Thursday, 9 September 2010

Amurther good raptor day

Excellent news reported today on the British Ornithologists Union blog (see here) was that of the acceptance of the amur falcon present almost 2 years ago to the day.

For those that are unaware the BOU and the British Birds Rarities Committee are the 'regulator' of birding who assess reports of new additions and rarities and carefully evaluate evidence to determine whether a record is substantiated or not. Whilst all the evidence heavily pointed towards this species laterly, it is unfortunate that it was only identified 4 days after it left - meaning it didn't get the attention and thousands of photos to pour over it deserved. However we are delighted that the limited information available has been sufficient to confirm it as a new UK species - a massive honour for the reserve. The bird had already merited a new illustration in the back of the 2010 Collins bird guide earlier this year.

The star bird is pictured below courtesy of HVWG:

Whilst we await its return on the 14th of September (some hope!) we have had a continuing delight of further raptor movement - the usual story that there are not enough people birding on a weekday applies - as much has been missed, but the warm days have seen 4 buzzards over the car park on tuesday, with reports of hobby several times a day - two of which were mobbing a peregrine falcon over O res today (hobby top right):

Whilst distant its always nice to see one in photographic range:

A small stoop:

And proof of the birds huge power is it's ability to fly up as steeply as it dives (picture unaltered):

A marsh harrier over Watton NR today was one of several reported too:

If you want to see hobby's then I recommend North Marsh and North Scrub with much activity here. Regular photographer Vince Cowell managed this great shot of one eating a dragonfly here (for more of his work follow the link:

Stop to look for Kingfishers on the way like Michael Flowers birdwatching class did on Tuesday - see the report here. Tony was also at the marsh last night getting more roe deer shots here. The greylag goose flock continues to grow in size - shown causing a temporary eclipse of the sun here:

Another hightlight of the season are the roving flocks of tits around the reserve - usually a noisy gang of twenty or so long-tailed tits supported by goldcrests, coal tits and even the odd willow warbler - all below:

Michael had treecreepers in one group too - but keep your eyes peeled as anything can turn up with them.

Wader-wise we have had two greenshank and two common sandpipers around the reserve over the last couple of days, with three snipe on South Marsh East yesterday and up to a dozen curlew over at a time.

Finally another reason to always open the hide shutters carefully was this pipistrelle (presumably) roosting under one!: