Saturday, 7 June 2008

My Holiday Birds spotted list

Tuesday 03/06/08

Minsmere: This list is (mostly) in order viewed

Black Headed Gull (+ chicks)
Blue Tit (+ chicks)
Great Tit
Oystercatcher (+ chicks)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Sand Martin
Red Backed Shrike - my first ever sighting
Sedge Warbler
Common Tern
Little Tern - first ever sighting & some were nesting on the stone beach
Ringed Plover
Avocet - first ever sighting & there were loads of them!
Moorhen (+ chicks)
Barnace Goose
Shellduck - first ever sighting
Tufted Duck
Black Tailed Godwits
Herring Gull
Little Grebe (+ chicks)
Cetti's Warbler - first time I've identified this in the field, 2nd ever sighting
Reed Warbler
Chiff Chaff
Green Woodpecker
Blackbird - heard only
Bittern - [heard only :o( - call sounds like someone blowing over the top of a bottle]
Marsh Harrier - not my first time but got reasonable views & several were about
Mute Swan
Bearded Tit - first ever sighting but not good views (would like to get better views)
Grey Heron
Jay - I can't stop seeing them around at the moment! 3 while I was on holiday
Great Crested Grebe
Nightingale - first ever sighting (just another little brown job if you ask me ...!)
Little Egret
Song Thrus
Wood Pigeon

58 species in total. There was also a stonechat or winchat (probably a female making it difficult for me to identify) but I didn't get a long enough look at it otherwise it would have been species number 59.

I was bitter that we missed seeing the bittern(s) though I did hear one for the first time. We also missed the Dartford Warbler - thus requiring me to go on another holiday to the area but this is really just one of many excuses/reasons (all about bird watching) to want to go back! If we'd have had more time and/or a telescope, the list would have undoubtedly have been longer. I'm not complaining - it was a fantastic day and we saw some really good birds.

Wednesday 04/06/08 brought us a chance encounter with 2 Egyptian Geese.

Thursday 05/06/08 - We went on a very long walk (we were out for 9 hours) from our holiday base in Caister, north along the coast to Dunwich Dunes National Nature Reserve. We were surprised by the lack of bird numbers, but when we did get to see some they were good species. A couple of Yellowhammers, a couple of colourful Stonechat. While sat down next to a pond, lazily munching (or in my case wolfing down) lunch, to our surprise and cries of 'what was that?', a female Merlin flew past. Twice. We later heard that Short Eared Owls & nightjars could be spotted there - more reasons for me to want to go back. Further up the coast, a pair (not very good views of plumage) and then a lone bird (very good views) confused me. I should have known better. I thought they were all raptors that looked a bit like a cuckoo until somebody pointed out that tthe lone one was a female cuckoo (I've only ever seen good views of a male before). They were all cuckoo's that looked like raptors. D'oh! Chalk that one up to experience then!

After seeing a swallow close up trying to build a nest in the top of Horsey Wind Pump, we walked past one of the local Broads (no, not a woman with loose morals). Marsh Harriers were showing at a distance & I was watching these when dad shouted at me and pointed. I am bitter no longer - a Bittern was flying low over the reed bed. I would still like to see one stood still (another reason to come back).

On the monday, Wicken Fen was nice but we missed most of it (wrong decisions on which way to go). On Friday, Ickwell House (National Trust) wasn't up to much but I can recommend Anglesey Abbey + Gardens near Cambridge. For someone who isn't much interested in these kinds of places, it was particularly well done.

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