A real blustery start to March 2019.

 After a good ending to February I was all set for a interesting March, I ventured out on the 1st of the month and once again saw Peregrine, as the month drew on I wondered if they were the pair that had set up residence on Cromer Church and Trimingham became part of their hunting patch? Hares were chasing around, the Kestrels displaying to one another....but then the weather took a turn for the worse and we were bombarded with high winds for a couple of weeks, the relentless winds put a stop to birding and indeed most things, except for maybe watching the gulls surf the waves.

 Finally the winds eased and I was able to get back out and about again on the 18th. Birds were moving along the coast, I noted quite a few Pied wagtails and Meadow pipits and an increase in corvids among which I saw a few Rook, only the second time have I seen Rook on my patch since moving to Trimingham, and of course the floodgates opened and they soon put their name on the garden list.
Firecrest
 On the 19th I received a call from friend Kieran about a pair of Firecrest in the main clifftop wood, coincidentally Sarah and I were gearing up to take the dogs for a walk, this quickly made our decision of where to walk very obvious, and a short while later I was indeed connecting with these little beauties. After the walk I decided to head back with the camera and try for some images, and with luck on my side I managed to grab some nice shots. 
Later as the light was fading, whilst talking to my neighbour, we both watched the first bat of the year!




On the 22nd I managed to find a lone male Wheatear on the clifftop fields.  
 Wheatear

 On the 24th Kieran came down the drive with news of a Black Redstart in one of the paddocks along Church Road opposite, I didn't hesitate in rushing in for my camera and trotting off down the lane as this would be the first Black Redstart on my patch to see and also a new patch addition for Kieran...well done sir!
Later that day whilst walking back down the lane with Sarah and the dogs I found a White wagtail feeding with a couple of Pieds before it moved to the same paddock the Black Redstart was frequenting. The redstart' was seen over the next couple of days by others but I was unable to connect with it anymore.
Black Redstart
As the month came to an end the birds continued to arrive, raptors were increasing on the thermals with double figures of Buzzards and 4 Red Kites, on the 29th I saw my first Swallow and Sand Martin of the year.
Once the winds had eased right down I was able to put the moth light out on a couple of nights, adding a couple of new species to the garden moth list, namely March Moth and Oak Beauty.
 Red Chestnut
 March Moth
 Early Grey
 Twin-spotted Quaker
 Early Thorn
 Small Quaker
 Satellite
 Oak Beauty
Clouded Drab
 Looking forward to April, fingers crossed for decent weather. (As of when typing the weather is dark, grey, cold and wet!! Crossing more fingers)

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