Bird news coming out of East Anglia have strange ways. Yesterday evening a Buff-breasted Sandpiper was found at Potter Heigham Marshes, but the news didn't reach the internet-generation until mid morning today. I was stuck doing things in the morning, but as soon as I could free myself I picked up my gear and shot off. Negative news didn't put me off, and I did my best to relocate it. After a long and hot search, on the farthest scrape, a flock of Ringed Plovers flew in. I did a quick scan through the scope and - boom! The sweetest-ever shorebird, my lovely lifer - Buff-breast! Beautiful, gingery, delicate, just as I had imagined it. Not obliging like a Davidstow Airfield slut, but I enjoyed very good scope views. Photography was horrible though, distant through heavy heat-haze, no joy here.
Phonescoped videos are a bit better:
Buff-breasted Sandpiper has eluded me since I arrived in the UK almost four years ago. There were no gettable East Anglian birds during this period, and I didn't go all the way to SW Cornwall for one (though I was tempted). I narrowly missed one in Dorset last year, so this species climbed to the top of my most-wanted birds before my departure in August. I secretly hoped for this scenario exactly. Now, after a few rapid heartbeats all is well - the plan fell into place and this embarrassing gap in my list is closed now. In fact it was a global lifer for me - I have not seen it in N America in several trips there.
Even though I was really focused on one sweet bird, I did see quite a lot of other stuff (check my eBird checklist here), including many families. Notables were Spoonbill and Hobby.
Will I have another tick before heading back? Stay posted...