Out and about in North Suffolk, 24 April 2015

A spare Friday afternoon saw me at Weybread GPS for my 1st check on the old place for some while. Nothing of huge interest there but my first Reed Warbler of the year was singing alongside Ocean Pit where 2 Sandwich Terns flew over calling like mad. These were a patch tick as was a single Curlew. The returning Common Terns were nice to see as was Common Whitethroat. Despite trying my best I've still not managed House Martin this year yet though!
In the insect line was a Bee-fly sitting still for once, my first Green-veined Whites of the year plus a nice pale Comma of the spring form 'hutchinsii' and a few Orange Tips.

Next I moved onto Winks Meadow near Metfield where the orchid season has begun with plenty of Green-winged Orchids but only a few fully out. A singing Lesser Whitethroat here was my first of the year.


Mining Bees, Pulham Market, 18 April 2015

Having seen Early Mining Bee whilst up in Yorkshire recently and with a bored moment I decided to have a look at some bees (other than bumbles) around the garden this afternoon. Along a particular sunny stretch of laurel hedge next to our orchard I was able to find, identify and photograph 2 more species - Tawny Mining Bee and Communal Mining Bee. The former in particular was quite a good looking beastie!

Very little else to get excited about locally, just a pair of singing Goldcrests and our first Chiffchaff in the garden and a Common Buzzard over the village. 

Tawny Mining Bee

Communal Mining Bee  

2nd week of April round up

This week has been all about bits and pieces as migrants gradually start to filter in. In the absence of any real birding I thought I'd summarise the week.
A long walk around Covehithe/Benacre/Kessingland on Sunday (12th) gave me my first Swallows, several Sand Martins around the cliffs and a nice smart White Wagtail in clifftop field just north of Covehithe. Walking north Benacre Broad had nothing on it but just after that 2 Yellow Wagtails flew low south and at Kessingland Sluice 6 Northern Wheatears were very nice. On the way home a Sedge Warbler was singing in a roadside ditch near Bungay.

On Tuesday (14th) I clocked my first Orange Tip in the garden and we also now have a couple of singing Blackcaps. Early Bumblebees and Red-tailed Bumblebees are also about.

Today (15th) gave me my earliest Common Whitethroat (beating my previous earliest by a day) singing near Tivetshall.  

North Yorkshire Moors, 3 - 6 April 2015

Nothing very exciting to report from an Easter weekend walking in the North Yorkshire Moors but I thought I'd report what I did see!
Red Grouse were very evident around the Urra Moor and Hasty Bank area with at least 25 seen. I also had Common Crossbill there. Plenty of Nuthatches calling in suitable woodland and a small smattering of Chiffchaffs. On the coast I found a nice Tree Sparrow at Port Mulgrave near Staithes, a feat I repeated inland near Castle Howard a couple of days later where a pair were present. Also along the clifftop near Port Mulgrave I had a new bee species for me - Early Mining Bee. A small colony of Kittiwakes was on the cliffs at Staithes and a large flock of c80 Linnets.
Migrants were pretty much non-existant but I did have my first Blackcap of the year on the way home at Barton Mills while 3 Red Kites were over the A1 near Peterborough