Sunday, 15 February 2009

Titchwell and the Broads (!)

A slightly later start had me searching round the NW again in hope of finding the increasingly reported Rough-legged Buzzard, but with no sign (although it was reported again west of Wolferton on the Sandringham Estate during the morning) and dull and damp conditions I decided to look elsewhere. I finally saw the male Black Redstart, where a Grey Wagtail and Peregrine was also seen. I had a look off Hunstanton, where c2000 Common Scoter haboured 7 or 8 Velvet Scoter. Red-breasted Merganser and a single Guillemot were also seen, along with the resident Fulmars. From here I moved to Titchwell, were an extended watch over the sea was rewarded with single Red-necked Grebe and 4+ Great Crested, a Great Northern Diver flew west then turned and continued out to sea (2 Red-throated Diver, also). 38 Goldeneye and 17 Mergansers were counted. Around the reserve were 6 Avocet, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, 16+ Snipe and the Water Pipit.
This visit was interrupted with news from the Broads. After an 80 min drive(!) I arrived at the sensitive site (please do not ask!) to join another observer checking the large flock (3-400 diving duck). 2 Scaup were soon seen and, after a short wait, a female Ring-necked Duck moved out of the reeds and into the throng. The birds were constantly moving into an inlet and then suddenly reappearing for short periods, during which time frantic scanning continued until the drake Ferruginous Duck was seen. A wonderful sight and well worth the long journey!

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