This month saw the end of one of my own personal challenges, to see a new species of bird on the local patch for every month of the year. August usually the most difficult part of such a birding challenge produced many sighting of much overdue Nuthatches but September with its promise of mellow fruitfulness and migrants on the winds failed me. In a last desperate act I set out for the heart of my patch on the West Hethersett Loop. The first birds to grace the freshly planted fields were a pair of pheasants. I snatched a quick shot of the female who shows her camouflage qualities.
I was about to capture her stunning partner who looked very like a recent drab individual I had seen nearby in moult when the curse of the modern world prevented the perfect shot as my mobile rang. A phone call later and all that was left was an empty field.The birds had vanished. Fortunately I had captured an even more stunning bird earlier in the week near Thetford which shows an unusual colouration and one of many such variations of the common pheasant. This one is a close second to my personal favourite which is the dark green birds seen often historically in the Strumpshaw area.
The muddy fields are no place to hide even for a female pheasant and the walk allowed views of red-legged partridge woodpigeons by the dozen joined near the Great Melton Reservoir by stock doves and some white feral doves to add a little highlighted variety. Background acoustics were provided by a number of jays as well as a fly over mistle thrush. My target bird the long outstanding kingfisher remains my target bird. As I returned empty handed from my over brief expedition I scanned the skies in search of a flyover osprey which are still appearing in the county with one individual at Lyng for several days. My efforts were rewarded with two calling buzzards
Similar recent efforts to scan the skies above the village have produced a kestrel and a cormorant both scarcer birds over the village itself. Hopefully October will bring the much awaited new bird but I shall be content if it continues to produce the occasional splash of colour that September managed.