Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Raptor day plus a lifer!

I have had serious problems with my pc and this blog!

Hopefully things are back to normal now!

I will be writing up this posting tomorrow as I have been out since just before 6am and got home about 8.45pm so animals need some attention!

Monday morning and another lovely day!

At 6am I picked up Bob and we were at Walker's for breakfast at 7.30.On route past Lakenheath a Hobby flew so close to the car I was glad it wasn't a large van as it would have been no more! Brill views of the marking and feathers could be counted (if I hadn't been driving!)
To the Raptor Watchpoint in Norfolk by 9am and it was overcast and everywhere was wet from yesterday and overnight! It had to burn off soon. At 9.30 we were sitting down all sorted and waiting. I heard a kurfuffle behind me and there was a raptor being harrassed by lots of crows! A very dark Honey buzzard male! He was obviously hunting for a frog or two. Unfortunately the crows forced him upwards and he disappeared into the murk!(9.45)We then were on to a feast of raptors but no more Honey's.Common Buzzards a plenty, 2 Hobbies dashing through, a serene Barn Owl who even perched for us for a while, A Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and an unknown raptor sp (by now the summer warden was with us...he thought poss. Gos but none of us was able to call it! Then Bob spotted a Red Kite!I saw a dark Marsh Harrier hunting low. There were Greylags with half a dozen or so Egyptian Geese in a field close to what had become a lake (the river!).

Surrounding us was a choir of Skylarks at least 5 pairs...occasionally a male would rise out of the field and hover ever upwards. The sun came out and shone all was well with the world.

We noticed high numbers of Kestrels on our journey- hope they are successful at raising the next generation.

Monty's were calling (in spirit.....) so off we went to seek out a pair. We arrived at location to be greeted by a male perched and preening. The female then flew and picked up a stick and disappeared again.The male gave a lovely view in flight and disappeared.

We were then treated to the lovely male flying over the field we were first looking at and then on to the next. A delightful flying lesson for anyone who cared to watch! was on to seek out the Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Maxey GP's nr Peterbough ( we did consider the Thrush Nightingale at Minsmere but you cant do everything!
I am posting a couple of photo's from Mike Weedons blog hope he doesn't mind...

A very nice bird!
No sign of any Little terns amidst the Commons.
I see today a Greensand was spotted -shame it wasn't there yesterday!

Then to the biggy.

On route home via Tring in Herts!

Earlier we had seen 2 Icterine Warblers reported on the pager. One at Ely another in Herts. We were going to go to see if the Ely bird was still around but as it had only been reported at 6.45 I thought it might have gone and a birder we met at Maxey had been for it and dipped.

We arrived at aptly named Cementry Corner nr to Wilstone Reservoir to massed cars!
We spotted the birders down the road all intently looking into trees and bushes.

Having arrived we were greeted by the Icterine's song very loud too! A case of stand and wait then...a couple near us had been there for 2 hours!The bird was in an Elder.
I spotted a tail as a guy called its there! We waited another while and it sat out briefly but I was in the wrong place to see it clearly -too much foliage to see through! Then it flew and sat up in a tree - burst into song and we were able to really see this glamerous warbler.Shinning even more yellow than any picture as the sun was right on the bird! A really wonderful bird and a terrific sighting! The slate coloured legs, the lores and light supercilium were all noted as well as the panel patch on the wing. Best of all was the crest raised on the head and the movement of the throat as he sang his heart out!
A wonderful feeling!
The couple next to me had met Bob somewhere else recently but she was not able to see the bird right away until I said "take your bins away and look with you eyes!" Strange but true as she immediately saw the bird and then was able to really look at him!Often happens!

We were all very happy - the couple were also seeing an Icterine for the very first time and Bob enjoyed his best ever views of one as well!

I have just found this blog showing photo's of our bird!

I shall ask if I might post a photo on here!Thank you Ashley for permission to use a couple of your photos! Top guy!

Bob and I then went to look at a Black tern as both of us are fond of Terns and particularly Black ones!

Then food called and we drove to Wendover to the Firecrest Pub and very nice it was too!

Well blog is back!

I have enjoyed several lifers in recent weeks none more so than Trumpeter Finch with one in Norfolk and then one for the Sussex list, with Terek Sandpiper also added to the World life list!
My Sussex list is now growing respectable!Sussex has enjoyed a great time recently with megas and rares and scarities left right and centre, including
Alpine Swift and Red-backed Shrike along with Trumpeter Finch and Terek Sandpiper. Almost dare not go too far away....hopeful the Thrush Nightingale may continue on its way southwards!(Dont mind if it lands in Kent or Sussex!)

Looking forward as well to a week in the Picos....birds, butterflies and orchids in fabulous scenery.


Ashley Stow said...

The Icterine was a fantastic bird to see and hear, i'm glad you caught up with it. Please feel free to use 2 or 3 pictures of your choice.


Eagleseagles said...

I am posting this from a friendly blogger in Vancouver.

"Hi there eagleseagles, I have just been reading about your trip to Scotland, with the lovely pictures. Thanks for finding me again..I tend to move around. We are linking now. I will go back later and see what you have been up to lately and check out your trip notes.

About the white-cheeked, I don't think I can tick him on my list, as I am not sure how he got here. I would rather see him in his natural environment. He is just a pretty duck to photo for me."

I will now link again!