Wednesday, 2 April 2014


28th-30th March.

I started by looking for Goshawks at a site in Norfolk and it wasn't long before we had our first sighting. I had been told that the best time was between 9am and 10:30am and right on cue two appeared and flew East. Staying on site till 10:30am did give a further two sighting's but as they were not seen at the same time it's not possible to say that they were 4 different individuals.



Next stop was Lynford Arboretum were I was greeted by two singing, flighty Firecrest's and an equally chirpy Colin Wills. The target birds were Firecrest, which was seen in the car park as soon as pulled up, Hawfinch and Two-barred Crossbill. The Hawfinch have been seen under the feeding area near the entrance to the arboretum.



Now, to me it doesn't matter how many Hawfinch's you see, they always take your breath away as they are just such stunning birds. We had 6 in total seen at the same time and I manged to digiscope the images included here. The light was not great so I was extremely pleased with the results.


Two-Barred Crossbill were found a little further into the arboretum. There has been lots of talk and controversy regarding these birds with many discounting some individuals. The tertials white tips ware but length and shape remain. My opinion is that they are Two Barred, even the one with the lesser bars pictured at the top here. The lower bird is a complete stonker.
Cavenham Heath was going to be my last stop to see Stone Curlew until a certain mega alert re a Duck at Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB drew my attention, which we will discuss a little later. There were 6 Stone Curlew seen on the Heath early morning although I only managed to see 5. Always very distant and perfectly camouflaged when siting still. The warm sunshine that had developed in the afternoon was adding to the difficulty getting decent images, the heat haze causing much distortion. This is the only recognisable digiscoped image obtained.
The mega alert that I had had earlier was then really brought to the forefront of my mind by means of a phone call from a good friend Ron Cousins. He was already on site and had seen the BAIKAL TEAL, texting me "It looks good and has no rings". I left the Heath and dashed to RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes. Arriving to see Ron waiting for me, he helped to point me in the right direction before having to go off.
Whilst walking down a few birders were walking back and they stopped to tell me "Its flown off round the spit and can't be seen from the hide, it may have landed down the western end". My heart did sink a little but I carried on and completed the long walk to the far south western tip of the lake in record time. I was very happy to relocate the bird there sunning its self on the bank with several Wigeon obtaining these images, again digiscoped.
Now wether this bird is a genuine vagrant is debatable and I'm sure there will be people who believe in both views, genuine and escape. The bird is fully winged and has no rings so it may well get excepted. If it stays all summer it will be less likely to excepted by the powers that be, but its in beautiful plumage and is worth going to see.
All in all another absolutely cracking days birding.


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