Sutton and Upper Hollesley Commons, Suffolk, 25 May 2012

Well, it being my birthday today Belinda indulged me in some birding down in deepest Suffolk in the sun today. Our first stop was Sutton Common near Woodbridge and despite us not making the earliest of starts the Wood Warbler was very quickly located as I could hear it's shivering trill a mile off! It went on to show superbly well. Also on a wander around the area we had flyover Crossbills, Woodlark and Little Owl amongst the more common Yellowhammers, Common Whitethroats and Mistle Thrushes.

After a tip off from a local birder we drove on to Upper Hollesley Common to a drinking puddle and with a bit of patience (even from Belinda!) several Crossbills came in to drink having been calling above our heads for ages! Another couple of Woodlarks over the road completed a very satisfying morning before we headed into Woodbridge for coffee and cakes!

Back at Pulham I finally managed to nail one of our Spotted Flycatchers to a decent photo after much trying!


Camera shy Spotted Flycatchers, 20 May 2012

For 8 days now we've had a pair of Spotted Flycatchers in the garden and I've high hopes of breeding. An event in itself these days! Both birds have been remarkably shy and elusive so getting any sort of photograph has been difficult. In an hour of trying this afternoon these are the best I managed. Crucially, the 2nd photos shows one of the birds collecting nesting material.

Peak District - again! 4 - 7 May 2012

We just can't keep away! The chance of a cheap holiday cottage for the bank holiday weekend had Belinda and I packing our walking boots and heading for the Peak District again.
Compared to 2 weeks ago Wheatears have now arrived in good numbers and a Redstart close to the viaduct in Monsal Dale was very nice. Best bird of the weekend was undoubtedly a Short-eared Owl hunting the moors close to Three Shire Heads and shortly afterwards there was a very out of place Red Kite being mobbed by a Common Buzzard! After looking at every river we walked past I eventually found a pair of Dippers on the River Wye near Ashford-in-the-Water. Other than that the first Swifts of the year on a ridiculously late date of 7 May plus the usual Grey Wagtails, numerous Willow Warblers and Curlew, Lesser Redpoll, Lesser Whitethroat, Ravens and Red Grouse.