for tracking purposes only.
The birds of
Cheddar Reservoir & Somerset Levels 31st October 2016
We had a quick look at Chew Valley Lake from Herriott's Bridge. We saw a Fox, 2 Great White Egrets, Water Rail, Kingfisher & 4 Bewick's Swans but no Bittern. We continued on to Cheddar Reservoir where the Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs had been present for few days by the Water Tower.This is a regular vagrant from North America and there was another one present at Lychett Bay in Dorset. There was also a Female Goldeneye, 3 Great White Egrets & a Juvenile White-
Great White Egret
Slimbridge WWT 29th October 2016
We had a really early start to our visit to Slimbridge, because there was special access at 7:30. The 6 Cattle Egrets had been roosting on site for past few days. They only seem to gather at South Lake during early mornings, after they leave their roost site. The birds remained on South Lake until 8:40 when they flew off to spend the rest of day feeding amongst the cattle opposite Slimbridge School. Also present on the South Lake was a pair of Common Snipe and also a Kingfisher flew past. Outside the South Lake Hide was one of the Lego Sculptures, this was Natalie the Nene wearing a Halloween hat. We went to look for some more. In the grounds was Suki the Spoon-
Norfolk Week 15th -
Lakenheath RSPB 15.10.16
We started at RSPB Lakenheath to see if the Bittern was still showing from the visitor centre but sadly no sign. We were walking up to first viewing screen when it started to rain. From the viewpoint we saw a Migrant Hawker & a few Common Darters along with 2 Kingfishers flying away. We then walked along the embankment that over looks the wetlands and saw a few Little Egrets, but no Great White. However there were a quite few reported near Bristol!
Afterwards we made our way back to car park and on to Snettisham to look for Pink-
Titchwell RSPB & Warham Greens 16.10.16
The second day of our Norfolk holiday started very wet, damp & miserable with heavy rain forecasted most of the morning. We had a quick look at Choseley Barns to see if the Dotterels were still present from yesterday but no sign. We saw some distant Red-
Easington & Kilnsea 17.10.16
Our third day of the holiday was heading to East Yorkshire for some very special birds. We started in the village of Easington for the Siberian Accentor which had been showing well for a couple of days by the old school on Vicar’s Lane. Just as soon we got there, it flew off into a fenced off area. We had to wait for about 20 minutes for the Accentor to show itself properly. Eventually it was seen foraging out in the open, despite the fact we were looking through a fence. Time to move on because nearby just about 30 minutes away was another special bird that had been found the day before. An Isabelline Wheatear was seen in a ploughed field and gave excellent views. Unlike the Siberian Accentor which had only just been recorded for the first time in Britain from Shetland, Isabelline Wheatears are rare, but annual vagrants & winters in Africa. For our final of call we travelled to Kilnsea. Sandy Beaches car park was where the Shore Larks had been seen. We saw a Black Redstart but no Shorelarks. Just as we were about have a cup of coffee in the car park, Mum spotted a pair of Shore Larks feeding on the edge of the long grass.
Just they were getting quite close to the car park and us, some idiot decided to walk through and flushed them! Grr! some people! We relocated the Shore Larks some distant away further up the coast. Me & Dad walked around to the other side of the caravan park where we saw both birds foraging on the mud. These are scarce winter visitors from Scandinavia, and are also seen around the North Norfolk Coast. The bright yellow face with the black moustachel stripes is sometimes noticeable from a distant. However when they are standing still against backdrop of pebbles, they are extremely difficult to see. Suddenly both birds flew off towards the car park again and then showed until sunset. We made our way back down to Norfolk. A very good day with 3 new birds for me and 2 for Mum & Dad.
Filtcham & Sculthorpe Moor 18.10.16
For day four, we headed to Filtcham to see what was there. We didn’t see as much as last time, but it was nice to see a Stoat and Grey Partridges. Sadly they were too distant for photos and the Stoat was very briefly seen. We continued along to the Hawk & Owl Reserve at Sculthorpe Moor. The feeders opposite the viewing screen were empty of wildlife. From the Woodland Hide were 3 Female Common Pheasants & few Chaffinches. From the Fen Hide we saw a Bank Vole foraging on the floor below the feeders. A Male Common Pheasant came along and hopped onto the bird table. There was BlueTit, Great Tit & Chaffinches as well. In the tree tops near the Tower Hide were some Siskins & Goldfinches. There were a lot of Goldfinches using one of the feeders. Feeding on the bird table were Long-
Sheringham & Stubb Mill 20.10.16
We were our way to Sheringham when we saw the steam train running on the North Norfolk Railway. The train was being hauled by a saddle tank loco called Ring Haw. We managed to see the arrival at Sheringham Station, it was just a few minutes of waiting, while a diesel shunter moves off with the coaches. Afterwards Ring Haw ran around the train, ready to form the next departure to Holt. We had a quick look on the seafront, we saw only Cormorants. We made our way over to Hickling Broad & Stubb Mill Raptor viewpoint. In the fields were newly arrived White-
The fifth day was a real washout with heavy rain forecasted much of the day, so we headed to Cley. We spent most of the time in just three of the hides, excluding Bishops & Babcock Hide. There was not much on offer with the birds but here’s list of birds that were present. Common Gull, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Marsh Harrier & Wigeon. We went along the East Bank to look at the new viewing screen that overlooks Arnold’s Marsh. There wasn’t about during our visit, but birds have been recorded using this part of the reserve. Afterwards we had a look at Salthouse but was very quiet. We made our slowly back to Bircham.
Chinese Water Deer
Snettisham RSPB & Holme Dunes NWT 21.10.16
We went to Snettisham RSPB early so we could see the Wader roost. We had to wait for tide get higher, so it could push the birds off the mudflats and onto the sandpits in front of the hides. We saw lots of swirling spectacles of Knot moving around, but unfortunately the tide was not high enough to push them off the mud, and as a result the birds stayed put. We did see a Marsh Harrier being chased by a Peregrine Falcon, Grey Plovers, Brent Geese, Little Egrets & Dunlin. The highlight of the morning was a Barn Owl hunting along the bank, it perched on the fence briefly. Afterwards it flew towards the bank, where it landed for a couple seconds. Then finally disappearing over the bank. Prior to seeing that were a flock of Grey Partridges foraging on the tide line. Unusual sighting! There were a few Waders foraging on the beach later in the morning. Including Dunlin, Sanderlings, Knot, Turnstone & Bar-
Peregrine and Marsh Harrier
Waders on the Wash
Minsmere RSPB 22.10.16
On our final day of the holiday we went to Minsmere RSPB. We started at North Hide where we saw some Koniks. Along the North Wall were some Lapwings, Fieldfares, Snipe & Red Deer. We popped into East Hide and saw only 1 Avocet, Dunlin, lots of Shoveler & Teal. At West Hide was a Grey Plover foraging along the edge of the island. There was also a Greenshank as well. On the way down to the Bittern Hide, we saw a Male Muntjac in the woods. From the Bittern Hide the heads of 2 Female Red Deer were just visable above the top of the reeds. A Female Marsh Harrier flew past the hide, we saw a few more from Island Mere. A couple of Bearded Tits were showing in front of hide, but it was very windy and the views were too brief for a photo. At the end of the day we walked along to Westleton Heath to see some Red Deer. Unfortunately, they ran further back on the heath, because some people were standing on the horizon and stuck out like a sore thumb! We didn't see any Shrikes but it was a big area and they could be anywhere. It was not a bad week. It could've been better weather though.