Norfolk Birding May – August 2016

Red Kites & Fishing Lines Do Not Go Together

A sneaky visit to Nar Valley Fisheries before work this morning, ended up being far more interesting than I had expected or indeed wanted. Easily view able from the road by the first lake, a second year Red Kite was swinging around, tangled up in fishing line which was caught in a willow tree. The bird seemed in reasonable health despite its predicament.

I quickly realised that it was going to be somewhat troublesome to get it down and rang Allan Hale instructing him to get out of bed! He grabbed his ladder and collected my landing net from my garage, then drove over to meet me. I made several attempts to get close to the Kite, but because of it’s position, hanging out over the water, I was always a couple of metres away; some boy scout tactics were required.

Rummaging through my work bag I found some string with which I then tied a long branch to my landing net pole to give me a metre or so extra length but this was still not long enough. A further rummage in Allan’s car boot then provided us with a tow rope but this was too short; I was hoping to get it around the line and reel it in. A further modification to the rope, a bit of judicious throwing and soon the Kite was in my landing net. A quick swipe or two with a Swiss army knife soon freed the wing and all was looking good.

I was amazed at how calm the Kite remained as we did what we had to to rescue him; seeming instinctively to know we were friend not foe. The bird felt good and warm and apart from some badly ruffled primary feathers, looked well. It was quickly ringed and photographed, then released, it flew off strongly over the River Nar and was lost to view.

Photos by Allan Hale

Singapore 2nd – 3rd December 2015

Just a short stopover in Singapore hoping to find that elusive Red-legged Crake but as usual not a sniff, probably nesting at this time of the year but a very nice Spotted Wood-owl at a day roost was a long awaited tick – upgraded from heard only in Thailand back in  1999.


Belarus and Lithuania, March 2016

A short trip starting in Yuhovichy Forest in northern Belarus ending at the Curonian spit in Lithuania. The highlights included both Eurasian Pygmy and Ural Owls, White-backed Woodpecker and Hazel Grouse.

Trip list

Greater White-fronted Goose
Mute Swan
Whooper Swan
Velvet Scoter
Common Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Eurasian Capercaillie
Black Grouse
Hazel Grouse
Gray Heron
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Common Buzzard
Eurasian Coot
Common Crane
European Golden-Plover
Northern Lapwing
Green Sandpiper
Eurasian Woodcock
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Gull
Rock Pigeon
Common Wood-Pigeon
Eurasian Pygmy-Owl
Ural Owl
Long-eared Owl
White-backed Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker
Black Woodpecker
Gray-headed Woodpecker
Eurasian Kestrel
Eurasian Jay
Eurasian Magpie
Eurasian Jackdaw
Hooded Crow
Common Raven
Sky Lark
Wood Lark
Coal Tit
Crested Tit
Marsh Tit
Willow Tit
Eurasian Blue Tit
Great Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Eurasian Nuthatch
Eurasian Treecreeper
Eurasian Wren
Black Redstart
Eurasian Blackbird
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
European Starling
White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
Common Chaffinch
Eurasian Bullfinch
European Greenfinch
Common Redpoll
Eurasian Siskin
House Sparrow



Ladakh, India, February 2016

This trip was aimed at seeing Snow Leopard in the Rumbak valley near Leh in Ladakh. We managed 2 sightings of Snow Leopard during our 9 nights there. We also visited Sultanpur near Delhi for a day either side of the Ladakh trip for some general birding.

Norfolk Birding January – April 2016