21st April 2012 - London Wild Bird Watch

The London Wetland Centre played host to the first ever London Wild Bird Watch, a rather magnificent affair which was much bigger and much better than we expected!  There were a range of walks and talks over the weekend, with big names such as Simon King and Kate Humble. 

We watched live the Peregrine couple on Charing Cross Hospital who went on to give birth to 3 adorable chicks a couple of days later and saw recordings of the fox family they have been studying.  There were lots of stalls selling interesting things and I finally signed up to the Bat Conservation Trust which gained me a cute cuddly toy bat.  Yeah!  Stuart and his mum both bought a new piece of  bird listing software (shall let you know how that goes) and we learnt about birding in the Falklands from a lovely gentleman.  We also got a quick walk around the reserve in (of course) and spotted the usual suspects.

Nene Goslings are pretty cute.  I may forgive them for being my nemesis based on the cuteness.

1) Coot
2) Moorhen
3) Canada Goose
4) Mallard
5) Parakeet
6) Woodpigeon
7) Blackbird
8) Tufted Duck
9) Grey Heron
10) Sand Martin
11) Chiffchaff
12) Carrion Crow
13) Little Grebe
14) Pochard
15) Gadwall
16) Starling
17) Lapwing
18) Mute Swan
19) Robin
20) Long-tailed Tit
21) Greenfinch
22) Jackdaw

My year list for 2012 comes to 138.

2nd April 2012 - Weybourne

On our last day we were alerted to the presence of a Richard’s Pipit in the area by our guide so we changed our plans and headed to Weybourne. 

A great sighting of Cetti’s Warbler added to our Cetti’s fortnight and Stonechat were happily showing in the area we were looking for the Pipit.  Unfortunately we didn’t find the Pipit although our guide thought he heard him at one point.  We also took in a brief detour to Kelling Water Meadow which was rather lovely and then up the hill to where there were people flying model (large!) airplanes.  Fearing slightly for our lives, we escaped back down to the beach and marvelled at a nest (?) of mining bees, although I’m not sure what species they were, some more inspecting of photos needs to be done I think!  On our way back down a Tree Pipit was spotted by our eagle eyed/eared guide, a first for both Stuart and I. 
We popped to Blakeney for the seal trip which is always wonderful, then we reluctantly went back to London.

1) Skylark
2) Reed Bunting
3) Cetti's Warbler
4) Rook
5) Oystercatcher
6) Ringed Plover
7) Great Black-backed Gull
8) Herring Gull
9) Linnet
10) Lesser Black-backed Gull
11) Stonechat
12) Black-headed Gull
13) Meadow Pipit
14) Sandwich Tern
15) Eider
16) Common Gull
17) Egyptian Goose
18) Redshank
19) Teal
20) Magpie
21) Woodpigeon
22) Sand Martin
23) Chiffchaff
24) Wren
25) Buzzard
26) Tree Pipit - NEW FOR LIFE LIST!

My year list for 2012 comes to 132.

1st April 2012 - Holkham

After our afternoon at Holkham Hall, we thought it would be a good idea to have a quick walk around to see if we could spot anything good.  It turned out to be a good plan as we were there until sundown!  We wandered along to the beach on the off chance of Shorelark, but this proved pretty pointless.  A much better idea was had next, when we went to the George Washington hide.  From here we had a great view of a wide variety of things, including some Muntjac deer, ably identified by myself – ‘I can see something big!  I think it’s an animal?!  I think it’s a PIG!’.  Apparently it’s not a pig, nor did anyone else see the resemblance to boar.  My excuse is that it was far away and my binoculars can’t see that far.  The first Egyptian Goose of the trip was seen here and we had a great view of two Treecreeper and some bunnies chasing each other.  A lovely Jay kindly posed for us at which point we realised we didn’t have the camera.  A spot of moon watching took place before returning to the car and driving the short distance to The Victoria for a delicious fish pie with shrimp butter.

1)      Curlew
2)      Pheasant
3)      Oystercatcher
4)      Chaffinch
5)      Long-tailed Tit
6)      Goldcrest
7)      Woodpigeon
8)      Red Kite
9)      Mistle Thrush
10)  Skylark
11)  Shelduck
12)  Little Grebe
13)  Tufted Duck
14)  Mallard
15)  Robin
16)  Lapwing
17)  Shoveler
18)  Egyptian Goose
19)  Wren
20)  Blue Tit
21)  Jay
22)  Goldfinch
23)  Chiffchaff
24)  Great Tit
25)  Magpie
26)  Black-headed Gull
27)  Pied Wagtail
28)  Red-legged Partridge
29)  Treecreeper
30)  Cormorant
31)  Carrion Crow
32)  Marsh Harrier
33)  Blackbird
34)  Canada Goose
35)  Little Egret
36)  Coot
37)  Mute Swan
38)  Gadwall
39)  Moorhen
40)  Jackdaw

My year list for 2012 come to 128.

1st April 2012 - Kelling Heath

We met up with Andy again for a trip to Kelling Heath, the place we'd visited the night before where we had seen only 2 Linnets!  Luckily, there were a lot more birds around this morning and with Andy's guiding we found a number of excellent birds.  The first sighting was a flock of unexpected Crossbill passing over and then another unexpected event - a Tawny Owl calling just around the corner.  We hurried round and searched but unfortunately it wasn't to be found.  Carrying on walking, I spotted a bird up ahead that I couldn't quite place.  That turned out to be because I hadn't seen one before - it was a Woodlark!  
Shockingly bad picture of a Woodlark on a post.

A great bird and by the end of the walk, we'd seen a total of 5.  Whilst watching a steam train going through the heath, a Yellowhammer joined us for a nosey too, the first of the year for us. 

Choo choo!
The best bird of the walk though had to be a fantastic sighting of a Dartford Warbler, darting about on the top of a bush for all to see.  A trip to Holt on the way to Holkham Hall also produced a few birds, including Firecrest and Sparrowhawk.

A Blackbird nest with eggs.  Isn't it adorable!


1) Crossbill
2) Dunnock
3) Chaffinch
4) Woodlark - NEW FOR LIFE LIST!
5) Marsh Harrier
6) Linnet
7) Coal Tit
8) Buzzard
9) Chiffchaff
10) Mistle Thrush
11) Sparrowhawk
12) Rook
13) Yellowhammer
14) Blackbird
15) Kestrel
16) Dartford Warbler


1) Robin
2) Long-tailed Tit
3) Firecrest
4) Sparrowhawk
5) Blue Tit

My year list for 2012 comes to 128.