Sunday, 16 January 2011

Double Dip Weekend - 15-16.1.11

In my last posting I was hoping that a gull at Rainham Marshes was the UK's first Slaty-Backed Gull. That evening the Mega alert went of on my pager and yes it was one! So dawn on Saturday found me and around 1000 other birders stood at the top of a slippery bank trying to view through a fence into the rubbish dump. 3 hours passed without a sign before my legs and back could take no more standing at un-natural angles but in that time i'd seen a 1st winter Caspian Gull (found by the Notts birder next to me) and an adult Yellow-Legged Gull. In total 11 year ticks were had. I walked back the 2 miles to the car and was a few yards from the visitor centre when someone ran out saying a radio message had come through saying the Slaty-Backed Gull had reappeared! I decided to go home and thankfully it was a good choice as it wasn't seen over the weekend! Me and the missus went into town shopping and on the way home I stopped off near the Tudor Arms pub to get my lottery and when I came out I noticed a flock of birds flying down to a Rowan tree in Westfield Avenue. Yep you guessed it - Waxwings!! I counted around 40 before they were flushed by people walking by and they weren't seen again. Around 4pm I recieved a text from Joan Thompson sayinga Red-Necked Grebe was at Hilfield Reservoir.

This morning I crawled out of bed at 9.30am with a swollen knee from standing funnily yesterday at the tip! I went to Hilfield but found no sign of the grebe so a double dip weekend. Lets hope for better soon!
The 2 photos taken on my phone are from Friday just after a heavy shower had passed through Cassiobury Park. Unfortunately they looked better in real life!! They are called Mammatus clouds and were tinged a green colour. They aren't as good as the ones you get in America but not bad all the same!

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