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.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Great Grey Shrike

On Saturday Dave and I headed into the Brecks where we started off at Brake Hill, a site that has recently held Great Grey Shrike.  No sign of that - Brambling was the best bird seen.  A drive round Hillington, Bodney and The Arms produced another 3 Bramblings but little else so at Great Cressingham we took a wander down Green Lane.  This was once a good site for Reeves's Pheasant but we couldn't find any today - 2 Red Kites were the only birds of note.  Finally we went to Swaffham Heath where Brambling and Siskins were the only noteworthy species recorded.

On Sunday a quick stop at Bylaugh produced a nice Nuthatch, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk and Green Woodpecker.

Grey Wagtail, Bylaugh, 26th February

On Monday I had a look round Swanton Morley where a Water Rail called and 2 Kingfishers kept chasing each other round.  I ended up with 6 Bullfinches in the area and Green Woodpecker and Siskins were heard.  Nearby there was a Grey Wagtail at the road bridges and Bylaugh produced one remaining Chiffchaff and a Nuthatch.  With a striking yellow vent on the Chiffchaff thoughts of Iberian Chiffchaff crossed my mind, but I couldn't turn it into one, even though the wing point did seem a little on the long side.  It would have been nice if it had called though, just to rule it out completely.  The yellow tones clear in the field haven't come out on the photos at all - it looks more buff on the vent in the photo.  Also there was more yellow elsewhere including on the supercilium than suggested by the photo.

Chiffchaff, Bylaugh, 27th February

Dave and I headed to the Brecks on Tuesday and started off at Cockley Cley Wood near Drymere.  A showy Great Spotted Woodpecker greeted us on our arrival and we proceeded to see lots of Woodlarks (we had at least 7) along with the usual stuff like Marsh Tit, Siskins and Redpolls.  After a while we found the Great Grey Shrike which was presumably the bird recently seen at Brake Hill.  While we were watching it we heard some Bewick's Swans calling but couldn't see them.  Fortunately Pete Doulton was present and also heard them, and he did see them - a flock of 20 flying east.

Great Grey Shrike, Cockley Cley Wood, 28th February

Local birding yesterday and today haven't produced much.  The highlights were a flock of 350 Wigeon still on the patch yesterday and the Chiffchaff remaining at Bylaugh (and still remaining silent), along with a pair of Grey Wagtails, Nuthatch and Green Woodpecker.

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