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.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Summer birding

On Wednesday 8th June I got up early and started going through the moth trap before dawn so that I could get up to Burnham Overy early.  I had a day off and wanted to spend it completing what would probably be my last serious search for spring migrants this year.

I was still going through the trap at home when it started to get light and became aware of a peculiar noise.  Something was flying over and as it came closer I recognised it, then saw it flying low over the garden - a Ruddy Shelduck!  There must be a resident Ruddy Shelduck nearby because this is now the third time I've seen one from the house in less than 2 years - and that compares with a grand total of 1 other duck (either a Mallard or Gadwall but not seen well enough to identify).

On arrival at Burnham Overy I was greeted by a Spoonbill in the staithe, with a second bird flying over soon after (I ended up with at least 3 Spoonbills).

Spoonbill, Burnham Overy, 8th June

Spoonbill, Burnham Overy, 8th June

There were 2 Bearded Tits in the last few reeds at the very northern end of the dyke right be the staithe carpark - not the first time I've seen them all the way up here.  Among the feral geese were 3 Barnacle Geese, presumably the same birds I was later to see flying over the dunes.

At Gun Hill I watched a Marsh Harrier carrying in some prey, a chick of something, but before I could identify its prey I was distracted by this Hobby.

Hobby, Burnham Overy, 8th June

It wasn't getting as much grief as a Kestrel had earlier, with a horde of Lapwings and Redshanks in pursuit.

Kestrel (with Lapwing and Redshanks), Burnham Overy, 8th June

Kestrel, Burnham Overy, 8th June

Lapwing, Burnham Overy, 8th June

Meadow Pipits, Burnham Overy, 8th June

There are still Lesser Whitethroats at Gun Hill, presumably settled in now.

Lesser Whitethroat, Burnham Overy, 8th June

My serach for passage migrants drew a blank though.  Today's birding was pretty much all about resident and breeding birds.  I can't tell how many Oystercatchers are in this photo - a closer look would have revealed the answer but it didn't seem worth disturbing them.

Oystercatcher chicks, Burnham Overy, 8th June

This Lapwing took its chicks for a walk along the sea wall footpath...

Lapwings, Burnham Overy, 8th June

A pair of Mediterranean Gulls flew west past towards Scolt and a third bird, a first-year, was around the beach briefly.

A few days later in my lunch break I rocked up at a site for Monties.  Not the same place as I'd been told by birders that they were present at this year, but another site where they were formerly present and which a non-birder tipped me off about so I wanted to check.  This ringtail Montagu's Harrier appeared literally as I pulled in.  Photos not the best as I concentrated on looking at it first.

 Montagu's Harrier, undisclosed location, 13th June

The same day I had a look round Whin Hill quarry.  A Barn Owl flew away from there carrying a mouse or similar and a Green Woodpecker was feeding on the slopes of the quarry.

Not much else to report except for various sightings of Red Kites.  Oh, and two failed attempts to see the Great Knot at Titchwell.  A nice Spotted Redshank and a couple of Spoonbills but no Great Knot.  I must try again - it's still around and a cracking bird.

PS: last night stood at the end of Lady Anne's Drive waiting for the start of a moth evening we saw a total of 5 Spoonbills fly over and a Great White Egret drop in east of the drive.

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