Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Sedgeford, Wells, Holkham, Thornham and Burnham Norton

Sedgeford first thing this morning produced fine views of the male EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL on the dung heap by the road. 60 Fieldfares, a Redwing, a Red Kite, a Marsh Harrier and a Yellowhammer were also logged.

male Eastern Yellow Wagtail at Sedgeford

Wells was the next stop, where the faithful juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard was successfully twitched, with two Golden Plovers in a nearby field and skeins of Pink-footed and Dark-bellied Brent Geese flying in (what was presumably the known Black Brant hybrid was clocked among the latter).

Rough-legged Buzzard at Wells

Holkham was rewarding, with nice views of four Shorelarks and 42 Snow Buntings in the roped-off area, while the sea produced four Long-tailed Ducks, several Velvet Scoters among vast rafts of Common Scoters, plus small numbers of Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated Diver and Great Crested Grebe. Other birds included a field full of 75 Snipe, six Ruff, 12 Grey Partridges, 100 or so Golden Plovers, a White-fronted Goose with Pink-footed Geese, Dark-bellied Brent Geese and two Egyptian Geese and a Fieldfare.

Snow Buntings at Holkham

Shorelark at Holkham

Common Scoters off Holkham

Long-tailed Ducks off Holkham

Velvet Scoters in with Common Scoters off Holkham

Grey Partridges at Holkham

Ruff at Holkham

Snipe at Holkham

Thornham harbour offered the relic winter flock of 10 Twite, along with a Rock Pipit, a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and trip ticks such as Mediterranean Gull, Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover.

Twite at Thornham harbour

Curlew at Thornham harbour

Today's dusk vigil was at Burnham Norton, where we had a Short-eared Owl, a Great White Egret, a Barn Owl, good numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Geese and Pink-footed Geese, three Cetti's Warblers, a Bearded Tit and four Egyptian Geese.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Lynford Arboretum, Billockby and Hickling Broad

A couple of nights away in Norfolk with Ian and Phil started with a short visit to Lynford Arboretum, enjoying nice views of two Hawfinches, four Bramblings, around 30 Siskins, a Yellowhammer, two roosting Tawny Owls and a few Marsh Tits among an array of common birds.

female Brambling at Lynford Arboretum

male Chaffinch at Lynford Arboretum

male Hawfinch at Lynford Arboretum

Long-tailed Tit at Lynford Arboretum

After a drive-by sighting of three Cranes in the famous field between Acle and Billockby, we finished the day at the Stubb Mill viewpoint at Hickling Broad. Along the approach was a flock of eight adult Bewick's Swans. We were greeted at the viewpoint by a vocal Siberian Chiffchaff in the adjacent ditch, before enjoying two Cranes, two Barn Owls, a Woodcock, eight Marsh Harriers and the sound of a Tawny Owl as darkness fell.

Bewick's Swans at Hickling Broad

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Brooklands Park and Raystead Animal Welfare Centre

A short morning visit to Brooklands featured the drake POCHARD still, seven Teal, a Cetti's Warbler, a Little Egret, a Grey Heron, a Little Grebe, a Sparrowhawk and my first drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker of the season.

Grey Heron at Brooklands Park

Little Egret at Brooklands Park

Later, Ingrid and I had a look at the animals up for adoption at Raystead Animal Welfare Centre. A Fieldfare and a Nuthatch were the best wild birds seen...

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Adur Estuary and Finsbury Park

In a really enjoyable couple of hours along the lower Adur in fine weather this morning, I caught up with the wintering Whimbrel and Greenshank, as well as two Curlew, a Kingfisher, a Rock Pipit, 15+ Reed Buntings, 13 Ringed Plovers, three Grey Plovers, 11 Oystercatchers, 12 Redshanks, 80+ Lapwings, five Teal, two Stonechats, four Meadow Pipits, 20 Linnets and four Skylarks.

Greenshank at Adur Estuary

Reed Buntings at Adur Estuary

Rock Pipit at Adur Estuary

Rock Pipit and Reed Buntings at Adur Estuary

A trip to London included lunch at Finsbury Park, where birds included four Mistle Thrushes, two Nuthatches, a Redwing, three Pochards, two Egyptian Geese and 42 Tufted Ducks.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Goring Gap

Another terribly quiet, and therefore brief, morning visit produced just eight Red-breasted Mergansers and a Red-throated Diver of note. Dunlin, Turnstones, Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers flew along the beach but the tide didn't suit counting waders.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020


I took advantage of the wretched conditions in the morning to stay in and get things done then headed out to the Adur near Coombes in the afternoon. I was hoping for the Goosander, yet again, but no sign. The tide was high and a Common Sandpiper and eight Redshanks were roosting on the banks. A Peregrine, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and three Buzzards represented the raptors. A Little Grebe was on the river.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Goring Gap and West Worthing

Goring Gap was dead this morning. Four Red-breasted Mergansers and a Grey Heron were the highlights. Sanderling, Turnstone and Dunlin were along the beach but not counted.

Later in the day, a Peregrine hung in the storm over West Worthing.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Cissbury Ring

A morning ringing session with Val and Pete was quiet for catching but did include a retrap Firecrest and a couple of Bullfinches. At least two Woodcocks were busy flying around in the pre-dawn gloom, while two Tawny Owls were having a hoot-off. Other observations included three Red Kites, a Raven, two Buzzards, a Redwing and a Meadow Pipit.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Steep Down and West Worthing

Steep Down this morning featured three Chiffchaffs, three Ravens, 26 Corn Buntings (some singing, and a flock of 21), 16 Skylarks, two Stonechats, 19 Pied Wagtails, 300 Common Gulls, a Buzzard, four Reed Buntings, 22 Linnets and five Meadow Pipits.

Ravens at Steep Down

Corn Buntings at Steep Down

Dunnock at Steep Down

Later, a Redwing was in a tree near my house in West Worthing.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Cissbury Ring

Just in case the shrike was still around, I had a mooch around Cissbury for a couple of hours this morning. No sign of course, and it was rather quiet, but two Mistle Thrushes included one singing and other birds included two Stonechats, a Redwing, a Nuthatch, four Meadow Pipits and nine Song Thrushes (six singing).