Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Great Knot ... But Long Tailed Skua steals the show

Great Knot 

I had a bit of a slow start to my day yesterday the 14th July , little did i know i would end the day with a Lifer and a bird in adult plumage that i had always wanted to see.

I did my normal routine , breakfast , coffee and took my endless medication , then i always check RBA just in case , i nearly fell of my chair when i read the words GREAT KNOT at Breydon Water in Norfolk , i then checked my phone and saw a couple of missed calls and txt's , the messages read , Are you going ? , can't go til tomorrow and so on , then as i was trying to get my head around this 4th record for Britain i checked twitter to find out if it was confirmed , it was , and are there any photos , there were .

My effort of the Great Knot .

I headed to Norfolk the traffic was awful at the Dartford tolls plus further delays on the A12 ( should have gone on the M11 ) put me over an hour behind , the news of the Great Knot kept changing , its there , its flown off , its back again , the excitement was building more and more in the car , i eventually got to Breydon Water and after a long walk ( seemed like miles and miles to me ) i reached the assembled birders and i eventually caught up with some birders who were all ready on the bird , i was also soon on it , it was really distant and although it was the bird i was battling with my conscience , could i really tick it on those views ? then the bird took to flight and landed out of view , i decided to walk even further and was scanning a bit further up the estuary  , i soon located it and although it was still distant i could see the features better from here and all key id features were duly noted , Phew.

I did see it  again right back near the Rugby club and distant but decent scope views were obtained.

Adult Long-Tailed Skua at Winterton.

I was getting comfortable in the car and just about to start my journey home when i checked the pager } an adult Long Tailed Skua at Winterton , i checked the sat nav and was only 20 mins from the site ,  i had never seen an adult bird so i went for it , and what a fantastic bird it was , just resting on the beach , i have to say i know this bird is not as rare as the Great Knot but i enjoyed this bird far more , here are some pics.

Looking awesome.

Wing stretching. Note the pale primary shafts.

Looking very settled.

Watching Little Terns.

Note the " pale legs " and pointed nape.

All the above pics were taken between 8.15pm to 8.40pm , i don't think i have seen such happy birders and i don't think i could really believe my luck , of note there were several Little Terns flying up and down the beach and the Long-Tailed Skua flew out to sea at approx: 9.30 pm although i was long gone by then .