Lists are updated, which is timely. Despite the patch year being only eight days old, I have yet to see a Med. This is a little embarrassing really. But I remember the days that I would yearn for a Med on my patch. These days I know that it inevitabubble, which is nice.
Have a picture of a suffolk gull.
a gull doing flying in the direction it didn't when the camera was in the case
All the lists on this weblog are up to date – feel free to click on them and then to stare at your computer with slack jawed disbelief at the quality on show. Or tut, knowing that the numbers should be higher. . I know that one of them is empty, but it is correct.
No, not the Van Halen album, and actually not statistically accurate as quite the opposite was in effect yesterday as it was Divers Up! Which isn’t the title of an album by Van Halen.
Basically yesterday was full patch divering. The facts are this. Early morning – Great Northern Diver on the sea. Lunchtime – 106 Red-throated Divers flying north. 106. Yes, that does read one hundred and six. I know this because I used my county thing (scroll down to a previous post if you missed this monumental purchasing event). I didn’t start using my county thing because I didn’t expect to see 106 of them. I started on one hand and by the time my proverbial boots were off, I decided to use the counter and then they came and came and came. Ones, twos, half a dozen, a dozen etc etc. Bloody brilliant it was. Abso-bloody-lutely brilliant. There was a few Guillemots buzzing past too, and just before my time was up a Razorbill landed on the sea. And that is a patch tick. Absolute top notchness for a whole hour.
The keen eyed Norfolk birder may well have ignored the previous paragraph once they saw the words ‘Great Northern’ and will be looking for masses of information on the ID and some will wonder why oh why oh why it wasn’t on Birdalertpagerguides? But then again, they probably stopped reading this drivel months ago. All the same, I’ll probably get accused of being a suppressionist for not shaating about the siting the moment I confirmed the ID, but there you go. I did have to go to my place of employ immediately and it wasn’t there later in the day so that’s about the size of it.
Here is a shit photo record shot…
a diver doing great
And here is another, which looks a bit less like a Guillemot…
a diver doing northern
Before I left site I also had cracking views of a Black Redstart. Patch birding, eh?
Recently, the patch birding has been dominated by seawatching (which I am still carrying out in inappropriate windage) but it has been enjoyable. There, I said it. I enjoy seawatching. It’s not because I see loads of cracking birds when I do it, because I don’t. It’s a more philosophical thing. If I had more wine inside me I may have felt compelled to qualify this, but I haven’t.
But there are birds. This week has been spent watching Kittiwakes amongst the other gulls. Due to their wheeling tendency there have been between three and thirty in each session. I suspect the former due to the normal lack of birds that I see at sea, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Mainly adult birds, and lovely and elegant and delicate but robust at the same time. They really are a treat to watch in a strong wind.
Yesterday, I watched a Peregrine come in off the sea carrying prey. Due to the colour (blackish) and the length of the legs (longish) I instantly thought Moorhen. Which would be a patch tick. I have ticked flat fish in the gob of a Cormorant and Sand Eels in the ‘marf’ of a Common Tern, but they were twitching. The boid that the Peregrine had was properly dead, and not tickable (patch rule 14 – Thou shalt not ticketh the dead aviform).
Nice year tick today with a Grey Wagtail, only my second in this patch. Lovely little bird that I don’t see enough of lately. Fair few Pied, but as handsome as they are I do prefer their Grey cousin.
Lately the birding has been dominated by seawatching. This has generally been dominated by Great Black-backed Gulls interspersed with very occasional little black things steaming past that I cannot identify. Largely due to the distance rather than my inability to identify little black things that steam past, which is in itself quite vast. This is quite typical of my seawatching experience and I love it.
Let’s have a picture of one of them there gulls eh?
great black backed doing 2nd winter, or possibly not
What a beast! Just look at the hook on it! Look at that mantle! Yummy!
So I went out into the patch and it looked like this.
sky doing just you wait sonny
Understandably, I started getting rained on. So I retreated to the shelter of a nearby motorised vehicle and by the magic of the internal combustion engine I found myself by an area of scrubland. Actually it is desolate industrial wasteground, but scrub makes it sound all wild and authentic and everything. Bored out of my patch mind by the lack of birds to watch I even ended up taking pictures of a bird I don’t like.
a wood pigeon doing rubbish
I muttered, and took the Lords name in vain with reference to the rubbishness of local birds etc. I mean Wrynecks are stalking local dunes, but not mine. Greenish Warblers are being found in bushes a mere few miles away, but not here. All I have is a Wood Pigeon. And those Sparrows. And that Blue Tit. FFS. Blue Tit? But that would be a member of an entire family of birds that do not present themselves around here at all. Have I fallen into the complacency of the common place again? Yes! Patch tick! Niiiiice! Better get the bins out then and look at it properly. It’s a respect thing. But hang on, what is that flicky thing that is with the Tit and Sparrows in that rubbish bit of scrub/wasteland. Oh it seems to look like a warbler. At 8x magnification it revealed itself to be no less than a Chiffchaff. Another bleeding patch tick! Shmokin!
One rain shower for me, two photos for you dear reader, and a rambling post about two patch ticks. Splendid.