Saturday, February 6, 2016

Consolation prize

I am pretty devastated these days by the Rough-legged Buzzard celebrated by all possible Israeli birders but me. It's the third record but I missed also the previous one back in 2012. So I tried to console myself with some dodgy ducks. Last weekend I tried the Green-winged Teal found by my mate James at Ransworth Broad. I was there with Libby and the weather was horrible and the pushchair had a flat tire, and there were only few teal around, so no luck. This afternoon I tried my luck again, this time the Portuguese-ringed individual on the Blyth estuary. This individual sporting a nasal saddle was ringed in Portugal on 15 January 2015. Driving down the A146 there was a huge pre-roost of several thousand Rooks and Jackdaws near Thurton:

Arriving at Blythburgh, I wanted to hit myself for not checking the tides (Israeli habit - no tide in Israel) - the tide was out and all the ducks were roosting in very distant groups, scattered across the mudflats. I parked by the White Hart Inn and started scanning from the carpark. Took me some time but eventually I got on the bird. Shit views - it was dark and windy, and the bird was very distant. It was just about identifiable with max. magnification of my scope, but hey, enough for a WP tick... I scrambled to get the digiscoping kit together but by the time I was ready the roosting teals woke up and waded down into a depression and out of view. Shit. Not even a record shot. I will try again in better conditions.
So now the teal was in the bag and gone I had some time to look around. In fact I had driven past this fantastic site several times but never had a chance to check. Today it was packed full with birds. There was a huge roost of gull, mainly Common Gulls - around 1500! Including a couple of heinei-type things. Also a Med Gull among them. There were less than 200 large gulls, nothing interesting I could see. Lots of shorebirds on the mud. most impressive was a gathering of 180 Avocets.

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