Norfolk Trip Day 2

Friday and Day 2, todays plan was to head out to a new reserve, I hadn’t visited before, called, Sculthrope Moor Nature Reserve near Fakenham.

On entering the reserve your soon upon the first hide, called Dragonfly Hide, here I saw Dunnocks, Nuthatch, Siskin, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Chaffinch, Long tailed Tit, Blue Tit, heard a Song Thrush and Little Grebe. Moved away from the Dragonfly hide and made my way to the Woodland Hide, where the first surprise of the day was a paie of Muntjac Deer, feeding around the bird feeders, one female and one male, I ended up taking a few photos. Birds here included Blackbird, Bullflinch, Robin, Blue and Long tailed Tit.

I made my way slowly onwards taking in the scenery of Scultrope, a very wooded reserve along with areas of fen, meadows and wetland areas, I was enjoying the place. I finally came across the Whiteley Hide, there are seven hides in total, this is the place to see Red Kites and it wasn’t long before one was spotted over the tree tops, along with the Kite was a Common Buzzard and Rooks. Down at the nearby feeders were Long tailed, Blue and Great Tit, Male Reed Buntings, Chaffinch, Coal and Marsh Tit.

After a while I moved on to the new Wetland Area and the hide there, but on the my walk there I came across a roosting Tawny Owl, which was a nice experience of seeing one of these in the day time, nearby was a calling Chiffchaff. So from the Wetland hide, Common Snipe was a nice addition to the day list, along with a Common Redshank.

Sculthorpe Moor is a great place, one I think I could gladly spend all day there, lovely big hides, good reception area, clean toilets, and friendly staff, definitely be visiting again, 31 species encountered.

Bird List ;- Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Coot, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Red Kite, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rook, Siskin, Snipe, Song Thrush, Stock Dove, Tawny Owl, Teal,

Female Muntjac
Muntjac Deer

After Sculthrope I moved onto Heacham South Beach for the reported Slavonian Grebe, after about a 20min walk, thanks to another birder showing me the way and another birder on site we were soon onto the bird, it did give us the run around as it was moving up and down the river, I did manage a few distant photos of the bird.

After the Slavonian Grebe encounter it was then on to RSPB Titchwell were on arrival and just thru the hub, I had my first rain shower of the day, so I sat down at the visitor centre feeders watching Woodpigeon, and Dunnocks to pass the time away whilst the shower went thru.

After the rain I was onto and into the Island Hide where , Black headed Gulls, Shovelers, Avocets, Pochards, Mallards, Pintail, Marsh Harriers, Brent Geese, Mediterranean Gulls, Teal, and a few returning Sand Martins and Swallows could all be seen. Moving on then I soon stopped off at one of the seats along the pathway down to the beach which overlooks the reserve, from here I got to see ten Mediterranean Gulls in all, also Gadwall, Pied Wagtail, Avocets, Brent Geese, Shovelers and Greylag Geese.

On at the Parrinder Hide, ducked in here mainly to dodge another rain shower, bird highlights from here were a fine Male Pintail, three Turnstones, Redshank, and a single Ringed Plover. After the rain I headed down to the beach, stopping off firstly at the salt marsh to scope through some more birds, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Grey Plovers and Curlews.

Finally down at the beach, I was greeted by a guy coming off saying “I had all the beach to myself, as there were no people and no birds to be seen”. Funny that as I found Red breasted Mergansers on the sea, on the beach were, but at a distance, Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Sanderling, and Bar tailed Godwits.

Itt was now late and I was getting a bit cold, so I decided on heading back to the car park, seeing Little Egret and more Marsh Harriers and Cormorants on the way. 42 bird species seen at Titchwell, plus another Muntjac Deer at the visitor Centre.

Bird List :- Avocet, Bar tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pintail, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Robin, Sand Martin, Sanderling, Shelduck, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren


Norfolk Trip Day 1

A couple of days birding into Norfolk, first port of call on the way down was to Willow Tree Fen, this year it was open, so I drove onto the viewing platform and parked up, time 9:30am, the weather was cloudy and very windy. On getting my gear together, one of the volunteers came over and asked if I was there to see the Cranes, of which I was of cause, with his help I managed to see five birds in total, with two fairly close to the viewing platform, he also pointed out a Great White Egret which was at a distance, and Marsh Harriers. Other birds about were plenty of Teal, with Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Shovelers, a few Greylag Geese, a distinctive call from behind me draw my attention to some nearby trees, where a small flock of Fieldfare were hanging out. Back on the reserve a pair of Oystercatcher had come in, along with a pair of Pied Wagtails.

Bird List : Black headed Gull, Collard Dove, Cormorant, Crane, Fieldfare, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red legged Partridge, Shoveler, Starlin, Stock Dove, Teal, Woodpigeon (21)

Common Crane
Common Cranes

After the great views of the Cranes I moved onto RSPB Frampton Marsh, which was about thirty mins away. I arrived at about 11:30am and had dinner before moving onto the reserve, however from the car park, in the close by field, were lots of Wigeon, a few Redshank, Gadwall, Shelduck and Ruff.

Moving onto the reserve then, it seemed the wind was getting stronger, no hope on small stuff the. Called in to the new visitor Centre, toilets stop, but from here I could see a few Great Crested Grebes, lots of Greylag Geese, Cormorants, Little Egrets, with a fair amount of Pochard. I then walked on down to the Reedbed Hide where very little was happening, but managed to see Spoonbill, and a couple of Grey Herons. Moving on then, I placed myself behind one of the screens close to the reeedbed hide, to keep out of the wind so I could view over the 360° hide fields. So out of the wind I could view Brent Geese, Avocets, Ruffs, Lapwings, Black headed Gulls, and Shovelers, without being thrown around.

Finally within the 360° hide I picked up on some Dunlins, Redshanks, and a party of five Ringed Plovers. After the 360° hide I had a hour down at the wash on the banking overlooking the Marsh, no raptors seen, not in this wind, but I saw Meadow Pipits, a few more Redshanks, a Little Egret, Black headed Gulls, and Brent Geese.

On the walk back down to the car park, more Ruff, a large flock of Dunlin, a pair of Blue Tit, a few Linnets and some Black tailed Godwits.

Bird List :- Avocet, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Great Black backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Little Egret, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen , Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Shelduck, Skylark, Spoonbill, Starling, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Wren (40)

Little Egret
Little Egret

North Cave Wetlands

On arrival I started to scan the bushes along Dryham Lane near where i had parked the car, seeing Greenfinch, Dunnock, Lesser Redpoll (2), Cetti’s Warbler (heard only) and a single male Stonchat (Dryham Ings), on the left side marsh.

A good start, I decided on walking up Dryham Lane to the new workings, on the feeders on the right side were, Blackbirds, Tree Sparrows, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Out on Dryham Ings I found a Redshank and a couple of Black tailed Godwits. I tried looking for the Little Owl near the farm, but didn’t come across it, maybe too much activity from people at the time.

Looking over the new workings there were plenty of Black headed Gulls, a few Common Gulls, I scanned through them to try and pick up a Mediterranean Gull, but that was no go, a few Oystercatcher seen around here and a Treecreeper seen in one of the nearby trees. On my way back down Dryham Lane I found a single Chiffchaff along the hedge row, more likely an overwintering bird than a migrant bird.

After Lunch I decided on going on the footpath near Cliffe Road, stopping off in the East Hide (overlooking Village Lake), where I saw Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, and Canada Goose.

A change of plan after East Hide took me back towards Dryham Lane (Toilet Stop) and then back up Dryham Lane, Stonechat still in the same place on Dryham Ings. I took the footpath that takes up towards the Carp Lake and the Far Lake, a few Black headed Gulls and Pochard. I found a little feeding station down this footpath and a nearby bench, took the opportunity for a watch and saw Robins, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch and a none bird species in the form of a Brown Rat. Behind me looking out towards South Carr Farm there was a Red Kite and a Common Buzzard sailing thru.

Island lake had the usual species of duck Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Shovelers and Teal. and a flock of about c50 Curlews flying about,

I finally arrived down at the Turret Hide, passing the main feeders, thinking I’ll come back to those. Common Snipe was a nice find then I got of a shot of Bittern, so dashed to the other side of the hide to see a Bittern in the reeds, given a couple of minutes it gave itself up as it walk/swam across the channel, nice. After about a fifteen minute wait, hoping it would give itself up again a Water Rail dashed for one side to the other.

Call of Brambling at the feeders over the radio had me then setting off to see that, a twenty minute wait the male Brambling eventually gave itself up. Also at the feeders were Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Tree Sparrows, Chaffinch, Bullfinch and a Rook

Bird List for the day :- Bittern, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser Redpoll, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Red Kite, Redshank, Redwing, Robin, Rock Dove/Fearl Pigeon, Rook, Shelduck, Siskin, Snipe, Song Thrush, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Water Rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren (57)

Video vlog of the day by pressing HERE

Male Brambling
Brown rat

Cromwell Bottom

On arrival at the site I decided on a different approach to my usual route, taking the canal path first and entering the Nature Reserve further down. On the canal were mainly Mallard and Mute Swan, on entering the reserve I took a left turning towards the viewing platform and from here I saw a Grey Heron and a few Teal, overlooking the water ski lake I found mainly Black headed gulls with a few Common and Herrings Gulls, along with two male Goldeneye.

Decided then on walking down the path near the lagoon reedbed and onto the bottom footpath that runs along side the river and back towards the bridge over the river. Along this footbath I managed to find a couple of Lesser Redpoll and a couple of Goldcrest, with a small number of Log tailed Tit.

Back on the footbridge I scanned in the hope of Dipper and Kingfisher to no avail, but a guy did tell me where the Kingfisher was hanging out and had been for a couple of week, I headed straight over, but got distracted for ten minutes watching a good size flock of Lesser Redpoll and Siskins, after a couple of minutes, I heard a commotion behind, turning around I saw the back end of a Sparrowhawk chasing the Redpoll and Siskins thru the tress, on then to the Kingfisher.

No Kingfisher about when I arrived, there was already a small watching party. I eventually picked up the Kingfisher after about ten minutes and got interested parties on to it, a wonderful twenty minutes soon went by before it flew off, ending my day on a high note.

Small Video can be seen on You Tube by pressing HERE

Pugneys CP

A few hours to spare after work, so decided on a quick tour of Pugneys CP, main lake and nature reserve lake only. Out on the main lake, at the West side near the jetty, were Black Headed, Common, Lesser Black backed and Herring Gulls of various ages, Mallards, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Pochard, Great Cresyed Grebs and Cormorants.

Waled around then towards the Nature Reserve seeing a few Pied Wagtails on route but very little else, from the nature reserve hide were a very good number of Cormorants, Mute Swans, Grey Herons, Coots, Stock Doves and Woodpigeon.

Around at the next hide which overlooks the east side of the main lake were 3 female Goldeneye, more Cormorants, a Grey Heron which eventually flew to the hide area and located in the nearby reeds, a Water Rail was heard and unfortunately not seen.

Around the far side of the lake as I was making my way around to the car park over 70 Wigeon had amassed on the grass bank, it had now got around to coffee and cake time

No Photos today , just solely enjoying the birding time

Bird List : Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Magpie, Moorhen, Mute swan, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Robin, Shoveler, Stock Dove, Tufted Duck, Water Rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon (24)

Cromwell Bottom

A new year and a start to my year at the local reserve of Cromwell Bottom, mainly to get out and get the camera out , hasn’t been out all holiday.

On arrival there were four Stock Dove and two Cormorants on one of the pylons near to the car park. After I got the gear together I made my way down to the weir where there was a single Grey Heron over on the far bank, and along with this was a Grey Wagtail, in the nearby tress were Blue and Long tailed Tits.

I then made my to the feeding station, to take some photos, there was a good variety of birds here today with Blackbird, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Reed Bunting, Robin all in attendance.

Behind the feeding staion in the nearby trees were a small flock of Siskins, approx 9 birds.

Over the bridge then and onto the skiing lake nearby to Cromwell, mainly gulls here with Black headed, Common, Herring and Lesser Black backed Gulls, two female Goldeneye were present , along with a few Tufted Duck. On the canal were Mute Swans and Mallards.

Bird List :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Cormorant, Dunnock, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, Lesser Black backed Gull, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Reed Bunting, Robin, Siskin, Stock Dove, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon (32)


Year End 2022

My recording year ends for 2022, been an exciting year with numerous highlights. A couple of trips into Norfolk/Suffolk in May and September being a blessing to re-visit a few special sites, especially Titchwell and Minsmere.

A few bird highlights this year, started with a lifer in the form of the Baikal Teal, a pleasure to see the first breeding of Black winged Stilts in Yorkshire at Potteric Carr, the final highlight being the long staying Turkistan Shrike at Bempton Cliffs was also a lifer for me. I finished the year with a tally of 170 species.

Dragonflies took a while to kick off this year and I eventually got to find the Willow Emerald Damselflies, the first being at Snakeholme Pit and then more at Titchwell, these being lifers. Finishing the year on a tally of 17 in total

Butterflies, no new ones here but it was great to find Purple Hairstreaks at a couple of new sites, my work site (Nature on a Lunch Break) and my local wildlife ponds.

All remains is to wish you all a great 2023 with much wildlife watching and finding.

Thanks for supporting me on this site, I hope you all return to read about my wildlife adventures in 2023

Far Ings

A new reserve visited this time out, a place in North Lincolnshire, been on the radar for a number of years. Arriving at 8:15am I was a bit too early for the visitor centre car park, opens at 9am, so I ventured down to the Chowder Ness Car Park, opens at 8am.

Took me a few minutes to get togged up, winter, I was soon looking along the shoreline finding Lapwings, Dunlin, Redshanks, Wigeon, Black headed Gulls and Herring Gulls. Venturing then onto the reserve at a nearby pool, here I found plenty of Redwing and Blackbirds along the hedgerows, a singing Song Thrush was nearby, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck and Shovelers were on the pool.

It had got to 9:30am, so I packed up at Chowder ness and travelled up to the Visitor Centre, FAR INGS INFO, on arrival I settled in the close by family Hide, which overlooks the Pursuit Pit, from here I saw Black headed Gulls, ♂♀ Marsh Harriers, Teal, Mallards and Cormorants. After the rain had settled I slowly made my way down to the Ness End Farm Hide along the Viking Way, plenty of thrush action along this footpath also on the Bittern trail, namely Blackbirds and Redwing but also a Goldcrest. Down at the Ness farm Hide, a few folk in this one, a quick scan around produced Cormorants, Tufted Duck, Mallards, Mute Swan, a pair of ♀ Goldeneye, sitting and waiting produced a Robin amongst the reeds, then I got a glimpse of reed movement, I was hoping for a Bittern, turned out to be a Water Rail making its way from one patch of reed to the other, quickly, unfortunately to brief for a photo.

After dinner i parked up at the Ness Farm carpark and did another brief visit to the Ness farm Hide again in the vain hope of catching the Water Rail again, no show. Leaving this hide I made my way around to the target hide, where there was a bit more action around here, Kestrel hunting over the nearby field, from the hide Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Lapwing, Tufted Duck, Teal, Pochard and a couple of Redshank.

Video Vlog of the Day can be viewed by pressing THIS LINK

Bird List : Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Cettis warbler, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Redshank, Redwing, Robin, Shoveler, Song Thrush, Teal, Tufted Duck, Water Rail, Wigeon (34)

Male Shoveler

Cromwell Bottom

Hadn’t been out with the camera for a couple of weeks, it was a nice day, so decided on hitting Cromell Bottom near Brighouse for a couple of hours.

On arrival I got reports of the Kingfisher from a couple standing on the first bridge, also 2 photographers one either side of the river waiting for the birds to appear. Apparently, they had been frequenting this area here over the last couple of weeks, I hung around for a while, the photographers were now moving away, so I took my leave also and headed for the feeding station.

I stayed here for a couple of hours taking photos of Robins, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, the Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard but alas never showed, one day. I did however manage to get a few decent photos of a Treecreeper, which was a first for me.

I felt my luck was in, so headed back to the Kingfisher bridge. Ten minutes and nothing, a couple of other photographers arrived and asked what I was looking at, not looking, searching and waiting for a Kingfisher. wasn’t soon before they started to leave, and there it was, one Kingfisher in the lower branches turned out to be a female bird, got the other group onto it just before they left the bridge, happy faces all round.


East Lea Nature Reserve

Filey is where East Lea is situated and is a member only site, it would be my first visit here. We usually holiday in Filey so I decided on being a member.

I venture around the Brigg first seeing Pied Wagtail, Common Gull, Black headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Ringed Plovers, Purple Sandpipers, Oystercatcher, Merlin. On the sea Guillemot, Mute Swan and a Red throated Diver.

On then to Filey Dams where there wasn’t much a about, the usual Tree Sparrows, Herring Gulls, Cormorants, Greylag geese, Canada Geese, Kestrel and Teals.

Lastly then onto East Lea, making my way thru to the farmers field and hide, I picked up Blackbirds, Magpies, Crows, Jackdaws, House Sparrows, Black headed Gulls and a flock of 24 Curlews.

Sat in the hide I saw a very nice sight of 17 Grey Partridge, a rare sight these days, so lovely to see so many, they flew off eventually into the nearby farmer’s field. Also on the pool was a single Dunlin along with a single Redshank also a single Common Snipe and lastly a single Grey Wagtail. A Sparrowhawk flew thru putting up a few birds.

I decided to finish my day off at Bempton Cliffs where I saw a few Gannets, Tree Sparows, Herring Gulls, Kittiwakes, and Linnets

An ending to a quiet day no migrants for me this time.

Birds at Filey : Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Guillemot, Herring Gull, Kestrel, Lapwing, Merlin, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Purple Sandpiper, Red throated Diver, Ringed Plover, Shag, Teal, Tree Sparrow (16)

Birds at East Lea: Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Common Gull, Curlew, Dunlin, Grey Heron, Grey Partridge, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Mallard, Redshank, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Teal (19)

Birds at Bempton Cliffs: Gannet, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Kittiwake, Linnet, Rock Dove, Stock Dove, Tree Sparrow (8)

Grey Partridge
Common Snipe