essex buzzard

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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:36 pm

In recent years, cattle egrets have been turning up in Cornwall in the early winter, and another invasion has occurred this winter. Having kept an eye on sightings, one area, on the Lizard peninsula, was worth seeking out. So I spent the afternoon here, driving and then on foot. The field took some finding, but once found, the cattle egrets, with their distinctive yellow bills, were present in good numbers and gave a cracking show and ample photographic opportunities, as they fed among the cattle.
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As well as the cattle egrets, several little egrets, with black bills,were in the field with the cattle, picking up anything disturbed by them. I’ve never seen little egrets feeding like this before.
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Wurzel
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:20 pm

Great set of reports recently Essex and great to see the Cattle Egrets :D The final shot showing both small white Egrets is a cracker :D :mrgreen: I remember 25 or so ears back the massive excitement when 2 Little Egrets turned up at Arne, I mean 2 Little Egrets :shock: Now i see them on my drive to work :roll: ...if only a few more European butterflies would come over and settle...

Have a goodun

Wurzel

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:33 pm

Thanks Wurzel. I like that picture too, and it was great seeing both species together like that. Last year, I just saw cattle egrets at roost- distant and at low light. That was fine, as I had never seen them in Britain before. But this time,I wanted to see them, as their name suggests, in a field with cattle. And I succeeded!

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:38 pm

I agree with you’re other point too- several species of bird, and also dragonflies, have successfully colonised the UK, that no butterflies have come is puzzling-and disappointing.

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:07 pm

Friday 19 January. My last day in Cornwall. Today, it was all about white winged gulls. Newlyn harbour often has wintering gulls from the arctic. However, this winters’ sightings have been exceptional, and worthy of investigation. Most of the arrivals are usually of juvenile or immature birds,so my first find was a surprise and delight-my first ever British adult glaucous gull.
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Several other people were watching the gulls, ans one of them kindly pointed out my next sighting, which was more expected-a juvenile Iceland gull in its first year.
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After enjoying that,I took a walk around the harbour where,on a roof with some sleepy herring gulls, was an adult Iceland gull, my first ever! Eventually,it flew down to the water, then landed on some rocks, giving good views.
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As I was chatting to the other birders, some said they had seen a juvenile glaucous gull, and I soon found it, on the harbour wall.
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At one point, the adult glaucous was fighting with a great black-back over food. They are similar in size, but the great black-back had a slightly thicker, stronger bill.
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As a bonus, while we were distracted with the gulls, this great northern diver appeared in the harbour.
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And finally, behind the Tolcarne, this fine male black redstart was flitting about on the rocks. I’ve seen them in Europe often enough, but this is my first in Britain.
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Goldie M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Goldie M » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:04 pm

Hi! essex, great shots of the Gulls, I saw a Small Egret at Penn Flash yesterday no yellow beak like your Cattle Egret, at least I'm hoping it's a Small Egret :lol: Goldie :D

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Padfield » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:13 pm

I agree - fantastic gull shots. When I was a young birder it was all binoculars and field notes. To get photos like these would have needed equipment beyond my wildest financial dreams!!

Black redstarts breed commonly in my village but they move out in winter and I don't think I even see them in the valley. I presumed they emigrated to warmer climes. Interesting that you are seeing them in January...

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David M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby David M » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:46 pm

First class stuff, Mark! What a wonderful part of Britain that is. It's almost like it's another world, with it's early season flowers/blossom and unusual fauna.

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Wurzel » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:39 pm

Fantastic stuff Essex :D I've still to see a British Glaucous (seen a few in Iceland) and I've only ever seen one Iceland so to to see 2 in one day with an adult Glasucous :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Have a goodun

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essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:21 pm

Hi Goldie, yes your egret was probably a little egret which is much more common, but cattle egrets bred in I think Cheshire last year, so they are coming your way! Keep an eye open for any egrets with yellow bills.

Guy, thanks for your comments. It’s an interesting question you ask. As you probably know from your time in Suffolk, the black redstart has never really become established in the UK like is has in Europe, with just a thin scatter of breeding records. However, those that do seen to be almost resident, moving just a short distance to the coast, especially the south coast of England and Wales, for winter. Perhaps they are longer distance migrants in Europe, where winters are colder?

Thanks David. Spring comes earlier to Cornwall than anywhere else in Britain, and Cornwall is, of course, first class!

Wurzel, I saw glaucous gulls in Svalbard in 2011, but the only Iceland gull I’ve seen before this was a juvenile in Scotland a couple of years back. Thanks for looking at my pages.

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:03 pm

After all the gull action, I was rather late for my lunchtime pasty but, after eating it, there was just time to have a walk round Morab Gardens Penzance, where I enjoyed the flowering camellias and saw a firecrest. They are so quick, but it is just visible in this picture.
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Then it was up to Madro Carn to enjoy the glorious views, then time to head up country, with memories of a cracking few days in Cornwall!
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trevor
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby trevor » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:37 am

Of all your recent, superb , images from Cornwall, it is that Firecrest that does it for me.
Not only did you press the shutter at the right millisecond, your camera has frozen it and
more importantly the Bird is identifiable.
I've given up with the Goldcrests that visit my garden, a blur behind a twig is the best I've achieved.

Those Gull shots are amazing.

Hope to bump into you again this season,
Trevor.

Allan.W.
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Allan.W. » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:14 pm

Thouroughly enjoyed your posts on Cornwall ,Essex,we,ve just booked a week on the Lizard at the end of June ,can,t wait !Would you recommend a visit to Trebah Gardens ? I wonder. we,re hoping for some Marsh frittilaries and Small Pearls with a bit of luck !
Great shots of the Hawfinches as well ,we,ve had quite a few down here in Kent over the winter period,with some still about, also loads of Little Egret s, good numbers of Great Whites and one or two Cattle. Once again some great pictures !!
Regards Allan.W.

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David M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby David M » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:08 pm

The vegetation in Morab Gardens is quite something for this latitude, Mark, and very well done to have been quick enough to capture that firecrest. You certainly had a wonderful trip.

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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:18 pm

Hi Mark,

Just catching up on your recent trip to Cornwall, interesting reports and photos to give a flavour of what it is like at this time of year :D

Cheers,

Neil.

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:27 pm

Hi Trevor, yes I was a bit lucky with that one, though I missed it several times first!

Alan W, late June is a little late to catch the Fritillaries at their peak, but there should still be some around. And it is perfect timing for Silver studded Blues, so be sure to visit Upton Gwithian Towans, near Hayle! Morab Gardens is a lovely spot for a picnic-perhaps a Cornish pasty! But it is not a butterfly site.

Hi David, yes I had a great time down there. Just shows what the middle of winter can turn up!

Neil, I had the place to myself! But I’m glad to show others what’s about, outside the tourist season.

Did we all see the lovely super moon last week? Unfortunately there was cloud on the eastern horizon, so I didn’t see it rising, but it was still a beauty!
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A flock of redpolls have been feeding on some weedy waste ground this winter, together with linnets and reed buntings. Although redpolls,in Essex, are scarce rather than rare, its been lovely to see them, and they have afforded great views near my home.
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Allan.W. » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:40 pm

Thanks for that Essex,i thought I was probably a bit late for the small fritillaries at peak ,but no matter ,I,m there for the plants as much as the butterflies, to be honest ! we,ll definitely be visiting the Upton towans area for the Silver Studs ,and hoping for a stop (on the way down ) at Aish Tor for High Browns ,didn,t have much luck at the same site a couple of years back (mind you the weather was c**p ) .
Really looking forward to our break ! Nice Redpoll shot by the way ! Thanks again . Regards Allan.W.

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Goldie M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Goldie M » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:24 am

I've never seen a Redpole Essex so it was great to see your shot of one :D
I took some shots of the Moon but I'd to wait until the day after to get a clear shot but it still looked fantastic. Goldie :D

essexbuzzard
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby essexbuzzard » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:21 pm

Thanks everyone. One of the great things about Essex in winter is the birds of the coast. While the Essex mudflats are undoubtedly less impressive than the spectacular cliffs of, say, Cornwall, they are one giant bird table for waders, ducks and geese, and the sight of hundreds, if not thousands of golden plovers, dunlind, knots and black tailed godwits, with a good few hundred avocets thrown in, is a sight to behold.

Although some species are fairly constant, and appear everywhere, different sites tend to have a different range of birds. I have done a bit more of this kind of bird watching the last couple of years, and I am now fairly confident in my identification skills, given reasonable views.

The most abundant species overall is probably the dunlin,
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Almost as plentiful is the knot, here with dunlins at high tide.
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Golden plovers are beautiful in the low winter sun, here with lapwings,
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Black tailed godwits have increased greatly in recent winters, while the breeding population has declined. Here with one or two bar tails.
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Bar-tailed godwits tend to favour different areas to black tailed godwits, but can sometimes be seen together. These were at Maldon.
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Goldie M
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Re: essex buzzard

Postby Goldie M » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:15 pm

Great shots essex, I wouldn't like to try and count the birds like we do the Butterflies :lol: Goldie :D


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