Thursday, 22 August 2013

2-bar blues

First proper birding day in ages. Early start, leaving at 5.15 to the sound of rain pouring down and Judith asking if it's really the right weather to be going birding (I also had a day in Stratford watching Hamlet offered!). The night before was a toss-up between Suffolk and Norfolk, but, hey, doesn't Norfolk always win that one.
So, 7.15ish was first stop at Wolferton to not see golden Pheasant AGAIN. I think those birds are mythical nowadays. To be fair, I had only given it about one cup of coffee when bird guides came online to report white-rumped sand at Snettisham - barely 10 minutes away!! Quick change into my boots and a dash off to the  car-park. Hadn't been there in ages, and I'd forgotten how far the far hides are. The tide was falling as well, and as I was walking clouds of waders kept flying over into the wash to feed. Not feeling good. First hide, two people who weren't much help "I think it was over there but i'm not sure" pointing to about 500 dunlin. I could see some serious kit pointing out of the Roost hide so I tromped over to there and the guys got me onto it quickly. Luckily it was preening and showing its rump otherwise god knows how you'd pick it out.

The top two are heavily cropped in, but show the bird preening and showing off its rump. The larger one gives the problem - can you spot the white-rump!!??
Quite a few other birds as well to add to the year-list including spotshank, curlew sandpiper, sanderling and knot (yes, 1st of the year) as well as arctic skua offshore.

Next stop was Holme, not for a bit of sea-watching but for the tree-sparrows by the public toilets at the start of the track. I noticed them last time and they are still there in the hedge. Then onto Titchwell. Nothing particularly rare around, but little stint is always a nice bird. There were 12 spoonbills on the freshmarsh. Amazing you only comment about them in large numbers now. Also picked up greenshank in good numbers on the beach. as well as eider mooching around.
Last stop was going to be Cley, but birdguides came up with 2-bar crossbill still showing at Lynford. There are numbers around and a group of 6 was around in Norfolk but not relocated. So, as this was a lifer and on the way home, I packed up and shot over to there. Got there about 2.30, bird reported about 1.15. Three birders on site, including one local. No news since last sighting. To cut a long story short, we waited for about 3 hours till heavy rain set in. Good numbers of common crossbills flying over and occasionally stopping to feed, but not a sniff of the 2-bar. Hopefully when the weather changes we may get that predicted influx of them, and there's always Scotland to come!