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.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Burnham Norton and Sculthorpe Moor

A lunch-break wander round Syderstone Common on 31st March produced several singing Chiffchaffs, fly-over Siskins and a brief snatch of Blackcap song.

Chiffchaff, Syderstone Common, 31st March

On Saturday morning I headed up to the coast, passing Barn Owls at Brisley and Burnham Market.  I was to be meeting a group at Sculthorpe Moor at 9.15 or thereabouts so didn't feel I had time to do Burnham Overy justice, so opted for Burnham Norton instead.  Another Barn Owl was near the car park and 3 Mediterranean Gulls were splendid in their summer finery.

Along the seawall Chiffchaff(s) were singing in the saltmarsh, Goldcrest calling and a female Wheatear headed nipped across to the inland fields.  Clearly some migrant birds were arriving this morning.  A Bearded Tit called here too.

As I returned to the car one of the dykes held an interesting Wigeon.  It had a large area of white on the head, behind the eye.  I've seen a few Wigeon with white behind the eye and blogged about them a while ago.  Recently I again blogged about one bird at Salthouse which shows mixed male and female characters over several winters so is, presumably, an intersex bird.  This bird seemed to show mixed male and female characters too (though mainly female), so another intersex bird, I assumed.  Now what's the odds of two intersex birds both having excess white on the head if the two phenomena are unrelated?  And if they're not unrelated - why ever not?  Weird!  I noticed this bird also showed dark barring on the flanks, a feature that is not normally present on either male or female Wigeon, but is shared by intersex Pintails. Anyway, I've now blogged about this, so have a look there if you're interested.

Wigeon, Burnham Norton, 2nd April

At the visitor centre at Sculthorpe Moor the group were treated to 3 Red Kites.

Red Kite, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

A Blackcap was singing its heart out as we headed down to Woodland Hide, and unlike most Blackcaps this one had the decency to sit still while the whole group enjoyed close scope views of it.

Blackcap, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

A Long-tailed Tit nest in front of Woodland Hide was typically beautiful, if not easy to see, and here too were the first of at least 10 Bramblings, some of the males looking particularly fine.  Also the first of 5 Bullfinches here.

Long-tailed Tit nest, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Bramblings, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Bullfinch, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Reed Bunting, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

We also saw about 3 Nuthatches including one which was visiting a nest hole, and heard a Treecreeper singing.  From the new Tower Hide several Siskins were taking advantage of the feeders and 2 Redpolls were there when I first looked.  Unfortunately the latter disappeared before I managed to get a good look at them so I wasn't able to establish what sort of Redpoll they were.

Nuthatch, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Siskins, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Blue Tits, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Great Tits, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Chaffinches, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Goldfinch, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Greenfinch, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

From the last hides we spent a while watching a Little Egret feeding and one of the Red Kites (or perhaps a different one) provided closer views than before.

Little Egret, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Red Kite, Sculthorpe Moor, 2nd April

Lots of non-avian interest at Sculthorpe Moor too - check out my mothing diary page for details of not just moths (indeed no moths at Sculthorpe) but Vole and Stoats, Frogs and Toad, Stonefly, Elfcups and more.

On the way home I stopped off at the patch where the highlight was a Redshank at Bittering.  A relatively scarce bird around these parts now and this was the first time I'd seen one at this particular site.  Also a Little Ringed Plover on the patch.

Chiffchaff, Bittering, 2nd April

Buzzard, Bittering, 2nd April

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