Saturday, July 22, 2017

East Norfolk class of 2017

Went birding with Nick today in East Norfolk. We checked a few sites in unsettled weather - got gloriously wet eventually. Birding was nice but relative highlights were painfully familiar species. Started off at Rush Hill Scrape that was rather empty with high water levels and nothing special.
We arrived at Breydon Water about an hour too late, when the tide was fully up and birds were difficult to see roosting in the tall vegetation. Still great there with large numbers of shorebirds and gulls, including Little Stint, 6 Greenshank, Wood Sand, 1 Barwit, 10 Whimbrel, Grey Plover and 70 Med Gulls. As always, birds at Breydon are very distant. Today the camera stayed in the bag and these photos are phonescoped through Swarovski ATX95.

Part of a 200-strong Avocet flock 

Part of the Med Gull concentration

Before heading back to Norwich we returned to Potter Heigham Marshes. Lovely site but we were somewhat disappointed by the small numbers of short-legged shorebirds. Good to see lots of babies of all sorts - evidently the predator fence did the job. I was never so excited before by two Israeli trash birds - Black-winged Stilts and Cattle Egret. We saw all four baby stilts and one parent; then the egret flew into a tree from a cattle grazing marsh. Boom.

Class of 2017. #4 behind these bushes

Compact-looking Intermediate Heron. Quality

Other highlights were 5 Little Ringed Plover and 3 Garganey. Wow.
Because of the heavy rain few butterflies were on the wing and I don't think I saw a single dragon this morning. Among the more numerous Red Admirals and Painted Ladies we found this female Gatekeeper:

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