Back-pack Blog

A blowy local walk

I was met by a brisk, chilly northerly wind when stepping out this morning, so a route through the village and back through the neighbouring one, seemed a sensible move.

With birds largely keeping their heads down singing birds were a logical focus, with four species of Warbler heard during the walk, which included a single Lesser Whitethroat. Other noteworthy species heard included Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Goldcrest and Nuthatch. Single Red Kite and Kestrel were also seen. Yellowhammer 1 GM 20200411

January 5th 2020

A ride to the coast today to add some serious ‘ticks’ to my LC year list, one puncture and some 40 miles later I returned home having achieved a total of 76 species. Highlights included Great and Cattle Egrets (8) at Burnham Overy, some 150 White-fronted Geese at Holkham, the ultra smart Rough-legged Buzzard at Wells, Snow Bunting (c70) and Shorelark (6) at Holkham Bay with a lookout at sea revealing bonus species in the form of a female Long-tailed Duck and three flyby drake Goosanders. The day was quickly drawing to a close and my route home took me back through Holkham Park, where a stop by the lake quickly revealed my hoped for target here, Black-necked Grebe.

January 3rd 2020


A wet start saw the proposed trip to the coast postponed in favour of more local birding. Yesterday’s trip had revealed a large flock of Pink-footed Geese feeding on sugar beet tops in nearby fields. With a degree of caution it was possible to view a reasonable percentage of the flock ( over 5,000 in total !) and after a large degree of perseverance a solitary Tundra Bean Goose was found in amongst them.

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Poor video grab of today’s Bean Goose


January 2nd 2020

After a day working at the Observatory yesterday, today was the first opportunity to get out locally. A walk to my nearby Heath proved productive with a ringtail Hen Harrier (2cy year bird) and several Stonechats the highlights, and a nice start to both my LC and local patch list for the year.

Hen Harrier
male Stonechat


Walthamstow wetlands

An interesting enjoyable day Saturday leading the Urban Birding Course at Walthamstow Wetlands. An enthusiastic fun group, with a total of fifty birds recorded during our time at the site. This Smart Little Bunting the highlight for most, though for some added only minutes after their first ever Reed Buntings ! The perched Peregrine on a path side pylon was a close contender though for bird of the day !