Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Surprise Find

Monday February 2

Pam returned from shopping and the garage (wipers bent by the wind, adjustments made), immediately suggesting that we go out. She'd noticed some thrushes in the Soay sheep field on the way to Walcott. I was easily swayed.
Having hastily prepared a roll, we set off. The thrushes were still there, not a large flock but containing Fieldfare, Redwing and Song Thrush. 
At the Bacton end of Ridlington Road, Pam pulled in to  an unofficial layby, formed by passing traffic in a narrow road. About 30 Brent Geese have been in the field for several days. Whilst waiting for the vehicle to pass I scanned the flock, saying 'some of the birds have got orange legs, they're Whitefronts'. I quickly reached for my scope from the back seat, identifying four birds with bright orange beaks, two with large white 'fronts', two with smaller. Consulting the Helm Guide, they were very obviously Greenland Whitefronts, too distant for a photo.
Pausing at Brograve Farm, there were at least 30 Cranes distantly viewable.
The Horsey Layby was almost filled by a large birding tour minibus. No wonder, the field to the east was full of birds. Thousands of Pinkfeet, Lapwing, one Ruff  and a few Fieldfare. The next field was full of Golden Plover, Starling, Lapwing and 30+ Snipe. The latter, the largest flock I've seen in Norfolk.
£1 in the Coastguards bucket at Winterton Beach for car park entry, 5 Gannets the only birds on an empty sea. Why do I not record Black-headed Gulls as present?
Late for putting the roast in the oven, we drove directly home until.....seeing Bob in the Horsey layby brought us to a swift halt. I'd texted him earlier about the geese but he hadn't responded. It turned out that he wasn't wearing his aids and hadn't heard his phone.He'd also seen the geese but was very cross that he hadn't scoped them and identified 4 as Greenland Whitefronts, We had a quick and short look for Purple Sand on Walcott front - it started raining - so Bob was already in the layby digiscoping when we passed.
I took a few hopeful shots as it was now very poor light in the rain after a sunny afternoon.
Bob mailed me some shots which he was not happy with but they're better than mine ! It was a family of Whitefronts, 2 adults and 2 young.

Bob's digiscoped. 1 adult right, juvenile left

My photo - much enlarged

Tuesday morning

The Brent remained, the Whitefronts had gone.
Lunch at Cley Centre added 7 Avocets for the month.

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