Got home from work and dozed on the sofa for a while. Grabbed bins and camera and headed out for a spot of local birding. I don't often go to Roydon Common, especially in the evenings, its quite a lonely place, but decided it would be a change of scene and its only a few miles from my house. I was hoping to find some more Ring Ouzels. I found two at Snettisham Coastal Park at the weekend and then said on Sunday that Choseley Barns is a good place for Ring Ouzels and somebody goes and finds one the following day. Now, I didn't find any this evening, so this probably means someone will find one or two at Roydon Common tomorrow!
The car parking area has massive pot holes – its like a rollercoaster and needs to be driven along in 1st gear with great caution! It was a beautiful evening and there was no one else here at all. As soon as I started walking along the chalk path through the swathes of heather, I saw a stunning pair of Stonechats and another pair and another and ended up seeing 8 Stonechats, all pairs! A Ringtail Harrier flew over the reedbeds just under the tree line distantly. Two Common Buzzards flew overhead. A Skylark was singing high in the sky and two Grey Partridges plummeted from the heather. Lapwings were displaying and spending their time around the wet/flooded areas. A Jay flew across and there were several Jackdaws and a few Carrion Crows. A few Linnets sat around in the bushes at middle distance and 4 Canada Geese flew over.
My highlight was a Wheatear on the grassy slopes – well I thought it was the highlight until a bit later on. I scanned hard to find a Ring Ouzel, but no luck. On the way back I had an unexpected surprise! As I was watching one of the male Stonechats perched up (colour ringed), I spotted a turquoise shape, perched up – it didn't move – I continued to watch in disbelief that this was a Kingfisher. There are several pools around, but I have never seen a Kingfisher here before. Suddenly a flash of turquoise shot across the reeds and heather!!! It was a Kingfisher – this rather overshadowed the rest of my birding this evening!
Took some sunset pictures, just before I left. I didn't get any pictures of the Stonechats as they were too distant really. I still can't believe I saw a Kingfisher on Roydon Common! Nature is full of surprises. So glad I stirred from my doze on the sofa earlier!
Cooked an omelette when I got home and placed pan under grill to finish off – took out of oven and then very stupidly got hold of metal handle with my hand – as a St John First Aider. I should have known better! I had to wrap bandage around hand myself, which I just about managed. Good Night.