Winter at Holme Bird Observatory (please click for clip)

Monday, 3 November 2014

Twite Thornham Harbour 1 November

Twite Thornham Harbour  Photo by Dve Nurney 

A classic winter scene at Thornham in bright afternoon sun  - with birds galore to enjoy ! 2 Peregrines caused chaos with the gulls and waders in the harbour,  a Merlin and a Hen Harrier performed over the marshes while large numbers of Starlings continued to pour overhead. A flock of Twite on the saltmarsh , among the large number of Linnets were star performers.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Autumn migration - and a few good birds


2 Shots of the Pallas's Warbler ringed on 15 October 2014. 


Yellow Browed warbler 14 October 2014. 1 of several ringed over a busy few days

 Brambling 14 October 2014

13 October 2014  A view from the sea watching hide on a rain soaked stormy day

The Observatory warden braving the elements !

17 October 2014  1 of 3 Greenshank enjoying the peace and quiet of Redwell marsh !

Monday, 6 October 2014

Whooper Swans on the Broadwater

A group of 3 Whooper Swanson the Broadwater. Present for several hours before departing noisily in the direction of Thornham

Birds in the Hand

07 09 14 Spotted flycatcher. A sure sign of Autumn
28 09 14  Bearded Tit one of several ringed on the day

A few Images from Redwell Marsh

16 07 14. 1 of 2 moulting adult Mediterranean Gulls present on the marsh with a flock of 150+ Black Headed Gulls

Images of 2 different Greenshank present on 2 dates in September

                                   06 09 14 Green Sandpiper

A few more Moths

A few more scarce moths from the trap  - and an unusual Caterpillar !

25 07 14  Tree lichen Beauty   At the time this was Holme's second record of the moth out of a total of 5 Norfolk records - though another 6 records followed in the subsequent week in other areas of Norfolk
      07 09 14    Red Necked Footman 1 of 3 Caterpillars discovered on the handrail of the       viewing platform. The moth is most widely recorded as an Adult, either as a migrant or in localized populations

24 09 14 Dark Sword Grass  One of the more regular 'scarce' migrant moths recorded at the Obs
  28 09 14 Brick   A good record for the Obs

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Bedstraw Hawkm Moth 11 July

Bedstraw Hawkl Moth
11 July 14

Oak Egger 
14 July 14 

Pretty Chalk Carpet
02 07 14
Shore Wainscott
18 06 14
Lyme Grass
18 06 14

Friday, 2 May 2014

Major spring mega - ALPINE ACCENTOR!

The week starting 21st April was just like any other, accept that my dissertation was due in on the Thursday! After I'd handed that in, a quick peek at the charts and conditions suggested Saturday 26th would be worth an early start, with the E winds having swung round the SE and rain on Friday and overnight. Myself and warden Sophie Barker thus were on site at about 06.45hrs. There was quite a lot of movement early on with a Ring Ouzel west, 3 Tree Pipits, 12 Yellow Wagtails and a few more grounded migrants, especially Whitethroats and Willow Warblers. On reaching the Observatory building, carrying rather too much, I'd put up a bird up off the benches which flew into the pines. I'd only seen it with the naked eye in flight, but it felt different. Over half an hour searching later this monster dropped out of the pines onto the handrail only a few feet away from me. Instantly it dawned on me, ALPINE ACCENTOR and being all alone I decided it was best to take a few pictures! Rather glad I did. 

It flew back up into the pines after about a minute, at which point I ran, screaming and crying(!), along the east bank to tell Sophie. A search revealed nothing and after closing nets it was time to put the news out. A long search ensued, with more Yellow Wagtails, Redstarts, Ring Ouzels and so on discovered, but there was no sign by dusk. I never imagined it wouldn't be seen again and I'm still amazed it wasn't. I would dearly have loved to share this bird with everyone. Thoughts especially with all the hardworking locals who didn't get to see it, especially Sophie Barker, Billy Rand, Rob Smith, Chris Mills, Penny Clarke and Ray Roche, who've always been so helpful and friendly to me. Thanks to everyone for the congratulations. Let's just hope the next one sticks...

This represents, unsurprisingly, the first record of ALPINE ACCENTOR for Holme. It is only the 35th British record, the first for a decade (since the last Norfolk record) and just the third for Norfolk:

2. One was discovered at Overstrand on the evening of 20th April 2004 (S. Chidwick et. al.) To the disappointment of many it was not present the next morning.
1. One on the cliff face between Sheringham and Weybourne (near Spalla Gap) 30th April to 4th May 1978 when it departed high the south-east (K. Shepherd et. al.) This bird, seen by very few observers, was trapped and ringed on the 1st May and was only the second Alpine Accentor to be ringed in the British Isles.