Sunday, 15 May 2011

Good Run Comes to an End .......


Well as the title indicates the fantastic run of connecting with major target birds came to an end yesterday evening  when i dipped the Great Snipe at Cley in Norfolk , i spent from 4pm til 9.15 pm in the Avocet hide which was rather full , you could feel the anticipation and excitement grow amongst the crowd of birders gathered to see this delightful bird but sadly the very anticipated viewing never happened , the weather conditions didn't really help as it was quite windy , it was apparently heard  but that might of been the tape recording someone played near the end of the evening  , still as disappointing as the dip was i had a truly good days birding.

Close view of an Avocet from the Avocet hide.

I started of at Titchwell and soon connected with the superb Wood Warbler that was by the picnic area , it called off and on and gave some superb views , i really enjoyed this bird , there were several local Robins with young nearby as well as Chaffinch feeding young as well , a pair of  Great Tits were constantly in and out of a nearby nest box and you could hear the young birds inside  !

I did not spend long here as i wanted to get to Cley , i decided it best to check out the wader pools along Beach road before i stake out at the Avocet hide , wow what a selection of waders i saw , first and foremost was a superb Lesser Yellowlegs which is the second one i have seen this year or maybe its the same bird i saw in Somersett a few weeks ago ????? , in the same pool there were at least 4 Wood Sandpipers  and then i saw a  Temmincks Stint which was a new bird for the years . 

Lapwing from Avocet hide.

From here i headed of to the visitor center and got my permit then made my way to the hide , and as i said earlier i spent 5 hours here and although i never saw my target bird i still had some quality birds , first up was a fantastic close view of an Avocet , this was a very aggressive bird chasing off every bird that came to close to its territory and young chick  , maybe the Great Snipe had got to close at some point ??

 I also had a very confiding Lapwing which performed well for the camera , there were a pair of Little Ringed Plovers zipping around and the selection of waders kept growing with , Greenshank , Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper  all added along with 2 Temmincks Stints putting in a brief but welcome appearance .
A juv. Spoonbill did a fly around and landed in a pool not to far from camera range .

Spoonbill juv.

The Greylag Goose in the foreground had a dutch ring around its neck , apparently thats how they ring them , i   have to confess i am not to sure i like the way these birds are ringed , its not that they are being harmed or look bothered by them i just think it takes away the charm and looks of the bird .

Whilst waiting for the non appearance of the Great Snipe someone picked out the earlier seen Barn Owl and Short Eared Owl flying together which was great to see . At least 3 Common Snipes put in an appearance plus there were very good numbers of Sand Martins flying here there and everywhere and they were joined by a good number of Swifts as the evening drew to a close , i had a good selection of mammals today including a Weasel   plus 2 Brown Hares .