Welcome to my new blog for 2012, i hope you enjoy sharing my travels.
After last weeks aborted trip to see the showy Red-footed Falcon at Lakenheath (a certain Thrush getting in the way) we finally made it, the bird was fairly inactive in the morning and the just found Savi's Warbler was elusive. A decision was made to head for the Norfolk coast and call back in the evening.
Not a huge amount on the Norfolk coast, a Wood Sandpiper at Cley showed well but the Temmincks Stint at Titchwell has gone missing by the time we arrived.
Back at Lakenheath, the Falcon was showing superbly well in glorious evening light allowing many images to be made (most of them had half a bird in unfortunately!). A few decent images were made.
The Savi's was singing on and off and even gave reasonable scope views now and then, the first i have seen since the Lea Valley bird a few years ago.
Only downer of the day was the lack of Golden Oriole's, two birds are believed to be back but they stayed silent for us during our visit
A belated dash to Kent (i really must check the pager late at night from now on!!!), saw us in a crowd of a few hundred birders mid morning staring at a stunning female Dusky Thrush. Now that was unexpected when i went to bed on Friday night.
A very distant Montagu's Harrier showed at Reculver Towers but the Red-backed Shrike was not located whilst we were there.
Cattle Egret was our final bird of the day, a distant white dot was all the reward for a 3 mile round trip, it was hardly worth the effort.
A really rubbish week at work, with redundancy looming, good friends came to visit for the weekend.
A cracking day out on Saturday starting at Landguard where the paparazzi were kept amused by a very showy Subalpine Warbler, whatever the taxon this was a special bird, literally flying between tripod legs, a few of the "short lens" boys got a bit close but the bird was not really bothered!
The Rose-coloured Starling at Orford showed well but after the Warbler was pretty dull, is there another species that looks so good as an adult and so boring in other plumages?
An afternoon at Minsmere followed but not much was seen.
Sunday saw us at Little Paxton where the usual Nightingale show was in full flow, this reserve never disappoints.
Due to the appaling weather, my game of golf was quickly abandoned and i decided on a quick clear up of the best of the wintering Bedfordshire birds, starting at Sandy, a flock of Siskin and Common Redpoll were seen, although the Mealy never showed itself to me. On to Priory Park where i had photographed Ferruginous Duck a few weeks before, this time year ticking the Black-necked Grebe. Finally on to Broborough Lake where the small group of Scaup were still present in among the Tufted Duck flock as well as the wintering Slavonian Grebe which showed very distantly from the gull watchpoint on the west bank.
A visit to Eastbourne resulted in excellent views of the Bonapartes Gull, showing down to a few feet at times on the small lake in Princes Park, this kick started what has been a slow start to the year for me with very few birds of note caught by the camera.
We dragged ourselves off to make what i thought was a quick hop to Stodmarsh in Kent (well it is only the next county along!), after 2 hours of Saturday traffic we arrived at Stodmarsh to be greeted with good views of this delightful bird, one of my favourite species that never ceases to excite me. Although never giving itself up completely a good selection of images were obtained, my favourite appears below, to me an image that captures the species perfectly.