Saturday, 30 April 2011

East Anglia - 29.4.11

The Ruff, Spoonbill and Stone Curlews.

The original plan was to get up early and drive to Northumberland to see the Black Scoter but as that had buggered off I joined Brendan Glynn, Chris Sharp and Paul Frost (nice to meet you!) on a trip to North Norfolk. We left around 8.15 and on the way had a Cuckoo fly over near Lakenheath. We arrived at our first port of call at Choseley around 11am. We found the desired field and joined a few ther birders already present. They were trying to locate 3 Dotterel in a massive field with bad heat haze so not an easy job! I almost immediately got onto a single bird (a female) and gradually got everyone else onto it but just as it started to move it joined the other 2 birds which I didn't see behind someones head! But 1 bird is all you need! A Lesser Whitethroat was 'rattling' along the roadside hedge when we arrived. We then went to the drying barns but failed to locate any Corn Buntings. 3 male Yellowhammers and a Yellow Wagtails were compensation.

Next stop was Titchwell RSPB where the highlights were 3 year ticks consisting of Common Sandpiper, Knot and Sanderling aswell as a pair of Garganey, 3 White Wagtail, LRP and a near summer plumaged Ruff.

Whilst walking back to the car news broke of not 1 but 3 Red-Footed Falcons at nearby Burnham Overy Staithe. We raced over there but failed to locate them nor the possible Tundra Peregrine or Rough-Legged Buzzard (they arrived after we had left!) We did however find a lovely adult Spoonbill (actually feeding not sleeping!), my first Sedge Warbler and Pink-Footed Goose of the year, 5 summer plumaged Golden Plovers, 3 Little Terns, and a lovely male Greenland Wheatear.

We then headed home but stopped off at Santon Downham hoping for Woodlark or Tree Pipit but we could only muster up 2 Siskin and 2 male Mandarin.

Final stop was Foxhole Heath where after a while we found 8 Stone Curlew on either side of the road along with a single Curlew and 3 Wheatears (all males and 1 of them a Greenland).

A Buzzard was seen near Hatfield and back at the car at Hunton Bridge we were saying our goodbyes as around 20 Waxwings flew NE!! (will these be my last of this amazing influx?)

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