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, 31 August 2015

Icterine Warbler

You can't expect to find the rares unless you spend the time in the field, and lately I haven't been spending nearly enough time in the field.  I'm planning on that changing very soon, now autumn is getting in the swing and I have a fair bit of leave to use up, but in the last month or so since my last post I've managed just 3 visits to Burnham Overy.

On 1st August the highlight was a juvenile Hobby seen well as it dashed along the beach.  Migrant waders included Greenshank and Whimbrels, at least 2 Mediterranean Gulls (a juvenile and a second-winter) were in the channel and 1-2 Spoonbills were seen.  Other than that, Natterjack toad was the highlight apart from moths and beetles.

Whimbrel among Common Sea-lavender, Burnham Overy, 1st August

And just because I know how much you like it when I post pictures of ducks (at least it's not a hybrid)...

eclipse male Mallard, Burnham Overy, 1st August

My next visit to Burnham Overy on 15th was a bit more productive.  The walk out in the rain produced Spoonbill, Greenshank and 2 Whimbrels, and a Yellow Wagtail dropped in by the cattle.  Stuart was a little way ahead and while I was watching a tight flock of about 150 Swallows milling around over Holkham marshes he called me to say that yesterday's Icterine Warbler was showing well in the apple tree.  I wasn't far off but by the time I reached him it had disappeared.  Gave it a while before a few more folk turned up and eventually one lad decided to climb the hill and look over a larger area.  Good plan as he found the bird immediately - we all got some nice views, albeit not as close as it had shown to Stuart previously.

Icterine Warbler, Burnham Overy, 15th August

As Stuart had by now covered Gun Hill I decided to do the east dunes first (he'd done them too, but I didn't know how little he'd seen there yet).  They were very quiet, the only potential migrants being 3 Lesser Whitethroats and a couple of Whitethroats but I suspect they were more likely birds that had bred in the dunes.  The west dunes were marginally better: a nice juvenile Willow Warbler was in the suaeda and a flock of 6 Ruff flew west along the beach and on past Scolt Head.  Back at the boardwalk the Icterine Warbler was now showing amazingly well, sat out in full view for prolonged perioeds.  Very much enjoyed that.

Icterine Warbler, Burnham Overy, 15th August

Grey Plover, Burnham Overy, 15th August

I've had a few Siskins calling at home, mainly while I've been checking my moth trap in the mornings - probably linked to the numbers that have been reported by others at the coast.  There have also been Bullfinches calling several mornings, with one fine male giving good views one morning.

Other than that a couple of Red Kites on my travels but not much more.  Lunch break efforts have been very unproductive - a Greenshank at Thornham being the best I could manage.  

Chiffchaff, Coxford, 6th August