A long overdue visit to the Goyt Valley turned out to be very fruitful, with almost all my target birds safely ticked off. I thought it was going to be a disappointing trip when after an hour or so all I had was Canada Goose and Great Crested Grebe. I was grateful to bump into a fellow birder who kindly put me onto a male Pied Flycatcher. I didn't see any last year, but I ended up see two males today, with a third bird also noted.
Typically though, it was a grey afternoon, and the birds were content to hide behind branches and leaves and out of range for any good shots.
Seeing them more than made up for it though.
I wanted to discover a new site the last time I was at my parents. So I sought out Kelling Heath. It turns out that what I thought was Kelling Heath previously, was actually a mile and half away from the proper site.
It was a bright morning, not particularly warm, but there was plenty of activity on the heath.
From the car park I could hear plenty of bird song, with Skylarks, Linnets and Yellowhammer calling in the distance and my first Chiffchaff of the year.
It's a fantastic place, and I can imagine this being alive with Cuckoo calls in a few weeks time, maybe even Turtle Dove. It is supposed to be home to the Dartford Warbler and Adders, so I will be visiting again soon.
Linnets were in very good numbers on the gorse.
Great to see Yellowhammers in good numbers. One more for the year list.
These pictures were taken last Spring on an a visit to the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere on the Wirral. Lots of different birds on show and making themselves visible.
One of the birds I'd set out to see was the Great White Egret. There have been a few on the Wirral in the last 24 months. Needless to say, this was one of the birds that was not playing ball on this day.
A bird always to be found on the beach at Sheringham is the Turnstone. It's pebbly beach is a great attraction for this small wading bird. There are also some nice big mossy rocks for it to probe for food.
Spring is with us (even if the weather is not particularly agreeing with that statement) and the bird activity has most definitely changed in recent weeks. The sound of geese overhead has been replaced with the calls of the Redshank, Avocet and other waders at the many nature reserves of the North Norfolk coast. I even heard my first calling Chiffchaff last week.
While I was sat in a hide at Cley waiting for a little bit of sunshine a Redshank obligingly walked towards me. It made up for the poor light and the distance at which anything else interesting was.
Something always turns up to make the trip worthwhile.
I was at Elton Reservoir looking for a Black-necked Grebe (which I did find) when I scanned a small raft of gulls and notice two Mediterranean Gulls that had dropped in. I was expecting to see the common fair, but these were instantly obvious to me to be the Med kind. A lovely black hood, red bill and white crescents above and below the eye.
A Black-headed Gull for comparison. You can see the hood is more chocolate brown and does not extend as far down the nape .
After 10 minutes of preening, they took flight noisily.
They gave a nice fly past as I stood waiting patiently.