And now a Little Stint at Dickleburgh! 20 September 2020

Stephen Howell had found a juv Little Stint at Dickleburgh Moor the previous evening so I was there in morning to see if I could find it. It didn't take me long and it afforded some nice views on the lagoon by the carpark. It represents my 18th species of wader at the site this autumn! 

Also there were an amazing count of 42 Snipe, a brief visit from the Pectoral Sandpiper before it flew off right/south, 3 Spotted Redshank, 4 Ruff, 4 Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting and Reed Warbler.   

A skittish Lesser Yellowlegs and walks at Gorleston and Gunton, 19 September 2020

I had been wanting to see the juv Lesser Yellowlegs of the last few days at Runham Swims. With Belinda at keep fit on Saturday morning it gave me the opportunity to nip along there. 

The site was a new one for me which is always nice in your own county. The sun was shining and I found the bird almost straight away. It favoured a narrow flood that runs alongside the footpath and with the path on top of a bank getting reasonably close to the bird was challenging, especially as it was a nervous, skittish individual too! With much sneaking about on hands and knees I eventually got some nice close views of it within photographable range. Also there was a Greenshank that popped in briefly, pinging Bearded Tits and a Marsh Harrier.

After returning home for lunch we headed to the coast for the afternoon. Firstly to Gorleston riverside where I had directions to some Gallant Soldier, a new plant for me, and then on to Gunton. There we walked through Gunton Woods and down to the Warren via Dip Farm and then south as far as North Denes. There was very little migrant activity with just 2 Wheatears in the compound opposite Denes Oval, c45 Wigeon south plus a worn late Brown Argus and a few Small Coppers.

                                                                                                                                     Lesser Yellowlegs

                                                                                                                                      Gallant Soldier
                                                                                                                                         Brown Argus

Brown Shrike - a county tick, Warham Greens, 18 September 2020

On Friday morning the news that Alex Berryman had found a 1w Brown Shrike at Warham Greens had me getting all hot under the collar! Particularly because I missed the only other Norfolk one at Weybourne a couple of years ago. Norfolk ticks don't come around very often these days so it was an anxious wait for Belinda to finish work in the early afternoon so we could shoot up to the coast.

The drive up was surprisingly quick and we even managed to get a space to park on the concrete pad beside Garden Drove cutting down the walk quite a bit. Making our way to the field west of the drove we were greeted by a small well-behaved gathering and more importantly the bird showing straight away! It favoured the sheltered south side of the hedge keeping low down in dead weeds most of the time and hunting in typical shrike manner by dropping down onto insects. We watched it for a while until we'd had our fill and I'd got a few shots. 2 Redstarts were also along the same stretch of hedge.

With a few migrants obviously arriving on the easterlies we plumped for a walk at Holkham after that. Doing the section westwards from Lady Anne's Drive along the seaward side and back through the woods I found a single Redstart and another single Pied Flycatcher plus a very welcome pristine Wall Brown of what is presumably the 3rd generation. It was my first for about 3 years. A large tit flock near the pool contained only a female Blackcap and a few Goldcrests of note.

A celebratory pint in the Warham Three Horseshoes was most enjoyable!

                                                                                                                                            Brown Shrike
                                                                                                                                              Wall Brown

Great White Egret still at Dickleburgh Moor, 16 September 2020

A quick late afternoon visit to Dickleburgh on Wednesday revealed a blocked carpark (the nutcase woman who lives by the entrance has taken to parking her car across the gateway!) and much the same birds as recently. 

The Great White Egret was unusually showy whilst the Pectoral Sandpiper and 2 Spotted Redshank were still hanging around together with 2 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 9 Ringed Plover, Hobby and Kingfisher.

                                                                                                                                     Great White Egret
                                                                                                                                        Spotted Redshanks



Martins Meadows and the Woodbridge area, 12 September 2020

The small SWT reserve of Martins Meadows is a favourite haunt of ours in late summer. The place has a particular 'old english' atmosphere we really like with ancient hedgerows uncganged in hundreds of years. The gnarly old orchards with traditional apple and pear varieties only add to the feeling. And, of course, at this time of the year the scarce Meadow Saffron is impossible to miss there. Also seen on our visit were a few Small Heaths, Small White, Speckled Wood and quite a bit of Devils-bit Scabious

We moved towards the coast for our main walk of the day taking in Martlesham Creek and Woodbridge. Apart from 2 Kingfishers in the 'basin' in Martlesham Creek and the curious sight of both forms of Sea Aster growing side by side  it was a nice walk on a balmy late summer afternoon.


Dickleburgh Moor comes up trumps with a Pectoral Sandpiper, 9 September 2020

We had been talking up the possibility of a Pectoral Sandpiper or other rarity at Dickleburgh Moor because the place is drawing in a great variety of passage waders. And then I get a message from Ben Moyes saying that he's pretty sure he's just found one!

I was out of the door and at the carpark in about 4 minutes (!) to be greeted with views of the bird with a few Ruff near the central bund and it was indeed a juv Pec - woohoo! After watching it for a while we decided to move around the the gate on the western side for better views and from here the light and views were better but still too distant for much in the way of photography. The 3 juv Spotted Redshank were also still present with c12 Ruff, 3 Greenshank and 4 Ringed Plover. A Red Kite circled over again, a Hobby hawked for and caught a dragonfly to our left and then we got onto another site tick - a rather splendid juv Mediterranean Gull loafing amongst the other larids.

I wonder what next...?

                                                                                                                                 Pectoral Sandpiper
                                                                                                                              Mediterranean Gull

White Stork at Dickleburgh Moor, 6 & 8 September 2020

Where else would I spend an hour on a Sunday afternoon?!

News of a White Stork (albeit ringed and dodgy) at Dickleburgh Moor had me hot-footing it down there as it had circled for a bit and then landed. Stephen Howell and John Marchant were both watching it when I arrived and it showed nicely though distantly at the back of the scrape. After about 10 minutes it circled up and after a bit of dithering it headed off south and appeared to land towards Dickleburgh village. 

And into the bargain, the Great White Egret decided to eventually give itself up and appear in the middle of the scrape amongst 39 Little Egrets. Other than that a single Curlew Sandpiper remains plus 5 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plovers, 4 Greenshank, c10 Ruff, 5 Pintail and 3 Great Crested Grebes. A drive around the lanes where the stork appeared to land yielded nothing but it was located on a telegraph pole in Thorpe Abbots the next day so must have kept going south a bit further than thought.

It was however back on Tuesday 8 September and I even managed a few photos. 3 juv Spotted Redshank found by Ben Moyes were even better. They were my 16th species of wader there and another site tick was Red Kite. Dewicks Plusia moth was a good find by Ben too and on the walk back I found some Pink Water-speedwell to add to the ever growing site plant list.

                                                                                                                                             White Stork 

                                                                                                                                 Great White Egret
Pink Water-speedwell

White-winged Black Tern at Cantley, 5 September 2020

With a glorious sunny autumnal day and a juv White-winged Black Tern at Cantley BF it was a bit of a no-brainer on where to go this morning!

After the usual signing-in at the reception desk and a walk to the far side of the main lagoon we were soon getting some great views as the bird dip-fed back and forth. It disappeared in a NE direction for a while and then returned for more views in the same place. Also in the same corner of the main lagoon were 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Ruff while the air was full of hirundines and 2 Swifts.

It was also nice to catch up with a few folks we haven't seen since before lockdown!


Dickleburgh Moor - again! 4 & 5 September 2020

With a bit of time to spare I managed to do a walk around the whole perimeter of the reserve yesterday. Consequently I managed to get a half decent photo or two and also clock up some new and interesting plants. 

The scores on the doors were 9 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Greenshank, 15 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpipers and 2 Snipe. 5 Pintail were also new-in

The plants were all along the eastern edge bund and included Nodding Bur Marigold, Water-plantain, Celery-leaved Buttercup, Perennial Sow Thistle and Gypsywort plus loads of Purple Loosestrife.

Back on site again today with Jus and Andy and the main differences/additions were 4 Greenshank, 5 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 9 Ruff, 1 Wigeon, Green Woodpecker, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and 2 Common Buzzards.

                                                                                                                     Curlew Sandpipers and Dunlin
                                                                                                                                         Little Egrets
                                                                                                                              Nodding Bur Marigold

                                                                                                                    Celery-leaved Buttercup
                                                                                                                             Perennial Sow Thistle

Recent goings-on at ' The Moor', 2 September 2020

Dickleburgh Moor is just a 5 minute drive from home and is really coming into it's own. Sympathetic management of the reserve and water levels by Ben Potterton of the Otter Trust is proving beneficial with wader passage providing plenty of opportunity to find some local goodies. And it's also a great place to relax and unwind after a day at work!

On Bank Holiday Monday an early morning visit yielded an amazing inland count of 12 juv Curlew Sandpipers all feeding in the near corner and in excellent light. Amongst them were 2 Dunlin, a trap for the unwary. A scattering of waders were present and a Hobby hawked across the sheep meadow.  

Yesterday (2 Sept) an after work visit in the early evening saw the Curlew Sandpiper numbers down to 9 plus 2 Dunlin, 13 Ruff (my best count at the site to date), 5 Snipe, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Ringed Plovers, Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpipers and 1 Common Sandpiper as well as 3 Gadwall, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 5 Swifts still hanging on. Teal numbers continue to build as we look forward to winter...

I'd had a late Swift still feeding young under a tiled roof while working in Pulham Market earlier in the day.

Botanically, the umbellifer that grows in the water on the eastern side of the reserve has been confirmed as Tubular Water Dropwort - a new speies for me

Recently, a confiding Red-legged Partridge paid us a visit at Tattlepot!