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Thanks for taking time to visit the 2008 Happisburgh Bird Diary, we hope you enjoyed reading it. To find out what Ossie and I see this year please visit the Happisburgh Parish Bird List 2009 ...

27th July - 2nd August

We continued to enjoy last weeks glorious weather on Sunday but Monday dawned rather misty and cloud built up during the day. By mid afternoon some stormy clouds threatened from the south-east but it wasn’t until after dark that thunderstorms arrived. Three days of fine, warm weather followed but by mid evening on Thursday it was raining. It remained warm for the rest of the week with occasional, sometimes heavy, showers.

The Hobby that has chosen to spend the summer in this area made appearances again this week on Sunday and Thursday, the latter sighting when it appeared low and fast from close behind me as I was watching 21 Linnets, 6 Greenfinch and 2 Goldfinch in the rough stuff near to Moat Farm. What may be the same individual flew briefly alongside my car just after 9pm one evening near to Brumstead church; raptors often hunt in the fading light at the end of the day when small birds are preparing to roost. A female Marsh Harrier overflew our garden again on Sunday as the Hobby was heading in the opposite direction and another bird with a pale head and quite obvious pale wing patches on Monday was most likely a 3rd calendar year male. Also this week, close to home, I had good views of a juvenile Green Woodpecker that was probably raised nearby. Typically this species in shape, the black spotted face and underparts and pale tipped mantle and wing coverts give juveniles a distinct appearance. My bird appeared to have a blackish moustache so I took it to be a female.

I kept a rather close eye on the sea this week and on Wednesday morning a fine summer plumaged Red-throated Diver was very close inshore from the Decca site; close enough in fact to actually see the red on its throat. A common passage and winter visitor, this was an early returning bird. One of the Eiders remained throughout and a dark phase Arctic Skua spent a couple of days offshore. An adult and a first summer Little Gull flew northwards on the 28th, 2 Kittiwakes were sitting on a groyne on the 29th, Gannets were regularly noted in small numbers and all of the Auks that were scrutinised proved to be Guillemots. A single Teal flew south on Friday and waders returning included 8 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling and a Snipe south along the shore, all at Walcott. I also logged Whimbrel on two days and 2 very distant waders flying north early one morning looked good for Knot but no doubt I’ll be seeing plenty of more readily identifiable ones as the year progresses…

Just into Lessingham, these lovely old hedges, barely 120 yards long, have been the nursery for young Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackbird, Wren and Yellowhammer, the recently fledged young of which I have all encountered here this summer.

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