Monday, 27 May 2013

Thorpe St Andrew Marshes

A couple of visits to Thorpe Station Marshes during the last week. On my first visit last Sunday I was observing a pair of Reed Warblers at the start of the path that leads to Bungalow Lane when I became aware of a Cuckoo calling very close by. It flew out from an Ivy covered tree and passed immediately overhead affording me the closest view of a Cuckoo that I think I have ever had!

A Cuckoo continued to call this weekend, however it was rather windy and most of the resident warblers stayed within cover. A Sedge Warbler did appear briefly above the reeds enabling a brief photo opportunity.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Big Norwich Bat Project Part 2

Buffy and Sonia of The Big Norwich Bat Project emailed the results of the survey carried out in my garden on Sunday night. Very comprehensive, it gives details of the night's bat calls including timings and various other bits of information.

We had 8 bat passes consisting of 5 Common Pipistrelle, 1 unidentified Pipistrelle and 2 Noctule. Not sure for the reduction on last years total of 40. It was rather cold, the temperature dropping as low as 8 degrees Centigrade.

All in all a very interesting exercise and well worth surporting.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Thorpe St Andrew Marshes - Warblers In Abundance!

I decided to take advantage of the fine weather and have a stroll around the marshes before lunch. The reserve was absolutely alive with birdsong. There seemed to be warblers everywhere!

Last year almost unbelievably I failed to see a single Blackcap, today I saw two. One near the footbridge, the other on Bungalow Lane. Also seen in abundance were Common Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warblers, and Reed Buntings.

I heard my first Cuckoo of the year calling out from the Bungalow Lane area. Also of note were the large number of Orange Tip Butterflies fluttering over the Marsh.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Big Norwich Bat Project Part 1

Last year I reserved my home square kilometre in Thorpe St Andrew to participate in the Big Norwich Bat Project

I have always been conscious of the presence of bats in my back garden so was interested to find out more. The survey equipment registered 35 Common Pipistrells, 3 Noctules and 2 unidentifiable Pipistrells.

Today the monitoring equipment was set up for this years survey. It was interesting to note that insect traps had been added from last year. Logically certain types of insect population I assume are linked to bat population.

Stay tuned for the results!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Thorpe Marshes - Signs Of Spring!

At last with temperatures around 15 C and the sun shining things looked a bit more promising than of late.

At the very least I was hoping to hear a Chiff Chaff. Nothing near the footbridge where there had been some recent sightings. I decided to head for Bungalow Lane where I remember seeing several in the treetops last year. Whilst walking along the path leading to the Lane I heard one in the adjacent thick woodland. When I got beyond the railway crossing on Bungalow Lane itself sure enough I saw three Chiffchaffs in different locations. One was sufficiently bold to let me get a couple of decent photographs. 

On the shingle spit were two Oystercatchers. I also saw my first Butterflies of the year, three Small Tortoiseshell enjoying the sun's warm rays.
Bumped into Ricky (Shakys Birding Blog) on the way around the circuit. Nice to have a chat and catch up since our meeting last year!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

More from Bergh Apton Bird Feeding Station

Things seem to be getting a bit busier at the feeding station than of late. A new addition to the Bergh Apton list was a Grey Wagtail that settled briefly in the yard. Too brief for a photograph unfortunately!

Greenfinches that have been missing for several months have returned along with Goldfinches that feed almost non stop on the Niger seed. A Great Spotted Woodpecker makes regular visits which poses the question as to wether this is one of a breeding pair from last year.

The visiting Moorhens are showing unusual behaviour. Clambering up on the metal framework they feed greedily from the seed feeder. Not to be outdone a Pheasent does likewise!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Bergh Apton Bird Feeding Station

We have a builders yard adjacent to the Scop Hill Nature reserve at Bergh Apton. Some while ago we decided to set up a bird feeding station which is kept regularly stocked with a mixed bird seed, peanuts, niger seeds and suet balls. These we suspended from our Road Sign Rack. Hardly pretty but viewable from our office and a magnet for a great variety of local bird life!

Other than the common species one would expect, visitors have included a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and during last summer a pair of Turtle Doves. We regularly have a visit from Moorhens that habit a nearby pond and Pheasents and Red Legged Partridges seeking refuge from the regular shoots that take place in season on the local farmland.

A typical day today. Long Tailed, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches, Robins and a hungry Pheasent.


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Thorpe St Andrew Marshes

As a rule I like to update my blog with some photographs but didn't have the opportunity this time. As the sun shone brightly and the snow began to melt there seemed to be a bit more activity than in the past fortnight.
I went in search of one of the Water Rails that had been reported recently and encounted one in the dyke near the kissing gate as I approached the marsh. It exited the dyke, crossed the path leading to Bungalow Lane before disapearing in the boggy undergrowth. Far too quick for a photo opportunity!
The Broad was still largely frozen and all the waterfowl and gulls had congregated on the section that remained clear of ice. Large numbers of Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Pochard and Teal but nothing out of the ordinary.
It was whilst walking along the path adjacent to the river that I saw a single Goldcrest in one of the large trees. A first for me on this site! A Cettis Warbler briefly emerged from the reeds near the cattle pen completing a most enjoyable walk in the sunshine.