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    Birds

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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Mon Aug 06 2018, 23:21

    Lots of young tits and finches around in various places, they seem to have bred well. Some young Stonechats that had me fooled, normally they are very conspicuous on top of especially gorse bushes but these were skulking about, only the call gave them away. Also a baby Bullfinch with its mother making a hell of a din but being almost completely invisible.

    I heard a Marsh Harrier very high up over the reedbeds, so high I couldn't see it at first. Then one of the youngsters (they also seem to have bred well) circled up to join it. I hoped they might do one of their spectacular dives back to the ground but they soared on so high that in the end I lost them against a cloud.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Tue Aug 21 2018, 22:41

    The Buzzards in a nearby wood obviously bred, there were what looked like three youngsters circling and play-fighting and making a hell of a din. I saw a Wheatear perched on the power lines, then it flew into a stubble field and vanished. Normally about this time we get Wheatears, Whinchats and Pied Flycatchers passing though, among others. Still lots of young finches and tits and warblers around but I'm missing out on the rarities.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by graham64 on Wed Aug 22 2018, 22:26

    Count yourself lucky seeing very few birds round even the woodpigeons have gone awol, my brother popped round today and even though they put food out for the birds he's saying the same and their garden is usually full of birds bit weird really


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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Aug 24 2018, 22:39

    With the grandchildren this morning and there was great excitement Smile

    A robin was spotted in their garden, they told me "they were sure it was the same one that came the other day when daddy was digging" …

    It was a joy to see their excitement. I am so pleased they have an interest in the world around them and not just computer games, videos etc.

    … mind you robins always remind me of Christmas, and as it's the 24th today, I realised we only have four months to go until Christmas Eve - what a thought!

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri Aug 24 2018, 23:21

    @graham64 wrote:Count yourself lucky seeing very few birds round even the woodpigeons have gone awol, my brother popped round today and even though they put food out for the birds he's saying the same and their garden is usually full of birds bit weird really

    I suspect partly they are in hiding while they moult. Round these parts a lot of them adjourn to the fields after the harvest and return to the gardens later.

    Having said which I walked up the beach from Dunwich and there was next to naff all around even on the shore pools. A couple more Wheatears and hardly any gulls - though they have largely moved inland while the ploughing and cultivating is going on.

    Overall it's been a strange year.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri Aug 24 2018, 23:26

    @Jan1 wrote:With the grandchildren this morning and there was great excitement Smile

    A robin was spotted in their garden, they told me "they were sure it was the same one that came the other day when daddy was digging" …

    It was a joy to see their excitement. I am so pleased they have an interest in the world around them and not just computer games, videos etc.

    … mind you robins always remind me of Christmas, and as it's the 24th today, I realised we only have four months to go until Christmas Eve - what a thought!

    All the best Jan

    Oh bless! Our Robins have more or less vaporised, presumably as they are moulting, though I've seen them in a few other places.

    Keep your eyes peeled for Jays, it's a bit early yet for them to be doing their high acorn-carrying flights but I saw an oak the other day whose branches were nearly breaking off under the load of acorns.

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Sat Sep 15 2018, 15:10

    Winter is on its way, it's felt like Autumn up here since August.
    Yesterday I was about to go out in the car with the better half and 35 Pinkfooted Geese came over calling,  they would be relatively new in to Scotland from Iceland and would be going south to Lancashire.

    There has been a few Crests, Chiffchaffs and a male Blackcap in garden today and a female Sparrow Hawk visited the bird feeder at breakfast.
    regards
    Derek
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Tue Sep 18 2018, 22:48

    I've missed out on a lot of stuff here, no Whinchats, Redstarts or Pied Flycatchers which I normally see passing through. There were hordes of Pied Flies up and down the coast at one stage, allegedly from Scandinavia. Still three young Buzzards in and around the wood down the road, and three young Kestrels hovering around the Hen Reedbeds, accompanied by a Hobby or possibly two. One Hobby flew into a tree and perched up for ages, fortunately someone spotted it and turned their scope on it or it would have been almost invisible, they can do that.

    We're getting the winter ducks in but no geese so far.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Wed Sep 26 2018, 23:00

    Kingfishers were badly hit by the Beast From The East so I was pleased to see one on the town river the other day. It was flying upstream then came to a willow that had grown right over the river, did a kind of skidding turn and came back really high up and whizzed over the road bridge. I've been back through the park and nature reserve several times since but didn't see it again.

    There was one at Hen Reedbeds, I blinked and failed to see it but I heard it, and some other people spotted it as it whizzed past. Like the Cetti's Warblers and Little Egrets which were also severely knocked back by the winter they seem to have bred well.

    Up on one of the commons I heard but didn't see a Dartford Warbler - at this time they exactly match the colours of the heather. I walked up the track and sat on a log and spotted a couple flitting around the heather and gorse then there was a big argument and a song battle, probably two families interracting. A couple of photographers went nearer to where they were with some success, I stayed back and got the wide view. These were not badly affected by the weather but also seem to have bred well.

    Not much else to report, some Chiffchaffs passing through on migration, and I was surrounded by a flock of tits, mainly Long Tailed Tits, moving down the hedge mostly behind me, probably about a dozen. Some almost landed on me and they are surprisingly loud from that close.

    A few years back I reckoned Sparrowhawks were the commonest raptor followed by Buzzards with Kestrels a very distant third. Someone from further west opined that there the Buzzards outnumbered the Spars, but the Kestrels have since made a comeback and I think are now up to no. 1 spot, Buzzards second and Sparrowhawks third, with not a few Hobbies Red Kites and Marsh Harriers, and of course the Peregrines which are regularly reported but I seem to keep missing. Good to know that despite the heavy duty agriculture there are still enough prey to keep these populations up.

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Thu Sep 27 2018, 22:24

    Little egret roosts in North Lancashire and south Cumbria in September no. 1031 birds
    One roost on south Solway has 50 birds.
    They are spreading fast.
    a successful species.
    D.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Sun Sep 30 2018, 21:34

    @Long birder wrote:Little egret roosts in North Lancashire and south Cumbria in September no. 1031 birds
    One roost on south Solway has 50 birds.
    They are spreading fast.
    a successful species.
    D.

    Glad you still have them, they became widespread here up until early this year then got seriously knocked back. Great Whites are much less common but didn't appear to be affected.

    I've also been told of Cattle Egrets on the south coast, which is where the Little Egrets originated before spreading north. We get them occasionally here, mainly in winter: likewise for Glossy Ibis. Spoonbills are now quite regular too, these go some way towards making up for all the other disappearances over the years.

    Do you get Firecrests? I saw my first one in Durham back in the seventies - well heard would be more accurate. My Rule Of Thumb is that if you can see it it's a Goldcrest, if you can't it's a Firecrest, you can tell from the different songs and calls.

    There was a breeding colony in a wood I knew in Sussex back in the eighties, and I heard them once or twice in late winter or early spring in our garden in Surrey.

    They are occasional here, cute if you can see them but not nearly as tame as the Goldcrests which I've had almost land on me like the Long Tailed Tits.

    News for Jan - I've seen the first few Jays doing acorn-carrying flights when they tend to go quite high and conspicuous.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Mon Oct 01 2018, 11:24

    Chris said "News for Jan - I've seen the first few Jays doing acorn-carrying flights when they tend to go quite high and conspicuous."

    Thanks, that's great - must keep a close eye out for ours Smile

    All the best Jan

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Sun Oct 07 2018, 14:25

    @Jan1 wrote:Chris said "News for Jan - I've seen the first few Jays doing acorn-carrying flights when they tend to go quite high and conspicuous."

    Thanks, that's great - must keep a close eye out for ours Smile

    All the best Jan
    The Acorn Jay planted the Oak Woods of Europe after the last Ice Age planed our landscapes.

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Sun Oct 07 2018, 14:30

    @chris c wrote:
    @Long birder wrote:Little egret roosts in North Lancashire and south Cumbria in September no. 1031 birds
    One roost on south Solway has 50 birds.
    They are spreading fast.
    a successful species.
    D.

    Glad you still have them, they became widespread here up until early this year then got seriously knocked back. Great Whites are much less common but didn't appear to be affected.

    I've also been told of Cattle Egrets on the south coast, which is where the Little Egrets originated before spreading north. We get them occasionally here, mainly in winter: likewise for Glossy Ibis. Spoonbills are now quite regular too, these go some way towards making up for all the other disappearances  over the years.

    Do you get Firecrests? I saw my first one in Durham back in the seventies - well heard would be more accurate. My Rule Of Thumb is that if you can see it it's a Goldcrest, if you can't it's a Firecrest, you can tell from the different songs and calls.

    There was a breeding colony in a wood I knew in Sussex back in the eighties, and I heard them once or twice in late winter or early spring in our garden in Surrey.

    They are occasional here, cute if you can see them but not nearly as tame as the Goldcrests which I've had almost land on me like the Long Tailed Tits.

    News for Jan - I've seen the first few Jays doing acorn-carrying flights when they tend to go quite high and conspicuous.


    Have only seen two Firecrests in Cumbria, Chris, one in early April thirty years ago when I was atlassing a tetrad in NY24 doing the BTO altlas work locally and one in my garden c.twenty years ago that stayed for a number of hours, so a birding friend saw it as well.  What little gems they are.
    The Barnacles came south from Svalbard/ Norway in their thousands last week.
    regards
    Derek


    Last edited by Long birder on Thu Oct 11 2018, 07:31; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Sun Oct 07 2018, 22:21

    Currently we are getting Brents flying down the coast, and a bunch of Yellow Browed Warblers have been reported up and down the coast (where this thread started).

    Not much to see over the fields today, except for a couple of Buzzards. Eventually I spotted a Fieldfare briefly among a flock of Rooks and Jackdaws. Usually by now they and the Redwings are starting to arrive, often you can hear the latter flying over at night.

    One of the Rooks was carrying off an acorn, and eventually I saw a Jay doing the same. Oh well it was nice out in the sunshine.

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Mon Oct 08 2018, 14:00

    The fieldfare and redwing came in over the weekend but I have yet to see them here.
    D.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Wed Oct 10 2018, 22:11

    No quantities here yet.

    I went down to one of the marshes, expecting it to be flooded by now and the cattle taken off, but someone suggested perhaps there wasn't enough water in the river. There were a few assorted ducks, mainly still in disguise, a bunch of Greylags (feral) and a couple of Curlews. There was a Snipe right out in the open, later joined by two more. They are so good at hiding that there could have been a load more among the vegetation. A solitary Linnet on the beach, a Snow Bunting was spotted already but not by me.

    I walked back along the river and over the fields, to find that the pond was also completely dry. I tried hard to make a tiny thing lurking in the hedge into a Yellow Browed Warbler but it was only a Goldcrest. No matter, it was cute anyway. Something else lurking in the bushes I am less certain of but I think it was probably a Cetti's Warbler. After being nearly wiped out in the winter (I only saw/heard one all year) they appear to have bred well and are recolonising. It was a bit fat and brown but not making any noise, not sure what else it could have been.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by graham64 on Thu Oct 11 2018, 23:16

    @chris c wrote:It was a bit fat and brown but not making any noise, not sure what else it could have been.

    I was going to offer my opinion on what it was but I don't think I'd better go there  No


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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Sat Oct 13 2018, 20:28

    No mistaking them if they start up Chris, is there? A very powerfully voiced little bird. Depending on the light they can look reddish brown.

    Had another Yellow browed Warbler in our garden at breakfast, the third bird in four years.
    Disappeared when the heavy rain started.
    Regards
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Sun Oct 14 2018, 23:34

    @graham64 wrote:
    @chris c wrote:It was a bit fat and brown but not making any noise, not sure what else it could have been.

    I was going to offer my opinion on what it was but I don't think I'd better go there  No

    Yes I thought of Diane Abbott too
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Mon Oct 15 2018, 00:05

    @Long birder wrote:No mistaking them if they start up Chris, is there? A very powerfully voiced little bird.  Depending on the light they can look reddish brown.

    Had another Yellow browed Warbler in our garden at breakfast, the third bird in four years.
    Disappeared when the heavy rain started.
    Regards
    Derek

    Colour me jealous!

    What amazes me about Cettis is they can practically blow your eardrums in while remaining completely invisible. They do come out into the open occasionally, I have been serenaded at Minsmere and before they got so widespread Stodmarsh in Kent where one will pop out into the open and flit from bush to shrub. They are generally very nondescript brown and yes with a touch of rufus particularly around the tail end.

    Walked down the estuary where I hadn't been for a while. The tide was in, there was a big flock of gulls, mostly Lesser Blackbacks with some Herrings and Black Headeds and a separate group of Great Blackbacks, plus a few Shelducks and about a dozen Cormorants.

    The hide has been cleaned up and repainted and was open again but unfortunately part of the boardwalk had collapsed into the water. The people before me turned back but I managed by swinging from the handrails, and stayed until the tide went down a bit.

    A Chinese Water Deer came past slowly, up to its hocks in the water, and disappeared into the reeds. There was a distant Marsh Harrier which put up some of the waders from where they were roosting - masses of Redshanks, Avocets, Curlews, Black Tailed Godwits and Dunlins, some of which did that racing across the water turning alternately silver and dark thing. There were some others too far off to identify but I think I heard a rather late Wood Sandpiper.

    I think it was last year when the Wigeon arrived late - this year there were loads but fewer Teal. A mass of waders suddenly exploded out of their roost, and the ducks all shot up and splashed down on the open water - a magnificent female Peregrine flashed past right in front of the hide.

    I heard but didn't see a few pinging Bearded Tits, and on the way back I spotted a pair of Little Egrets, and a singleton, which is about as many as I saw all the rest of the year. The extinction event seems to have been more local than I thought, although the population dropped they were still present from Woodbridge south into Essex, so hopefully these are recolonising.

    All a good excuse to demolish some sausages and the last of the purple sprouting broccoli with a thickly buttered oatcake, some Tempranillo and a square of 85% chocolate for pudding.Some dim bulb had put a bar of 70% back in the 85% box, and another dim bulb (me!) bought it, but I ate it eventually.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Wed Oct 17 2018, 23:20

    Still not seen or heard many Fieldfares and Redwings but there have been quite a lot of small flocks of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails (the infamous Chiswick flyover, from their call) passing overhead.

    More large flocks of assorted tits, largely Long Tails which appear to have bred exceptionally well, sometimes accompanied by Goldcrests but so far still no YBWs. They suddenly made a massive amount of noise which signalled a Sparrowhawk soaring overhead. That made me realise just how few I've seen this year, I think I saw more Hobbies.

    It started to drizzle just before I got back to the car, so instead of going on anywhere else I returned home (via the farm shop for more sausages and turkey) and had an early dinner of liver, bacon, a giant mushroom and what may be the last of the runner beans.

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Tue Oct 23 2018, 14:34

    Masses of Pinks flew south yesterday morning first thing.
    Been to Beadnell for a week. Fieldfare and Redwings were coming off the sea on a visit to Holy Island.
    What a lot of cars get on the Island even in mid October.
    Everywhere is getting busy nowadays.

    Twitched a Bonaparte's Gull at Low Newton which was nice to see. An adult winter bird.
    I mentioned that one could see its grey boa and one of the other birders looked at me as if I was odd.  Anybody would have thought I said it was carrying a snake! Smile

    Birds in garden building up now, I bought 40kgs of peanut kernels and 15kg of striped sunflower seeds yesterday ..it costs a lot keeping the birds going through the winter.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Wed Oct 24 2018, 18:56

    Long birder said:
    "Birds in garden building up now, I bought 40kgs of peanut kernels and 15kg of striped sunflower seeds yesterday ..it costs a lot keeping the birds going through the winter."

    I'm sure they are very appreciative …
    It's so lovely to see them in the garden too Smile

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Thu Oct 25 2018, 23:41

    Strange how the geese distribute themselves, there are masses of Pinkfeet up in North Norfolk but round here they and the Bean Geese are outnumbered by Whitefronts. Probably Greylags are commonest and Barnacles second, both feral, Canadas are further down the list compared to Surrey/Sussex, and Egyptian Geese aren't as common as they were back in the eighties. Brents also on the coast. They all make a wonderful noise.

    Never saw a Bonaparte's Gull. Mediterranean Gulls are regular here in increasing numbers, and a fair few Kittiwakes. There are a few Caspian and Yellow Legged Gulls every year to strain my identification skills, and I've occasionally seen Glaucous. Little Gulls are regular on migration.

    Our Yank visitor was a Lesser Yellowlegs which stayed around until the day before I was going to take a trip to see it.

    More Fieldfares and Redwings seen and heard flying over, and a few Redpolls in places they don't normally occur.

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