Thursday, October 25, 2012

Normal Service!

Thank you for the emails and apologies for the recent blog outage, all is back to normal now after character assassins and anoraks had me thinking whats the point of blogging at all!

Being a public domain blog leaves you wide open to criticism and debate and in some cases things can be said that are simply offensive, a bloggers every day hazard as I've seen on other friends blogs. There's nothing wrong with debate and constructive criticism, we're all capable of making mistakes and errors of judgement but the important thing is that those debating should get the facts straight before making unsubstantiated comments on this and in particular behind other peoples sites. Anyway we move on.....

Yellowhammer in the gloom!
I'd already planned to give Brandon a miss today (Tuesday) and with so much happening on the east coast at the moment was very close to taking the drive across to Norfolk. That all changed when I looked out of the window to find a blanket of thick fog affecting most of the Midlands and indeed most of the Norfolk coast.

So a decision to stay on patch today and try for some local rarities and after breakfast I made my way across to Napton Hill which as you would imagine on even higher ground was well fogged in. As luck would have it the fog lifted slightly on arrival and after parking at the church I made my way along towards the windmill. Nothing really of note and a brief pause at the Observer Corp Memorial, where I thought the memorial Rowan Tree was looking a little forlorn and devoid of any fruit or leaf, my first sign of life with a drumming Great-spotted Woodpecker emanating from the gloom!

As I emerged alongside the windmill things picked up with a noisy Mistle Thrush high in a Hawthorn bush immediately followed by a Tit flock which after a long wait eventually gave up 8 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit and 4 Goldcrest. The fog had cleared sufficiently to see down towards the old quarry and a flock of around 20 or so Thrush, mostly Redwing flew down towards the many Hawthorn below. A Green Woodpecker was also seen in flight.

I tentatively made my way down trying very hard to avoid coming to grief in the mud and eventually caught up with the earlier Thrushes, which as well as several Redwing also contained 6 Blackbird and my first singing Song Thrush of the autumn! By the time I arrived back at the car having completed a full circuit of the area I'd recorded 1 Raven, 4 Linnet, 6 Chaffinch, Kestrel, Greenfinch, Pied Wagtail and 2 more Goldcrest. Try as I might no local rarities today but the weather certainly played its part.

A half hour spent at Napton Reservoir before home was the usual Coot-fest along with various numbers of Pochard, Tufted Duck and Shoveler, plus 6 Great-crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, Jay and a flock of around 30 Linnet in the surrounding fields. A single Lesser Redpoll and Snipe over were the other notable's, but the best for me were 5 Yellowhammer seen on top of one of the dead trees. I didn't bother looking at the top end of the reservoir as a chainsaw gang were working around a very inviting fire!