tit and Nuthatch and a chat with him. He looks out for us passing and intercepts on the way back. He's a mine of information about the area but confuses by talking about the landowners rather than the area. I hadn't realised that the Sandringham estate extends as far as Harpley Cottages, viewable from his farm lane. Probably why it's so well kept. His constant companion dog went missing whilst we were there. I hope he found him.
Always a sense of anticipation when we reach the brow of the track overlooking the Wash at Snettisham RSPB. Waw, full of water. A little disappointing as there were no waders to be seen. I said '' might as well scope the sea in case there's anything amongst the hundreds of Shelduck''. The second bird I saw was a juvenile Glaucous Gull. Not even a year tick !! As I reached for my camera, it flew off west.........
Once the tide turns here, it gallops out, Teal and Wigeon enjoying the rapid roller-coaster ride along the creeks towards the sea. Fun. All the expected waders, Redshank, Dunlin and Oystercatcher in the majority, with a few Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and Curlew. 
Most spectacular was a murmuration of Golden Plover, several thousand, massed on the beach, rising into the air, morphing in clouds high above before dropping to their original place. Why? No raptors around.
This is only a small part of the flock.

 We met Sophie the NOA warden at the entrance track to Holme. She achieved a total of 110 species on her annual Christmas Eve bird count. A record. Well done.
This time, the Broadwater was almost devoid of birds, so different from our last visit. Sophie confirmed that the Ferruginous Duck had gone, its cold weather arrival and departure giving some credibility to its wild prevenance.
Lovely Burnham Overy Staithe added the Great Ringed Plover and the third Red Kite.
Very little traffic to-day. despite the sunshine. We were able to stop three times to view Holkham marsh from the main road. A Marsh harrier on the ground attracted my scope. It had green wings !  This impression turned out to be two very large green wing tags. I know that they tag the Sculthorpe Moor reserve birds, Is this one of them? 
 We did not see the reported Great White Egret nor the Spoonbill seen near Washington Hide. We did find (Pam's shout, as I was scanning the marsh) one Tundra Bean Goose with five Pinkfeet in a roadside field. 
Half an hour's watch at Stiffkey was disappointingly unproductive. One Marsh Harrier the only raptor seen. We did very well for raptors otherwise. A Tawny Owl at home before we left, Little Owl at both Abbey Farm and Felbrigg, 5 Common Buzzards, 5 Marsh Harriers, 6 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk.
It was virtually dark when we arrived at Morston.  A small flock of Linnets danced their way over the marsh, a hardly discernible Greenshank waded in the creek and, a Grey Plover came up trumps for supper.
Just to show that I will photograph and show everything going.

Over 80 species seen - from the car.
We'll try and fit in some more distant expeditions before leaving for Thailand on the 13th. Lynford Arboretum and Cockley Cley are on the list.