Saturday, November 18, 2006

Patch ticks

Between seeing the Stork and the Cranes (April/may or possibly June) and the recent flood of patch ticks Snettisham had experienced something of a dry spell... To make up for the lack of any recent ticks (PGP being the last) late october saw 5 patch ticks appearing within less than 2 weeks!

Little Auk - 5 birds in total, one of which showed down to a matter of feet...

Long-tailed Duck - Though this wasnt technically a "patch tick" it was the first I have seen since we got the bungalow in 2002 and was therefore added to the list. Having waited near the sea defences for 10/15 minutes I was somewhat of a surprised to see the duck emerge from the sea and start swimming away from me! I can only assume that because I was sitting down I was not high enough up to see the duck as it hugged the shoreline.

Great Skua - A long awaited patch tick... south into The Wash past the Coastal Park.

Little Bunting - Found in the bushes at the RSPB opposite the 1st hide and seen for the grand total of about 10 seconds... After raising the bins and and obtaining the briefest view, I was left with the though "SHIT!! that was a Little Bunting!! was it? Yes! It had to be?! Come back!!" at this point I faced a dilema... Do I put out the news and hope the bird reappears? or do I wait till I see it again and confirm the ID??? After waiting a short while it reappeared and flew from the top of the Hawthorn. I was lucky to get the bins on it pretty much straight away and was even more gratefull to the bird when it decided to call "Tink, tink tink" thats no Reed Bunting! After looking around the pumping station there was no further sign... a dreaded singe observer record (you can guess the words that follow)

Snow Goose - I was kicking myself earlier in the Atumn when I found out I had missed the Snow Goose roosting with the pink feet out on the wash. What made it worse was that someone had told me the bird was roosting there, except I never whent to look! When it was refound at Flitcham I made the effort to get down to the pits and scan through the Pinks, after all it seemed the most likely place that birds at Flitcham would roost. After a brief scan through the flock I picked up the bird... a quick fly around confirmed that I was watching the Snow Goose and not a dodgy white Pink foot!

Red-necked Grebe - Sitting on the water in front of the Snow Goose and offering me my 200th Snettisham tick. After watching it on the sea it took to the air and headed off towards Lincs... a bit longer on the water would have been nice.