Tetney 29/03/17

Largely cloudy with spells of light rain in the morning and early afternoon. SW F4 with a temperature of 14°C.

On the humber were the usual 2 Common Scoter with a third bird heading upriver.

Bird of prey highlights: Marsh Harrier NW, male Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Peregrine and Short-eared Owl.

In the bushes were 7 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest.

Other highlights: 18 Mute Swan on Tetney Lock was a sizable increase on the usual 2 birds! Also - 7 Tufted Duck, 4 Avocet, Little Ringed Plover that flew over the beach calling, Common Snipe, c200 Golden Plover, 2 Grey Partridge, Wheatear, Grey Wagtail, 10 alba Wagtail NW, Lesser Redpoll NW and 7 Redwing.

2 patch year ticks - Little Ringed Plover & Lesser Redpoll.
Total: 114

Not the best weather today but there were still signs of spring

Getting anywhere near the male Hen Harrier is proving difficult.

Tetney 25/03/17

A sunny, calm day. An F2 NE becoming N kept a cool edge to the day and there were no signs of visible migration. Temp approx 9°C.

The humber was more productive today: 13 Great Crested Grebe, 12 Velvet Scoter and 2 Common Scoter. A pair of Shoveler flew NW then E towards Yorkshire.

Bird of prey highlights: Hen Harrier, 5 Common Buzzard, Peregrine and Short-eared Owl.

Other highlights: 30 Golden Plover and a flock of 20 Linnet. The pair of Tufted Duck were back at the lock gates.

Other wildlife: 5 Small Tortoiseshells (including 4 together).

No patch year ticks today.

Tetney 24/03/17

Out with DW.
A sunny day with a cold F5 NE that eased slightly to F4 in the afternoon. Temp 7°C.
The cold NE wind meant nothing was moving through the skies.

The humber was so quiet we didn't even manage a single bird of note either on it or over it.

Bird of prey highlights: 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Merlin, Short-eared Owl and 2 Barn Owl.

In the bushes were just a single Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.

Other highlights: 30 Golden Plover, 6 Grey Partridge, the commuting 2CY Glaucous Gull that flew past on the way to Tetney Haven, at least one Rock Pipit hanging on and 45 Linnet.

Other wildlife: 2 Grey Seal and 4 Brown Hares. Corpses of Badger and Weasel were found.

No patch year ticks today.

 We came across a Victorian bottle dump today though most bottles seen were broken. Looking on the internet the majority aren't worth a great amount though some rare bottles can be worth at least a few hundred pounds if found intact. It was quite fascinating to see bottles on the patch that date back to the 1800's.

Tetney 19/03/17

A visit to the northern boundary this afternoon.
Tricky conditions with SW winds reaching 20mph. Largely cloudy though occasional sunny spells. Temperature 13°C.

A female Wheatear was my first of the spring.

Other highlights: 3 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon, Peregrine, Common Buzzard, Common Snipe, Treecreeper, 4 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest.

One patch year tick - Wheatear.
Total: 112

There's always a feel-good factor to seeing your first Wheatear of the year

Tetney 15/03/17

A sunny and warm spring day. An F3 SW dropping to F2 mid-pm. Temperature reaching 14°C.
Covered the area with DW.

On the humber: 5 Red-throated Diver, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 10 Velvet Scoter, 2 Scaup, 252 Wigeon and a single Guillemot close in.

A good day for birds of prey: A Red Kite was over the marsh before gaining height and then lost to view. 2 Marsh Harriers flew through - both heading NW - that makes it 4 migrating Marsh Harriers through in 3 of the last 4 visits.
Also today: Hen Harrier, 8 Common Buzzard, 2 Peregrine, 2 Merlin, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and 2 Short-eared Owl.

The bushes held a Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrests

Other highlights: 3 Grey Partridge, Stonechat,  6 Fieldfare, Redwing and a Twite, while heading NW were 3 alba wagtail and 5 Siskin.

Other wildlife: 4 Roe Deer. A Small Tortoiseshell was my first butterfly of the year.

3 patch year ticks today - Scaup, Red Kite and Guillemot.
Total: 111

One of the two Marsh Harriers that passed through over Tetney today. My Tetney circuit involves a walk of over 10 miles - too much of a distance for carrying my heavy dslr which sits at home gathering dust. I try and make do with a bridge camera but it's not ideal and particularly struggles with flight shots (see above!). Currently in the process of trying to resolve this camera dilemma. 

Tetney 11/03/17

Thick cloud all day, murky and a F3 SW wind.

A 2CY Glaucous Gull flew in from the south and landed on Tetney Haven - comparing recent sightings with those at nearby Donna Nook it seems that this bird is commuting between the two sites.

An obvious arrival of Chiffchaffs noted along the east coast today and I managed 2 Chiffchaffs (my first of the spring) amongst the sparse bushes in the southern half of the reserve. DW managed 6 birds at the northern boundary today.

On the humber: 24 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Velvet Scoter and 2 Common Scoter.

Bird of prey highlights: Hen Harrier, Peregrine, 2 Merlin, 3 Short-eared Owl and a Barn Owl.

Other notable sightings: Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, Siskin and 2 Twite.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls were becoming more conspicuous whilst a few Meadow Pipits, alba wagtails and the above Siskin were on the move through the skies.

3 patch year ticks today - Tufted Duck, Chiffchaff and Siskin.
Total so far: 108

The confiding male Stonechat is hanging on but will soon be departing to the breeding grounds 

"Mermaid's Purse"

Yes, it's really taken this long to see Tufted Ducks at Tetney this year - largely due to Tetney Lock being the only reasonable area of freshwater habitat

Tetney 08/03/17

Light cloud until mid-afternoon and then sunshine. A cold F3 NW becoming F4.
Out covering the area with DW.

The humber held a single Great Crested Grebe, 10 Velvet Scoter and 2 Common Scoter.

Notable birds of prey: Marsh Harrier NW up the humber - this bird was bearing a green wingtag and is likely to have been tagged by the NW Norfolk Ringing Group. Also: 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Peregrine, 2 Merlin, Short-eared Owl and 3 Barn Owl.

Other highlights from today: 2 Pale-bellied Brent with 280 Dark-bellied, a redhead Goosander over Tetney Lock, 3 Avocet (first of the spring), 5 Grey Partridge, Grey Wagtail and a Stonechat.

Meadow Pipits continue to become more conspicuous in the area with a number giving their parachute display flights - we are in that transition period when Meadow take over from the wintering Rock Pipits.
A large scale clearout of wintering Blackbirds was clearly evident when checking the coastal bushes. 
Single Pied Wagtails NW along the tide edge and over the beach were examples of visible migration - hardy birds moving against a cold NW F4 headwind.

A young Common Seal was on the tide edge.

2 patch year ticks today - Avocet and Grey Wagtail. Total: 105

Tetney 01/03/17

Weatherwise:  F3 SW, sunny spells with occasional spots of rain. Temperature reaching around 7°C.
Covered the area with DW.

Bird of the day was the 2CY Glaucous Gull that was initially on the beach before flying south.

On the humber: 3 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Velvet Scoter, 2 Common Scoter and c500 Wigeon that had been flushed off the haven by someone carrying out survey work. A few Lesser Black-backed Gulls were heading upriver.

Notable birds of prey: A Marsh Harrier flew NW up the humber, 2 Hen Harrier, 6 Common Buzzard, 3 Peregrine, 2 Merlin, 3 Short-eared Owl and a Barn Owl.

Other highlights: A skein of 120 Pink-footed Geese flew NW up the humber, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 3 Grey Partridge, 3 wintering Stonechats still present, 9 Twite and 11 Linnet.

No patch year ticks today.

A Barn Owl was seen first thing along the A1031 as we drove to Tetney with 3 Roe Deer seen along there on the way home.