Thursday, 4 August 2011

Birthday Treat

Wednesday August 3
Terry Wogan is 73 to-day too........
7.5m high tide at Snettisham, straight there after opening cards and presents, arriving just before 10. Amazing, there were nine cars, a motorbike, 3 bicycles and hordes of people there before us. Still many Dunlin in groups along the shore but, fewer than there were on Monday.
We walked to the second hide - known as the Shore Hide - after meeting Dave Hawkins who'd seen the White-rumped Sand from there an hour earlier. To our astonishment, there were only four people in the hide so we could sit with a view. Looking right was hopeless, into the sun and a terrific heat haze on a very warm and cloudless morning. Lovely - except for viewing!
The Sandpiper could well have been on the tenement island to the left.....heaving with Oystercatchers on the near edge, 145 Little Terns, Common and Sandwich in the middle and a grey and brick-red carpet of Knot at the back. I've never seen as many Little Terns anywhere. The warden said it was a record for Snettisham.
As the tide dropped, masses of Black-tailed Godwit rose from the right and flew past us onto the shore.

Impossible to do it all justice with my camera, the images remain in my brain. We'd both happily visit this reserve several times a week at this time of year - it can be perishing in the winter.
 On the trek back to the car - thank goodness we don't have to walk to the car park - we stopped to talk to JP, another man from Club and, someone who was pushing a Swedish made Veloped. The latter is a trolley type pusher, two close wheels at the front and two at the back, a bag for equipment and a comfy looking seat which can be folded down. Looked just the job
Expensive though.....
JP was really puffing having carried his photo equipment from the car park. He asked if he could borrow our Disabled badge! After putting him right - we have an RSPB permit to drive -we all studied the massed Dunlin around the pier (grand name for  rotting pieces of wood), for anything different before leaving him for the comfort of the car.
Summer Turnstone are absolutely stunning, this one has started moulting.  I couldn't - didn't try 'cos of disturbance - get close. This pic was taken from the car and greatly enlarged.

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