February round up

Well I can truthfully say the second month has been as good as the first and we have been very lucky to have had such a mild winter. The weather hasn’t kept us in on many days and to be honest we do need to stay in occasionally to keep on tops of routine jobs that need doing laundry etc!). We have had 23 more year ticks including two life ticks not bad for two months in. I was very glad to eventually catch the Pallid harrier as it took several attempts. Our other life tick was the Ferruginous duck, often called a fudge duck and was also one I was pleased to get as we had been disappointed by one a few years ago. Strange how some birds are particular about their breeding partner where as others, including many ducks, are more into free love! This was how our original fudge duck let us down as it was shown not to be pure!!!

Definitely the highlight of February was our trip to Suffolk, it was last minute inspiration and an excellent time. From the little Rock pipit as we walked to see the glossy ibis, to the warm welcome at the Eels Foot Inn.

 

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I enjoyed playing with my camera and taking some short video clips which I hope to do something with probably at the end of the year when I have time! Early one morning I was videoing this Mute swan when a young one swam alongside and they swam around mirroring each other, ’twas a beautiful sight.

There were ducks, waders and small birds to watch to say nothing of the huge bonus of the appearance of an otter! At last we saw our first Great spotted woodpecker of the years and I don’t think any day didn’t provide at least one Robin.  We met so many lovely strangers and I am not going to attempt to pick any favourites this month.

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Of course Suffolk was only a few days in the month we visited many other places, old and new. Moths have been almost completely absent again this month , I think they need the warmer nights to tempt them out. I hadn’t expected to be adding a sperm whale to our list, that was some sight but such a sad if inevitable end for him. A White stork was another surprise!IMG_8816 White stork (Custom)

The past couple of months have proved that Ian and I can be happy in each others company; I say this as we haven’t lived alone since the birth of our first gorgeous son in 1972! Two more equally gorgeous children followed and the three of them have always been and continue to be, the hugest blessing for both of us. Twenty years of fostering meant our time sharing our home with children has been longer than most peoples!IMG_7745 (Custom)

It has been fun getting out and about, deciding where to go and sharing successes and occasional disappointments. March has already got off to a good start and I am confident it will be at least as good as the first two!

Thank you for reading this blog, it is great to know you are with us! I do love comments partly as without them I don’t know who is reading as it shows me numbers but not names!!!

Here is the list of birds seen up until the end of February, the ones in bold are new this month, the ones in red are life ticks:

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Bewick Swan
  3. Whooper Swan
  4. Pink-footed Goose
  5. White-fronted Goose
  6. Greylag Goose
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Barnacle Goose
  9. Brent Goose
  10. Egyptian Goose
  11. Common Shelduck
  12. Mandarin Duck
  13. Eurasian Wigeon
  14. Gadwall
  15. Eurasian Teal
  16. Mallard
  17. Pintail
  18. Shoveler
  19. Red-crested Pochard
  20. Common Pochard
  21. Ferruginous Duck
  22. Tufted duck
  23. Greater Scaup
  24. Long-tailed Duck
  25. Common Scoter
  26. Velvet Scoter
  27. Goldeneye
  28. Smew
  29. Red-breasted Merganser
  30. Goosander
  31. Red-legged Partridge
  32. Grey Partridge
  33. Common Pheasant
  34. Golden Pheasant
  35. Little Grebe
  36. Great Crested Grebe
  37. Red-necked Grebe
  38. Fulmar
  39. Cormorant
  40. Shag
  41. Bittern
  42. Little Egret
  43. Great Egret
  44. Grey Heron
  45. White Stork
  46. Glossy Ibis
  47. Red Kite
  48. Marsh Harrier
  49. Hen Harrier
  50. Pallid Harrier
  51. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  52. Common Buzzard
  53. Rough-legged Buzzard
  54. Kestrel
  55. Merlin
  56. Peregrine Falcon
  57. Water Rail
  58. Moorhen
  59. Coot
  60. Oystercatcher
  61. Pied Avocet
  62. Ringed Plover
  63. European Golden Plover
  64. Grey Plover
  65. Lapwing
  66. Knot
  67. Sanderling
  68. Purple Sandpiper
  69. Dunlin
  70. Ruff
  71. Common Snipe
  72. Black-tailed Godwit
  73. Bar-tailed Godwit
  74. Curlew
  75. Spotted Redshank
  76. Common Redshank
  77. Common Greenshank
  78. Lesser Yellowlegs
  79. Ruddy Turnstone
  80. Grey Phalarope
  81. Mediterranean Gull
  82. Black-headed Gull
  83. Common Gull
  84. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  85. Herring Gull
  86. Iceland Gull
  87. Glaucous Gull
  88. Great Black-backed Gull
  89. Rock Pigeon
  90. Stock Pigeon
  91. Wood Pigeon
  92. Collared Dove
  93. Barn Owl
  94. Tawny Owl
  95. Short-eared Owl
  96. Common Kingfisher
  97. Green Woodpecker
  98. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  99. Wood Lark
  100. Sky Lark
  101. Shore Lark (horned lark)
  102. Meadow Pipit
  103. Rock Pipit
  104. Water Pipit
  105. Pied Wagtail
  106. Wren
  107. Dunnock
  108. Robin
  109. Black Redstart
  110. Stonechat
  111. Blackbird
  112. Fieldfare
  113. Song Thrush
  114. Redwing
  115. Mistle Thrush
  116. Cetti’s Warbler
  117. Dartford Warbler
  118. Common Chiffchaff
  119. Goldcrest
  120. Penduline tit
  121. Long-tailed Tit
  122. Marsh Tit
  123. Coal Tit
  124. Blue Tit
  125. Great Tit
  126. Nuthatch
  127. Treecreeper
  128. Great Grey Shrike
  129. Jay
  130. Magpie
  131. Jackdaw
  132. Rook
  133. Crow
  134. Starling
  135. House Sparrow
  136. Tree Sparrow
  137. Chaffinch
  138. Brambling
  139. Serin
  140. Greenfinch
  141. Goldfinch
  142. Siskin
  143. Linnet
  144. Twite
  145. Lesser Redpoll
  146. Mealy Redpoll
  147. Bullfinch
  148. Lapland Longspur (bunting)
  149. Snow Bunting
  150. Yellowhammer
  151. Reed Bunting
  152. Corn bunting
Moths     6
Winter moth
Mottled umber
Pale brindled beauty
Early moth
Common quaker
Early grey
Other insects.  4
Wasp
Lacewing green
Ladybird 7 spot
Ladybird harlequin
Animals ( or What no wings! )  10
Rabbit
Stoat
Hare
Grey squirrel
Grey seal
Roe deer
Muntjac deer
Red deer
Sperm whale
Otter
Grand total  172

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round and round we went!

The past few days have been cold, wet and windy and not an encouragement to go out but a change was on the way. We decided to have a change of area and see what Minsmere had to offer so a quick look on the internet and we had booked a room for a couple of nights away. We had stayed at The Eels Foot before and were more than  happy to return and see if we still like it!

I checked RBA to see if anything was on our route that would be worth dropping in on. One stood out and that was a Glossy ibis at Hollesley Marshes RSPB it wasn’t much of a detour so off we went. We got so close to the site…several times in fact! Somehow we managed to drive round in circles and we were beginning to despair when we saw an RSPB sign but no they were the wrong marshes!

If we had known that it was by a prison I think we would have arrived earlier but eventually we found the site and the task of finding the bird proved to be, thankfully, much easier.

The Ibis was distant as the pictures show but it was good to see it alongside an egret and several herons. The weather had been a bit grim, rain for a lot of the journey but like our mood it improved whilst we were at Hollesley.

We may have seen a Yellow-legged gull but need to check some pictures. We did see an insect which I hope to Id but for now we can’t count it. On our way I spotted  a beautiful deer among the trees and unusually it waited for us to reverse and stood to have his picture taken.

 

We checked in at The Eels Foot Inn, left our bags there and went straight off to Minsmere as time was going by quickly.

It was gone three before we arrived at Minsmere and sat to eat some lunch, that was over seven hours since I had filled the food flasks and yes lunch was still good and hot! A Magpie kept us company while we ate and the Pheasants and rabbits were near the visitors centre.

We had a look for two female Smew that are on site but we couldn’t find them, we will try again tomorrow. We had been told the best place to be try to see harriers coming in to roost and sometimes but not always, that includes a Hen harrier. We were also told of nearer place we could put the car which would be easier to get to in the dark.

Hooray at last we saw a Greater spotted woodpecker, not sure how it has taken us this long but I suspect we will be seeing them all over the place now!

It was beautiful looking out over the marshes as the light faded and we were fortunate to see not only a Hen harrier but a Bittern flew right in front of the hide…brilliant, he was bird number 141. We met two charming young ladies in the hide who both work for the RSPB and it turned out are staying in the same place as us. Even they hadn’t heard of the RSPB site that we had struggled to find this morning!!!

Back to The Eels foot to get settled in and have something light to eat after our rather late lunch. We plan an early night in the hope that we will be up early tomorrow morning to return to the hide on Minsmere, before breakfast, as we hear that Otters sometime make an appearance there.

Day one of our Suffolk trip has gone well and I am looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings!