Sunday, 2 March 2014

Firecrest and other stuff on the move

In some small way its felt has if my birding mojo has started to return this past fortnight. Having spent the winter not seeing very much at all I've managed to find a couple of OK birds and had a general sense that some movement was happening and in my own small way I was connecting with it.

A Shag at sunset
Tuesday 18th saw me back under the cliffs in Hunstanton this time with a DSLR and a big lens but unfortunately I couldn''t find the previous evenings Peregrine, I did though again manage to see four Shags. Earlier that day a family walk in Ken Hill Woods turned up three Marsh Tits my first of the year there.

On the 21st I found a flock of 50 - 100 Fieldfare at Courtyard Farm and a couple of days later a similar sized flock feeding in another roadside field. Whilst a train journey south across the Fens from King's Lynn on the 24th was notable for the flocks of Redwings, Fieldfares and Starlings in the fields and maybe the last wild swans I'll see on this journey this winter, what I took for a herd of Whoopers.


A drive on the 22nd to get our two year boy to sleep was enlivened by a flock of around 30 Bramblings in the fields and hedgerows between Choseley drying barns and Choseley hamlet. Earlier that morning a family walk along the boardwalk on the edge of the marshes at Brancaster had turned up my first butterfly of the year a Small Tortoiseshell in a marsh side garden sitting on a snowdrop.

The 26th saw me taking a lunchtime walk around Ken Hill Wood and although pleasant was pretty uneventful bird wise until I came to leave the wood in Common Road, I noticed a Long Tailed Tit that seemed to be accompanied by a Chiff Chaff. Raising my binoculars I quickly realised it wasn't a Chiff Chaff but a Crest and for a moment I was non-plussed by the socking great white supercilium on the bird and the realisation that I had lucked into a Firecrest. I spent the next 20 minutes or so trying to get a picture with my little compact Panasonic Lumix TZ30. The picture below is heavily cropped and was the best of the bunch taken at 3200 ISO. 

Ken Hill Firecrest

Ken Hill continued to produce the goods with three flyover Crossbills on the 28th and nice views of a Siskin on the 29th a species which has been thin on the ground there this winter.

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