The last couple of mornings have produced some fantastic big pink skies which I can only lament for not getting up earlier to share and produce on film. The early mornings have also started to sound to the song of the song thrush which has been quiet since the summer but is now finding its voice. With local birding and county birding both quiet I have hit a couple of spots worth visiting in the East of the county. First was RSPB Strumpshaw and with only a short time to spend I almost saw as many nature bloggers as I did species of birds. The highlight of my visit was the feeding station which was full of great tits, blue tits. coal tits and marsh tits. The perfect place for learning the differences between the family of birds.
As well as the usual bird feeders the feeding area has this seasons must have feeding accessory the feeding stump which as the name suggests is a tree stump hollowed out to for a more natural looking feeder ideal for those natural photos
Robin posing on the stump
Other birds visiting the feeders whilst I was there included chaffinch blackbird and Jay. If I had longer and better light I would have eventually got photos of all the garden favourites so a return visit will be in order. From the reception there were great views of coots, mallard and mute swan. The mute swan has finally made it onto the Birds Of Hethersett click on the link if you haven’t yet visited or been on the page for a while as it has been updated including many more photos. (LINK)
Next on my whirlwind trip was Breydon water at Gt Yarmouth to have a look at the swirling masses of birds drawn together at high tide. The next couple of photos hint at the vast numbers and big skies that backdrop the scene.
Wildfowl as far as the eye can see.
Most of the ducks in the picture are winter visiting wigeon recently arrived in big numbers since it got cold in the northern breeding grounds. If you look closely or click on the picture to enlarge you can also see a ‘where’s Wally’ style Pintail in amongst its wigeon friends as well as a fly through redshank. A telescope is a must at Breydon to pick out the individual species but a telescopic lens is the next best thing although the next photo highlights the size of the flocks here suggest a wide angle lens might be more appropriate.
You can just about make out the hint of gold on the main flock which consisted of thousands of golden plover in company with a host of other waders including lapwing, avocet, and redshank. Whilst most of the birds were out of range to see clearly there weer a few closer including hedges full of blackbirds with a lone redwing and in the creeks close to the shore a couple of little egrets feeding.
A couple of decades ago these delicate herons would have been a rare sight even in Breydon however a good dose of climate change and they are regular breeders. From Breydon I headed to the beach to check out another bird historically of warmer climes. Specifically I headed between Gt Yarmouth’s Piers to see the delicate Mediterranean gull. I wasn’t to be disappointed and a couple whirled around me feeding . These gulls are similar to the regular village black headed gulls but the obvious lack of black on the wings sets them apart and adds to their beauty
The Med gull with its ‘clean’ appearance.
Black headed gull for comparison with the dark wing tips, Grubby in appearance compared but still beautiful in the evening light and slightly more delicate overall.