Sunday, 30 December 2012

Waxam - 30 Dec 12

I headed out to the east coast today for a few hours. My first stop was at Repps-with-Bastwick where I found a herd of 17 Bewick's Swans feeding just west of the B1152. I also took a look around the Ludham/Catfield area for any more swans, but there was none to be found.
Then it was out to Waxham to have a look on the sea for the scoter flocks that have been around recently. The Velvet Scoter 'flock' as grown to 9 birds now (still all females). Yet again they generally keep to themselves and don't mix in with the 150 Common Scoter that were offshore today.

9 female Velvet Scoter, Waxham
I had a quick look for the Dartford Warbler, but it was quite windy today with lots of tourists make the most out of the sunny weather, so the bird was nowhere to be seen.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas build-up - Dartford Warbler

Having not ventured out into the field much since my return from Fuerteventura, it was nice to have an afternoon out at Waxham/Horsey. Horsey was rammed with tourists coming to see the seal. The beach was closed off so the seals and their pups were scattered along quite a long stretch of sand.
There wasn't much on the sea other than Red-throaed Divers so I headed off to Waxam where things got decidedly better. The best bird of the day was a male Dartford Warbler - a patch tick, along the footpath that leads from the road to the dues board-walk, half a mile south of Waxham village.
Dartford Warbler, Waxham

Dartford Warbler, Waxham

The bird was quite secretive, occasionally coming out on the tops of the brambles, but mainly sticking in the tangled bushes near the dunes.

There were quite a few Common Scoter on the sea - about 200 of which nearly all were females. It's quite unusual to see large flocks of Scoter off east Norfolk but these birds have been around all autumn/winter. Better still, there was a flock of 6 Velvet Scoter (again, all females) offshore. I've only seen a few Velvet Scoter off Waxham, usually fly-bys and certainly have never seen as many as 6 together. They Velvet Scoters kept themselves very separate from the Common Scoter and were quite close inshore.

A small flock of Common Cranes just inland from Waxham was a nice way to finish off the day.