Saturday, 18 June 2016

Great Knot & Caspian Terns ......... Norfolk & Lincolnshire

Record shot of the Great Knot.

On Thursday the 16th June  at 5am id headed to Norfolk in the hope of seeing the Great Knot that had been seen the day before at Titchwell rspb reserve , i arrived at approx 8am with both positive & negative news , the positive news was the Great Knot had been seen on the freshmarsh up until half 7 , the negative news was it has now flown towards the beach.

I headed off along the public foot path towards the beach and the general info i received from other birders who were heading back that it has not been relocated yet on the beach , hmmm not good at all , still i carried on and joined approx 10 other birders who were looking for it (i expected more birders to be there??) .

Anyhow there was a huge flock of Red Knot on the beach, approx 2000 birds in various state of plumage , mainly grey with a few full summer birds here & there , but more importantly no sign of the Great Knot.

Another record shot of the Great Knot.

After nearly 2 hours scanning and re scanning plus one or two false claims the Great Knot was picked out by another birder who was about 3 foot taller the rest of us and this height advantage paid dividends for him as unless you were that tall you couldn't see the complete flock over the sand ridge , he did his up most best to try and get people onto the bird but even standing on tip toe i had no luck !!!!

Luckily a few Red Knot and the Great Knot which was with them flew to the exposed muscle beds on the rocks to feed and we were all soon enjoying some really great scope views of this very rare wader , phew !!! this was a  welcome year tick for me as i saw the Breydon water bird in 2014 however that one was much more distant then this one , sadly i never got any decent photos of this bird as it was constantly moving on the rocks.

I watched this bird for quite some time then decided to head to one of the hides for a celebratory coffee and bite to eat , plenty of birds were seen from the hide including 3 Little Ringed Plovers & 2 Red Crested Pochards which were both new birds for my year list.

Male Red Crested Pochard.

There were lot's of Bar & Black Tailed Godwits plus good numbers of Avocets , there was positive news from Gibraltar point regarding the 2 Caspian Terns   so I decided to head there , 2 hours 20 mins later I was parked up at Gibralter and made my way around to the hides and straight away saw the 2 Caspian Terns , here are a selection of pics i took.

2 Caspian Terns.

These huge terns were magnificent to see and a very rare sight seeing two birds together , they looked massive compared to the nearby Black Headed Gulls , there was also a Sandwich Tern which also looked small compared to these two !!!

It was great also to see a family of Avocets with 3 chicks (hope they survive).

Avocet family.