Monday, 14 July 2014

No Great Dot

Monday July 14

I'm not often happy to be woken by a 6.15 a.m. phone call. To-day was the exception. It was Steve telling us of a Great Knot from Breydon south wall. After a cup of tea, it was nearly 7 by the time we left, 7.30 at Breydon Fishermen's car park. Dot was leaving as we arrived, with the good news that the bird was now very near. Hastily parking, a returning Dave H told us that, on the fast rising tide, it had flown to the Lumps, accessible from Asda car park.
Very quickly, we  drove to Asda where we parked near the Breydon wall, walking under the bridge and along a netted path to beyond the Hide, where we joined two other Yarmouth birders and Dave H.
Waw, no sooner had I set up my scope than  a Club member located the bird in it for me, Excellent service.
 We watched for over half an hour. The bird was quite flighty so I had good scope flight views as well as feeding. It got quite close at one time but not close enough for a reasonable digiscoping shot. Just very dodgy ones ! When it flew into vegetation and was hidden from view, we left to use Asda's facilities. There were about 30 birders present by now, including a grateful Bob who I'd texted before leaving. Dot, Steve and Keith had returned as had Peter Allard who found the bird late last night. All are convinced that the putative bird of about 5 years ago was also a Great Knot but, not in adult plumage and difficult to prove. This one is a nailed on summer adult with it's dark spotted pectoral patch and streaking down the flanks.

Adult Great Knot. Definitely NOT my image.
It was with two Red Knot so could be compared for size, length of neck, and tail attenuation.
We also added Med Gull. two Whimbrel and a Curlew Sandpiper to the hundreds of commoner waders. The Avocet flock is building nicely.
We've seen many Great Knot in Australia and a small number in China, none in summer plumage before this. The earlier  UK 'Great Dot' on Seal Sands was a real distance tick, which I've always been unhappy about claiming. No way was it identifiable by me.
Thank you Steve. Such a beautiful early morning too, it was a pleasure to be there.

 A lavender carpet adds to the scenery

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