Sunday, 6 November 2016

One Hour's Chill

Thursday November 3

Immediately after moth-ing at Cley - and tea and a scone - we joined many of the other moth-ers on top of the shingle bank at Coastguards. 
I find it difficult to focus when several others are calling out birds seen. Do I stop what I'm doing and try to follow their directions?  Or, do I do my own thing? I ended up doing a mixture of both. The initial panic of missing stuff - which one does anyway when the birds are fast, distant blobs and there aren't any ID points apart from far out wind turbines and moving ships - relaxes to finding one's own. Not to mention lobster pot flags which I tried to memorise, in addition to the number and placements of the groups of turbines .
David N's shout of 'Woodcock coming in, straight towards me', did produce a view of a shattered bird only just managing to raise itself to clear David's head by a centimetre or two.
An incoming Blackbird was knocked down and taken by a Greater Black-backed Gull. Nature. That did produce some expletives from Ian. There was a regular incoming of thrushes too.
I saw at least ten Little Auks and missed half a dozen, other Auks - where I only identified Guillemot - a Red-necked Grebe, many Gannets of all ages, one Goldeneye, two small skeins of Common Scoter  and two Red-breasted Mergansers. I missed the calling Snow Bunting (hearing aids not in) and everyone, apart from Greg, missed the Puffin which passed when we were fixated by the kamikaze Woodcock.
A very enjoyable hour after which we all departed for the warmth of the car. The wind was cutting.

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