Sunday, 11 December 2011
I set off early on Saturday 10th December my destination was Cley Marshes in the hope of seeing the Western Sandpiper , i arrived in good time just as the pager informed me that it was still there showing from Pats Pool , great i parked up and headed to Pats pool , i got into the first hide No birders , went to the second hide and instantly realized i would be looking into Sun , and there was only one birder in this hide and by which time i had a small following of birders behind me , the guy said " its showing from the hide over the other side of the pool , so without haste i ended up in my third hide in about 10 minutes , Phew !!!!
Within a minute or two i was straight onto the first winter Western Sandpiper , it was with a small flock of Dunlin , now i am no expert on " Peeps " but the features i did notice were the following : the rather long thin bill was evident ,as were the white breast patches , the lore's were white and there is a small whitish super behind the eye , rather long legged , the crowned appeared faintly streaked , the overall profile reminded me of a very small Dunlin, and is a very welcome lifer which brings my wader list in the UK to 60 .
I watched it for a short while when all of a sudden a Peregrine flew through flushing everything into the air , although most of the birds settled back again the majority of small waders flew off to safer grounds and i didn't see the Western Sandpiper again in next 3 hours i spent there , however it did re appear later in the afternoon when i was on my way back home .
Sorry for lack of pictures as i spent most of my time trying to pick out features on the bird however there are a few photos on various blogs and on Surf birds :
Green Winged Teal.
I did see this Green Winged Teal which was quite distant but showed well through the scope and was a welcome year tick .
Green Winged and Eurasian Teal .
There were very good numbers of Golden Plovers I made a count of 500 + and there were an equal number of Lapwings ( see top photo ) , there were lesser numbers of Black Tailed Godwit , Redshank and Avocet where i counted 16 birds , i did not have long here as i had to get back home as i had other arrangements in the evening however i had a good time with lots to look at , i did see a female Marsh Harrier on one of the banks.
And i also had very close views of this fine male Pintail which is one of my favourite ducks.
And then it was time to head home.