Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Spring Half term

The first few days of half term were dominated by strong winds and rain with several days stuck mostly indoors. The one reason to be outside was because of the good numbers of Manx Shearwaters passing along the coast (200+ past the Norfolk sea watching capital of Sheringham) and the chance for one or two to stray into The Wash, providing me with my MOST WANTED Snettisham tick. Though it was clear that there WERE birds moving offshore, the seemingly endless rain and the condensation on the lens every time I looked through the eye piece made it impossible to look through the scope and keep an eye on the sea for any length of time. A group of 5 Kittiwake close in shore were the highlight of several failed attempts, including a short lived 4:30 start in truly awful conditions. Not that Kittiwake wouldn't normally count as a highlight, these birds were a delight to see... it just wasn't the bird I was after.

Whitethroat at Stewartby Lake... taken after dipping the Caspian Tern

Scarce migrants made an appearance towards the end of the week, and included a wide scattering of Red backed Shrikes, one of which we saw in the reedbed at Cley NWT (my first ever male) Honey Buzzards showed well at Ryburgh and Nightjars gave good views around Sandringhm (the distinct lack of midges making the experience rather more comfortable than it has been in the past!) A male Woodchat Shrike turned up on one of the fencelines running across Holme Marsh, giving reasonable views once the heat of the day had died down, but the main prize came in the form of Norfolk's first spring Booted Warbler which showed well on and off along Blakeney point, just before half way house. On my return from the plantation the crowd had dwindled to just 5 observers, and it wasn't long before I was the only person left watching the bird. With a bit of patience the bird showed well at fairly close range and was my 2nd sighting of the species, following the West Runton individual in September 2003.

Spoonbill and Arctic Tern, seen during the course of the week, both counted as local patch ticks, taking my total Snettisham List to 205 species (92% of which has been self found) with 181 species seen from or within the Coastal Park recording area.


Post a Comment

<< Home