Sunday, 16 May 2021

Local is where it's at!

I continued throughout the past week to look in on my local patch whenever possible. Most evenings there has been an impressive gathering of Swifts hawking insects over Earlham Marsh. On Tuesday evening I had a Common Sandpiper there (which I initially messed up as a Green Sandpiper - d'uh) and a female Yellow Wagtail. Whether that's a new bird or one that lingered on following the arrival of Yellow Wagtails a few weeks ago is hard to know but by Wednesday it appeared to have gone.

In terms of summer migrants, I think I have seen most of what I would expect within my 5 kilometer circle. So, on the weekend I decided to try the coast. I hit Happisburgh early on Saturday but in terms of migrants it was dead.....and very cold! There appeared to be good numbers of Common Whitethroats on territory plus I had several Sandwich Terns which were my first ones this year.

Bird of Year so far came along on Sunday morning when Norwich birder Dave Andrews found a Caspian Tern on UEA broad whilst strolling with the family. An absolutely cracking find by Dave and what is most likely the first record of the species in Norwich. The bird stayed around for at least an hour and half which meant most local birders were able to see it. For me it was my "5km from home" #117.

Caspian Tern, UEA broad, Norwich - 16th May 2021


Its been quality rather than quantity this week. I managed to put my gear out each night and had Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper each on four ocassions.


 Plus a Barn Owl briefly on Monday 10th May and full nocmig tick in Redshank on 14th May.


Actually I did a quick review of my recent nocmig activities. From the 13th April to the 15th May, I recorded 24 nights out of a possible 33 nights (73%). The species that occured the most was Redwing. I recorded them 21 times although the last one was on 30 April and I've unsurprisingly not heard any since. After that the commonest species were Oystercatcher (9), Moorhen (9) and Coot (8), I presume local birds moving about. Water Rail I've recorded 4 times (again I expect local birds rather than migrants). I had Common Sandpiper 6 times and Whimbrel 4 times. Other waders included Redshank and Dunlin (1 apiece). Highlights in that period have included Ring Ouzel (2 birds on 17th April), Little Ringed Plover (1), Barn Owl and Common Scoter (although the real passage for that species was late March to early April when I had them on 4 ocassions).

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