Thursday, 12 December 2013

Water Rail

A bird that is usually hidden away in a reedbed or among dense sedge and is heard by its' 'squealing' pig call. Sometimes, though the Water Rail comes into the open during its' search for food.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Parrot Crossbills at Holt, Norfolk

A flock of Parrot Crossbills have been frequenting Holt Country Park in North Norfolk for the past few weeks and I have been toying with the idea of going to see them, but with one thing and another, I just just never got around to it! That changed at the weekend with myself and my friend Chris Orders making the journey on Sunday.

On arrival at the car park there were a few cars, but no Parrot Crossbills. We went for a walk through the woodland to see if we could find the birds, but nothing. On returning to the now much fuller car park there was still no sign, but it was still early, so no time to start worrying. A car then pulled in and we recognised the driver from earlier, he had found the birds a little way off and had come back to tell everyone, very decent of him! We all piled into our cars and raced off to the new site, where the birds were found high in some pine trees where there were seen feeding and even gently feeding each other, very nice. They came a bit lower, hence the picture above and even drank from a puddle by the road and then they flew some distance. The views we had were exceptional and we left having added another 'tick' in our books.

The Parrot Crossbill comes from North and Eastern Europe and is a lot more scarce then the Common Crossbill, but pretty similar in appearance. The Parrot is slightly bigger, with a bigger head, bill and a thicker neck. The large, thick bill is roughly as deep as it is long, giving a more 'blunt' look to the tip. The call is a lot deeper and 'harder' than the Common Crossbill.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Iceland Gull at Ferry Meadows

A first-year Iceland Gull was reported at Ferry Meadows CP yesterday, apparently showing rather well through the fog. Upon my arrival, the bird had moved to the far side of Gunwade Lake, but could be seen just bobbing around on the water. I walked around the lake to see if I could get any closer, whereupon the bird decided to fly into the middle of said lake and then fly to where I had just been standing, ARRRGH! I managed to get a couple of shots of this addition to my PBC year list, a record equalling total for me of 179, which considering the lack of birding done this year, isn't too bad.

The bird then flew high and to the west, not to be seen again.