Saturday, 11 September 2010

Unblocked at Last

Have been watching the reports from Norfolk over the last few days, mainly because the NOA ringed an Arctic warbler recently, and it has been seen daily since. I've dipped three times over the last fifteen years.....
Arrived at Holme at nine and the pagers said no sign, but luckily a report soon came in. Parked in the NOA car park and had a quick chat with Jed before heading off to the pines and joined the small crowd. Viewing turned out to be very tricky, with the birds staying high up in the pine trees, and a rather strong wind. Managed to get a glimpse of the bird before it flew off-something which we became accustomed to over the next hour or so. The best view I got early on was of the rear end of the bird directly overhead and then it got rather frustrating with shadows deep in the trees from the top of the dunes by the old sea watching hide. Some people got cracking views and others only a few feet away got nothing.
Things went quiet for a bit, with the bird apparently skulking high in a dense pine for a long time, so I was rather shocked to see it appear in an open bush only a few feet from me-I got all the features, supercilium, wing bars, pale feet the lot. It remained in view for a few minutes, working its way through before flying off again. Never did get a picture though.
Called in at Redwell Marsh on the way back, and spent a pleasant half hour in and around the hide. Plenty of hirundines feeding over the pool, including several Swift. The main reason for visiting was the Red Necked Phalarope which, like the Arctic Warbler has been here for a few days. It stayed rather distant, and for a spell was pushed to the back of the pool by some geese, but eventually flew fairly close to us.

Spent a lot of time with the other photographers trying to get the hirundines and duck flying through.

We eventually left and went to Titchwell. The main path has just been opened as far as the island hide. Lots of waders on the lagoon, mainly Ruff and Black Tail Godwits. Single Knot and Greenshank were present, but the main target was the small flock of Little Stints associating with the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. Every now and again they would come quite close to the hide.

By far the rarest bird of the day was something we have seen lots of over the years, but this one was rather special. A flock of Spoonbills had been present early on, but departed leaving a single juvenile bird. This bird was almost certainly one of the ten fledged at Holkham in the summer, and therefor British bred.

Will be interesting to see how they will do over the next few years (and whether Glossy Ibis will be next on the list).

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