Skip to main content

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll


Today, my wife Lori and I had a 300 mile round trip out to Suffolk from our home In Woking. We departed at 06:10am and arrived at RSPB Minsmere just after 09:30am. Weather remained good all day with only a few spots of rain; though the wind stayed with us for the duration of our visit. 


We started our day by checking the bushes near the north hide for a reported Penduline Tit, which from what we heard, was probably a misidentified bird. We did, however, get nice looks at Blackbird and Fieldfare feeding on berries. 


Though wind was not on our side, we did get a brief glimpse of Bearded Tits; pinging their way around the reed bed near the north wall. There was a good selection of dabblers to scan through at the east hide; represented by Shelduck, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall and Shoveler. Dispersed throughout were Lapwing and the occasional Dunlin. A family group of 7 Bewick's Swan were showing well. (2 adults and 5 juveniles). After checking the fields for geese we headed back toward the visitor center; retracing our steps,instead of cutting through the reed beds. Our last stop was at Bittern hide where we got a flyby BITTERN! Other species of note include Marsh Harrier, Marsh Tit and Siskin. 


I have recently signed up to Rare Bird Alert and my first experience has been fantastic. Checking the alert I noticed that the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll was still present at Aldeburgh: a twenty minute drive south of where we were. Twenty two minutes later we were looking at our first Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll! 


There were about 20 people already at the site with more arriving. This was day 2 for this rare northern breeder. It has possibly never been in contact with humans and it happily fed on seeds on the beach, literally feet away from the group.




Had a great day....



Weekly round-up by Rare Bird Alert including an article about the redpoll

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pied-billed Grebe

Silly o'clock and a drive to Summerset + a 2 1/2 hour watch at Ham Wall RSPB Reserve produced good looks at my first British P ied-billed Grebe. We turned up just after eight and just in time to miss this North American mega by  minutes! Little Grebes kept us on our toes but we had to wait it out until about 10:40 am when it appeared from the corner where it had disappeared. There was a nice crowd here, all remaining hopeful and humorous during this very cold vigil. This little beauty made a b-line to open water, affording all great views. Bonus bird at this site was a  Great White Egret .

Stains Moor

Today I checked the Staines Reservoir for some reported birds including Black Turn and Ruff. My target birds were not relocated but I did get another year bird: Wheatear . This was across the road; perched on a fence post. After an hour I headed to Staines Moor , a site I have never been to before. Good directional signs were non existent and I ended up asking the locals. It takes about 25 minutes from parking to actually getting onto the moor. This route is basically two public footpaths. It is definitely worth it and is a fantastic site with good visibility in all directions.The River Colne meanders through; making it very attractive and good for wildlife.  One of the features here that really stands out is the amount of yellow meadow ant hills; a favored perching spot for Wheatear I here. Birds seen included Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Linnet, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Robin, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Black-headed Gull, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hobby, Green

Kefalonia -Greece 2015

K efalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, (700 sq km) and is located off the west coast of Greece. Though, in recent times, it is most notably known as the location for Captain Corellis Mandolin; it also has lots of history, interesting geography and endangered fauna.  As it sits in the earthquake zone it has seen lots of changes, especially the 1953 earthquake which badly affected all but the northern town of Fiskado. Mount Ainos dominates the landscape and at 1628 meters can be seen from most areas. One of the most famous residents is the endangered Loggerhead Turtle which breed on the southern beaches.   What follows is a short trip report highlighting my casual observations from 23rd August – 30th August 2015. Though this was not a birding holiday, I did manage a few morning sorties in various areas and hope that this will give some indication of what to expect. Kephalonia is not a ‘birding destination’ but for those of you who visit, a little effort will afford