Showing posts from September, 2020

Norfolk Birding at its Best - 18th - 21st September 2020

When you plan an autumn trip to Norfolk months in advance, you can never count on good conditions. The chances are that you won't get them. So back in August, when I booked a 4 day trip to Norfolk from the 18th to the 21st of September, I was counting on a great trip full of resident specialities, lingering summer breeders and a few early arriving winter visitors which would make for a long trip list. Besides, Cranes, Bitterns, Bearded Tits and Spoonbills are more than enough to keep me happy even in the worst migration conditions. But as the days went by, I couldn't help but start to glance at the winds on And there they were - easterlies - starting a few days before the trip and continuing until the 21st. I didn't let myself get excited; after all, forecasts can be (and often are) wrong, with the winds all to often swinging back round to SW at the last minute just as you've got your hopes up. But this time my hopes were realised. To say that we were lucky w

5 Mile Patch

Last weekend I decided I couldn't not go and twitch the adult Rose-coloured Starling  in Measham, as it was just 5 miles away.  Having only seen a juvenile before, it certainly felt like I'd got a new lifer! A drab brown juvenile really doesn't prepare you for the pink and black splendour of an adult, and I was lucky to get fantastic views of it for around 20 minutes on Sunday morning, even though others found it elusive. To see one of these birds so close to home got me thinking about a concept I've heard other young birders talking about before but never given much thought myself - it's been described to me as an 'Uber Patch'. This is the 5 mile radius around my house, into which the Rose-coloured Starling falls! It seems to me to have many advantages as a patch: Firstly, as the Rose-coloured Starling proves, anything is surely possible. I'm resigned to the fact that in my garden, for example, I will probably never find a national rarity. And yet a qui