Wagtail Wednesday !

I headed off to Sedgeford for the Blue-headed Eastern Yellow Wagtail that had been hanging around for some time now. I arrived at first light and set off for the manure heap. After an hour+ I had seen just common birds on the heaps and a Barn Owl very close but too dark for photos so I just admired it instead, there were a lot of linnets and pied wagtails in the field behind me and what I thought was possibly the Blue-headed' fly over towards where I had parked the car? After some time and people coming and going I was the last one standing at the heap and still no sign of the bird so I decided to head back to the car and get the blood back into my feet and have a drink, on heading down the lane I noticed there were a lot of cars still there considering they'd all left, I thought they may be checking the hundreds of geese nearby.
No they weren't!! Lined up near my car were all the birders watching the wagtail on the flooded field!! I slowly set my camera down in a gap not too far away and watched the wagtail moving around and luckily for me towards where I was standing. It flitted off for a while then returned back to the flooded field corner to resume feeding. 

End of the Year.

December was a very quiet month indeed, I only saw a few notable birds on the daily dog walks with Bullfinch, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammers fighting for the top spot! Even the gull numbers off the front were low with a lot of the previous Great black backed's moving on. The weather didn't bring any good strong windy seawatching days either. Mothing again turned up nothing so the final tally of 2019 was 188 macro moths. The patch bird list stands at 172 and 101 for the garden. Now for a look at some of my highlights in 2019.
 Iceland Gull in February.
 Firecrest (pair) in March.
 Osprey in off the sea in April. And Alpine Swift past the house.
 Painted Lady invasion in June.
 Always a joy when Hummingbird Hawkmoths turn up.
August saw an influx of Pied Flycatcher.  

 This "metal bird" was a sight to see! 
My first B2 Stealth Bomber.

 Med Gulls fly catching over the house is getting to be a yearly experience.

 September saw numbers of Great White Egret moving along the coast.
 This Common Redstart was a welcome addition to the garden list.
 Sat 5th October, the morning of the Water Spouts
Sarah and I counted 6 on our morning walk.
 Little Auk in October.
 Black Redstart and Ring Ouzel both in October and Ring Ouzel finally getting on the garden list.

 A welcome addition to the patch, Pomarine Skua.
 One of my favourite's, Great Grey Shrike.

Great Northern Diver finally got on my patch list.
And my favourite moth of the year Garden Tiger, and a first for me.
Roll on 2020.

"Great" was the word for November.

November was a changeable month weather wise but it did enable some decent spells of seawatching as well as on land bringing no less than 4 New Birds for the patch!

Sun 3rd Nov
This single Brambling was a nice sight from the kitchen window, mixed in with a large flock of Goldfinches.
Tues 5th Nov
I got word in the afternoon of a large movement of Gannet and Kittiwakes all heading east, it wasn't long before I had gotten myself geared up and was heading round to the clifftop and what a spectacle it turned out to be, and the numbers of birds passing were in their hundreds.

 There were a lot of young Gannets passing and this Peregrine circled overhead which immediately drew the attentions of the local Kestrels, who drove it further along the coast.

Wed 6th Nov
After the previous days movement I again set up on the clifftop to see what stragglers were still moving through and also in the hope of catching up with one of the numerous Pomarine Skuas that were being reported off the coasts. I watched Brent geese, common scoter and auks passing then I watched a commotion going on with some gulls just along the front from me?
.....SKUA.... it had to be surely?
As it chased the gulls with no joy of getting one to disgorge its food, it headed towards me. by now I was snapping as many shots as possible and as it came closer I was buzzing with the thought of getting a POM! And a New Patch Tick.

Fri 8th Nov
Sadly the Pallid Swift that was showing well just along the coast at Sidestrand did not venture towards Trimingham, despite frantically getting to the cliffs in the hope it would pass through there was no more sightings in either direction, just a male Goosander overhead to ease the pain!

Fri 15th Nov
This group of Gadwall were a welcome addition to my Patch List.

Sat 16th Nov
A message from one of the local boys of a Great Grey Shrike near the main clifftop wood had me in a state of panic, grabbing my gear I set off at a pace and a few minutes later I was with the finder trying to locate where the bird had got to, flying from the cliff slopes it headed straight for the main wood on the clifftop. After searching the edges with no luck we slowly moved through the wood, after a short time we picked up a commotion going on between a robin and wren! a good sign something was stressing them out and sure enough we located the Shrike, tucked in a privet copse with freshly caught prey which looked like a vole. It had no doubt caught it in the grassy slopes and then had flown into the wood to devour it. 

 After finishing the meal off it promptly moved to the outer edge of the wood before disappearing back into it, and after carefully checking around the outside edge of the wood and no further sign of the bird for some time, we thought it must of departed straight out the other side and so I decided to bid farewell to Simon and thanked him for this much appreciated New Patch Tick and head home. As I walked off along the track I casually glanced around to look at the hedgeline adjacent to the wood and low and behold what was sitting up top.....GGS! Where it had been hiding out or indeed just watching us walk beneath it perhaps I don't know but it wasn't there when we walked past and checked. Time to turn and head back and this time it stayed put and gave us both a fantastic showing before it headed off inland...now it was time to head home...with such a buzz you could of called me a bee!!

Mon 18th Nov
Seawatching again today and a great spectacle and another New Patch Tick!
As any flock of wildfowl came in range I would check in the hope of a Long tailed duck, this flock though were Wigeon, and whilst following them I witnessed them all of a sudden shoot straight up into the air as if slamming into a glass window? Then I picked up why...a Peregrine Falcon had shot straight into the flock in the hope of connecting with one. 
In the photo below the Peregrine is on the left to the front of the group.

 Here you can see the Peregrine had seperated the flock and homed in on a couple, they promptly dived straight into the water to evade it, it then moved away and the wigeon continued on their way.

 And my next Patch Tick came in a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers.

Fri 29th Nov
I spent a few hours today checking the seas, even if it's quiet I still enjoy the peacefulness and the thought that anything could pass through, you just don't know? There had been a few groups of duck through with Eider, Common Scoter and a single female Goldeneye so there were birds passing even if not continually. Red throated divers were passing through and then I picked out a larger diver coming my way.... Great Northern Diver. An excellent bird to finish the month on, I had been waiting for one to pass what with all the sightings coming through, so this was a great diver and great addition to the Patch List which jumped up to 172. 

Great Northern Diver