February ends positive.

 After finding the Iceland Gull on the 11th Feb', things quietened down a tad but there were definitely more birds around, I had flushed a couple of Woodcock and there was an increase in Meadow Pipits. Out to sea I picked up on a single Curlew and Fulmar passed every time I birded off the cliffs. Also on the same day as the Curlew I saw a Red Kite heading east out to sea, followed by another one some time later but his one was hugging the coastline and flew overhead. 
 Red Kite
 Red Kite
 Red Kite
In the photo below I was watching a Muntjac deer creep through the reeded area below feeding away, it was then that I picked up on a Water Rail squealing, no doubt unhappy about the intruder heading it's way.
 On most days one or 2 Muntjac could be seen along the cliff slopes or resting up under a bush. I presume this is the same pair that are leaving hoof imprints all over the place!
 Muntjac
In the photo below you can see the males fang protruding. 
 During February we had some stunning warm weather, and with that came a lot more bird activity, Chiffchaffs started to call, Stonechats were on the move and scattered around, butterflies took to the wing with Brimstone, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell seen. Out to sea I picked up on 2 Ringed Plover heading east and nearing the end of the month a couple of Peregrine Falcons flew in over the sea and headed inland, followed shortly thereafter by a lovely female Marsh Harrier scouring the clifftop scrub before heading inland. On a morning dog walk we saw a pair of Grey Partridge, the first for the year and nice to see they escaped the winter shooting.
Female Marsh Harrier
My garden mothing got off to a start too, I managed to get just 4 moths but 3 different species. To think that February last year brought knee deep snow around the Trimingham lanes and we had been basking in glorious sun, lets hope the change back to normal weather doesn't risk those species brought out by the heat. 
 Common Quaker
 Common Quaker
 Hebrew Character
Dotted Border

Iceland Gull. Trimingham. 11th Feb 2019.

 With birding being very quiet I hadn't been rushing to get out, instead checking when we have been taking the dogs for a walk and checking feeders during the afternoon. The gull numbers had been very quiet whenever the front was checked out, but I decided to get up early on this day and indeed get some coast watching in, there had actually been quite a few rafts of red throated diver on the sea the previous day but as I started to scan the sea I noticed a distinct lack of divers except a group of 4, seems that they are all migrating north?
For once there were a decent amount of gulls moving past to keep my interest, and then came into view on it's own a lovely Iceland Gull. There had been a distinct lack of winter gulls this time round so I was chuffed to bits to of found one. It headed along the shoreline towards Sidestrand and was seen by another birder on the beach just along from me, before being chased of by Great Black Backed Gulls.







Winter Months Moving into 2019.

 It seems ages since I last posted anything, previous post was the Pallid Swift back in November!
There has been the usual common species, namely finches and tits etc but on most walks it seemed totally birdless!! and that was the feeling of others too, ever so quiet. As the year came to an end at least a few Red Throated Divers were starting to show on the sea, the gull flocks were elsewhere as the numbers were in single figures most days and definitely no winter gulls like the previous year. On the last day of the year Sarah and I watched a pair of Red Kites fly over the fields when walking the dogs, they headed off towards Woodlands holiday park and were later seen by another birder feeding on a christmas turkey carcass at the end of their garden. Winter moths made an appearance on a couple of days, resting up on light posts, namely Winter Moth and Mottled Umbers.
Moving into January 2019 didn't really bring any change to be honest, there were a lot more Red Throated Diver on the sea some days, but on others not even a single one could be seen offshore. There was an increase in finch flock numbers with a count of 14 Greenfinch which was a welcoming sight, a handful of Yellowhammer and a group of 30 or so Lapwing. A group of around 50 Golden Plover rested up in the ploughed field between Trimingham and Sidestrand on the 29th Jan which brings us to a very hard frosty morning today, 31st, freezing fog stopped any sight of anything out to sea but the finch flock was still present.



 Winter Moth
 Mottled Umber
Mottled Umber 
Mottled Umber

Pallid Swift. Overstrand/Cromer Golf Course. 12th Nov.

Pallid Swift showing along the cliff at Overstrand near the east end of the Cromer Golf course. In true Swift photography wording....what a fast little sod! It showed well along the front for everyone but trying to get a photo was another matter, the autofocus on the camera could not deal with tracking it over the water, it simply vanished from view, there was plenty of cursing and colourful language from most trying to photograph it....I just had to laugh. Over a thousand pics snapped off and just a fraction worthy as record shots, but a great bird to see.











Probable Stejneger's Stonechat.

PROBABLE STEJNEGER'S STONECHAT - SALTHOUSE. 
After briefly seeing this bird on Monday and getting soaked to the skin, I decided to re-visit the bird again but this time in drier conditions! Sarah and I set off on the short journey early Wednesday (31st Oct) and took the dogs with us, Sarah took them off to the beach for a long walk whilst I headed straight to where the bird frequented. As soon as I got there I picked up the bird along the ditch from the 2nd gate, it kept a distance away for some time but it slowly moved closer along the ditch actively feeding and showing well. It then moved back along the ditch and did not show for some time, happy with the shots I had taken and very pleased it showed well I headed back to the car....this time not soaking wet!


 




"The North Wind Doth Blow And We Shall Have.....Birds,Birds,Birds.

Well the wind did turn and blow down from the north and with the cold weather it brought birding to life along the coast here. There were some lovely birds to be seen, out to sea and also on land. There was a huge influx of owls along the coast, with both Short Eared and Long Eared. I got a call about this Long Eared Owl and headed along the short distance to see it with my Dad, it had come in off the sea exhausted and duly landed straight on the cliff face to rest up. The Short Eared Owl Sarah and I encountered was along the back lanes whilst walking the dogs. 
Long Eared Owl
 Velvet Scoter
Out to sea there were hundreds of wildfowl moving by, frustratingly I missed out on seeing Pomarine Skuas, even though there was an abundance of them they were no doubt too distant when I was watching. I did manage to see some Velvet Scoter which was a welcome addition to the patch.
Velvet Scoter
Richards Pipit
Then I received news of a Richards Pipit along the clifftop path, Immediately I set about grabbing the camera gear and legged it off! Five minutes later and it flew into view along the pathway a short distance away, it proved to be an elusive bird and stayed well hidden in the longer grasses, every now and again giving itself up as it came out onto the track, further along than expected only to then disappear back in the grass. I managed to grab a few record images before it headed off towards Sidestrand. And then to top off the excursion, a Little Auk sat out on the sea, doing it's best to avoid the unwanted attention of a Great Black Backed Gull. Great Birding and thanks to those that found them.
Richards Pipit
Richards Pipit
Richards Pipit
Richards Pipit
Richards Pipit
Richards Pipit
Richards Pipit