Friday, 1 November 2013

Doesn't feel like winter yet

Took a trip out to Norfolk today with Judith - combining birds with a bit of lunch and visiting a couple of galleries.
First stop was the Wolferton triangle where we've seen fly agaric's before, but nothing this year, not any sign of the golden pheasant which I personally think is a mythical beast!!
Next stop was Titchwell. Lovely weather, not feeling anything like winter or even late autumn. Birds seemed to think so too, no big flocks of geese, no white-fronts at all and only one small flock of pink-feet. On the reserve we got a very distant hen harrier, but other than that it was just the usual you'd expect - godwits of both varieties, sanderling, dunlin, redshank, curlew, brent geese, teal. There were a few scoter mooching around offshore but otherwise nothing on the sea.
This is a good example of the difference between bar-tailed (top photo) and black-tailed godwit (lower two). There is an overall size difference, but this is difficult to see unless in close proximity. Bar-tailed has a smaller, more upturned beak and a short neck. Black-tailed has a longer beak and a much longer neck. It also often is in deeper water. The plumage out of breeding season helps, with bar-tailed having more marked colouration whereas black-tailed is overall plainer.

The teal were particularly confiding.

After this we went off to Burnham Market, or Chelsea-by-the-marsh as it was half-term and the place was rammed with yummy-mummys and their identically dressed sprogs!!! Apart from that it is a really nice place - Hoste Arms does a good lunch and the fishmonger sells fresh and reasonably priced crustacea!!
We then nipped over to Cley, where there was flock of about 12 snow buntings on the beach, but no sign of the reported lap buntings of shore larks.