A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Late spring birding at Burnham Overy

I've been up in Scotland for a few days.  I'll post about that later once I've been through my photos, but that might take a few days so in the meantime I'll get on with what I've been doing since getting back.  Not much (birding) is the truth, but Friday I spent most of the day at Burnham Overy, split between two visits, one from soon after dawn and another afternoon visit staying til dark.  I hoped the warm southeasterly airflow would bring Bee-eaters or other such goodies in, but no such luck!

There were a few migrants, but they were hard to find (except for the Painted Lady butterflies).  I heard a Yellow Wagtail flying over (don't know what type as I didn't see it, but it sounded more-or-less like Yellow).  I also heard what was probably a Reed Warbler singing very briefly in the bushes by the boardwalk, undoubtedly a migrant, and when I bumped in to Marcus he had just found a Chiffchaff in the dunes.  Enjoyed chatting to Marcus for a while - though we both bird the dunes regularly our paths rarely cross.  He also saw a Spotted Flycatcher later and I had a Hobby speed through briefly.  A single male Wheatear was just about the only other grounded migrant.

A few Swifts and hirundines passed through during the day but no great numbers.  One hirundine shooting west late in the day may have just been a House Martin but I think I saw a vaguely Swallow-like head/breast pattern on it and the tail was perhaps a tad long.  I don't think it was just the dusky plumage that some juvenile House Martins show around the head and breast (it wasn't a juvenile anyway - not sure if adults ever show that?).  I suspect it may have been a Swallow x House Martin hybrid, something I haven't seen since the 80s and which I would very much like to get a good view (and photos) of.  That wasn't to be though as it disappeared from view so quickly I didn't even get a chance to be sure if it was a hybrid or not (my main doubt is that other examples I've seen in photos have been more Swallow-like, but that may not always be the case).

Speaking of hybrids, an unfamiliar goose sound alerted me to a flock of 4 birds flying over the marsh much earlier in the day.  They looked like Barnacle Geese but the sound I was hearing didn't compute.  A closer look and they were 3 Barnacle Geese plus a Barnacle Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, and it was the hybrid that was calling.

Barnacle Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (left hand bird in lower photos, with Barnacle Goose), Burnham Overy, 5th June

They did land, but too far off for photos.  Other than that, not much to report except for the usual stuff - 3 Spoonbills, a pair of Mediterranean Gulls, Cuckoo and Barn Owl.

Spoonbill, Burnham Overy, 5th June

I nearly always see Grey Partridge here... a bird that some visitors to Norfolk seem to get very excited about seeing.

Grey Partridge, Burnham Overy, 5th June

A few other bits and pieces were posing for photos too:

Goldfinch, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Meadow Pipit, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Sedge Warbler, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Redshank, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Little Grebes, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Pochard, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Some of the ducks are now beginning to moult into eclipse plumage...

Mallards, Burnham Overy, 5th June

Tufted Duck, Burnham Overy, 5th June