Sunday, 3 February 2013

Drive by birds

2012 was a long hard year at home with all the fun and hard work that a new baby brings, and some difficult times with sick family members. Mix all of that up with a full on job that just seemed to get busier and busier as the year progressed and its little wonder that I've neglected this blog for over a year.

Male Pintail at RSPB Titchwell Marsh today.

But it’s a new year, number two son is now over a year old and hopefully personally and professionally I'll have more time in 2013 (and with luck it won't rain so much this year).

So where to start? I didn't get out much in January, the highlight probably being 90 minutes at Titchwell with a work colleague showing an old friend from Mongolia the reserve, the sea and some birds which included a lovely male Peregrine spooking the waders and wildfowl on the saltmarsh. Nice scope views too on this visit of a Water Pipit on one of the Fresh Marsh islands.

Other January bird highlights include the 'herds' of Bewick’s Swans feeding in black track side fields as my train headed south across the Fens towards Cambridge and then London. Always amazes me that I don’t see other passengers looking out the window and ‘noticing’ the wild swans, Roe Deer and other wildlife.

Whilst in London walking across Green Park to my meeting, it was lovely to hear and then see high in the canopy of a London Plane tree a Ring Necked Parakeet, a naturalised alien with some brassy charisma.

February has started cold. Yesterday a mix of rain, clouds and sun breaks at times provided some electric light with which to take photos of Curlew and Teal in Brancaster Staithe Harbour whilst no2 son had his afternoon nap in the back of the car.

Curlew at Brancaster Staithe yesterday

Today a crawl round Choseley drying barns, Burnham Overy Staithe and Brancaster Staithe harbours whilst no2 slept in the back, yielded nice views of half a dozen Bramblings, c 20 Yellowhammer and 25+ Chaffinches at the drying barns. Three Dabchicks bobbing in the waves in Burnham Overy Staithe harbour, whilst a Marsh Harrier drifted through. At Branacster Staithe harbour there was no repeat of yesterdays Water Rail but good numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Dunlin, Turnstone, Bar Tailed Godwit etc.

Chaffinch & Bramblings at Choseley drying barns today
 This afternoon I managed a short brisk walk in the cold wind at Titchwell Marsh. Nothing exceptional here but a dozen Avocets, c25 Black Tailed Godwits, and a Marsh Harrier were nice. Less usual sighting were a Weasel on the path at Parrinder Hide and three Bramblings and a Coal Tit on the feeders.

No comments: