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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Westleton Heath

Dartford Warbler
One of the great things about my job, apart from working all over East Anglia, is that I can choose where to have my breaks. Last Thursday (21st April) I was working in Saxmundham, Suffolk. The most obvious place to have lunch was on Westleton Heath. It was a cold, windy, day so I didn't expect many birds. I did see some fantastic stuff though sometimes hard to see.
A little bit of leg work produced two of my favourite birds. A pair of Nightingales and several male Dartford warblers. Blackcap, Wood Lark, Stonechat and Siskin were also seen. 

Dartford Warbler


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Spring Sprung?

Northern Wheatear, female, Snettisham Country Park
Well Spring is here, supposedly. Though not according to the hailstones that gave me a battering earlier today. The past few weeks have seen the arrival of countless, various, migrant birds. Grateful that they, once again, evaded the heavy  Ack-ack over Malta, Greece and other Mediterranean countries. They should hang their heads in shame!
The end of March saw the first Wheatears, Chiffchaffs, Firecrests, Black Redstarts and Hirundines.

Firecrest, Landguard
There also seems that Red Kites have been a bit more showy than usual and also one or two groups of Lesser Redpolls have also turned up in West Norfolk.

Red Kite, nr Oundle. Interesting because of its curiosity in me and its unreadable wing tag

Red Kite, Garden Drove, Warham

Lesser Redpoll, male, Roydon Common, Kings Lynn
My favourite local place for Spring birding is Snettisham Country Park. Recent weeks have seen several Ring Ouzels, Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Reed Warblers, Cuckoos, Sedge Warblers, Grasshopper Warblers, Redstarts, Whinchats and, of course, Wheatears. There are other species but too many to mention. Here is a small selection of the birds at Snettisham Country Park.

Eurasian Bullfinch, female & male.
Chiffchaff displaying
Cetti's Warbler, great to see this little skulker properly.
Eurasian Jay, several have been seen flying along the coastline.
Willow Warbler
Whinchat, male.
Northern Wheatear, male
Common Redstart, male
Lesser Whitethroat, not usually this bold.
Ring Ouzel, male, partially leucistic.