Monday, 22 August 2011

Buff-breasted Near Miss and White-winger.

Fed up with not seeing very much locally, I took a trip to Norfolk today. Titchwell to be precise just to see what was around.
 It was a gloriously sunny day and a pleasure to walk around with not too many people around.
Just up from the Visitor Centre I could hear some Bearded Tits, but they would just not show themselves, however some movement in the reeds and bushes behind turned out to be a family of Cettis Warblers, so almost as good.
 Looking out from the Island Hide a good selection of waders were seen, including many Lapwing, probably 30 or so Ruff, including the one below, with as much bling as Mr T ! (click on the photo to see what I mean), lots of Dunlin and Ringed Plover and a couple of Spotted Redshank

 From the impressive new Parrinder Hide everything was a bit distant as water levels were low and workmen were still creating the new banking so keeping everything away, but a couple of Marsh Harriers could be seen over the Reedbeds, a few Avocets paddled around and 7  Egyptian Geese sat amongst the Canadas, Greylags and Shelduck.
 The Brackish Marsh was full of Redshank, with also a Greenshank and beautiful summer plumaged Grey Plover, while several Curlew and a lone Whimbrel flew over.

 Down on the beach, birdwise it was fairly quiet, save for a few Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Bar-tailed Godwits. Other than a single juvenile Gannet that flew through the sea was birdless.
Walking back down I stopped for a while at Island Hide, where in addition to the previously mentioned birds, a Snipe and a reasonable sized flock of Golden Plover had come in. I thought I ought to loook through these , just in case of a stray Dotterel, American Golden Plover or such was lurking within when they took off. As it happened there was a smaller wader in the flock, but I couldn't figure out what it was.
 Imagine my frustration on getting home on finding out that it had been a Buff-breasted Sandpiper !!!

I planned my journey home to call in at Grafham Water to look in at the White-winged Black Tern that was frequenting the harbour around the Fishing Lodge.
 I didn't have a lot of time so it was lucky that the bird was sitting on the boom just off shore with 3 or 4 Black Terns and a dozen or so Common Terns. It posed very nicely until a moment of high drama when a moment of panic sent all the birds scattering as a Hobby dashed in and tried to take one of them. As far as I could see it was unsuccessful.

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