Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Golden Plover Count - Beaten

Tuesday November 15
What a lovely day to visit Titchwell, pre- arranged without a weather forecast too. Cloudless for most of the day. the sea, pools, reeds and birds shown off at their best. It was the coldest day since we came back from Australia though, zip up to the chin and gloves needed.
Not having done any real walking for three months or so, I took it easy on the walk out, one prolonged bench sit to view the Freshwater Marsh, which held more birds in number than I can remember in previous years.

Ray Kimber said that the warden reckoned there were in excess of 10,000 yesterday. The bulk of the birds was a huge flock of Golden Plover, covering two islamds and everywhere else I scanned.

Over 4,000, gleaming softly in the sunshine. Many Pintail, hundreds of Teal, fewer Mallard, Shoveller and Gadwall. The wonder is, apart from twenty four Brent Geese that flew in, there were no geese at all.
Trudging towards the sea, we met David (Geordie) and Ben the dog who'd walked to the Point and back, admiring the brightly coloured and confiding Desert Wheatear en route. It had re-located from the end of the boardwalk where it had been yesterday. Shame, I'd been hoping to see it, an extra 1 mile plus was too much. Baz and Barry were sea watching standing behind the bench with three others, the bench was empty. Great. Its legs and the platform were largely buried in the sand but I could still see over the wretched safety bar they erected last year.
Eventually, a male Long-tailed Duck, three Goldeneye, two close Guillemots, an even closer Red-throated Diver and a small flock of Common Scoter were added. A large number of Gannets were fishing actively far out to sea, Little Gulls and most of the waders were in the bay viewable this side of Brancaster Golf Clubhouse.
Birders returning from the Desert Wheatear looked rather leg weary.
Another sit on the way back, a chat with John and Judy Geeson who are off to Argentina on Friday for a 30 day birding trip. Similar to the one we did but omitting the Andes and including the south.
I was leg weary too when we arrived back at the car, in time for breakfast at 12.45 (!!) I couldn't wait to drink my sachet.
A few Yellowhammers at Choseley, before lovely Brancaster Staithe, where Pam ate her lunch.

We were home at 3.10 in good light, which soon faded.

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