Saturday, 25 April 2009

Lows and Highs of Birding

Dawn had us walking down toward the Weavers Way, Hickling Broad. Hopes were high of finding some good birds. We had a number of Grasshopper Warblers and Cetti's amongst other Warblers, with a calling Cuckoo (but not the hoped for rarity!) Onto Rush Hills, where a number of interesting waders were seen, including up to 8 Greenshank, a few Bar-tailed Godwit in their finary and a nice group of Black-tails (but little else and no rare terns!) It was interesting to watch a Heron at nest with 3 young. From here we moved onto Martham Broad, where the most interesting birds were some strange Greylags! - although another Bar-wit was seen. Here we missed a message about a Red-rumped Swallow South over Horsey. I'm sure if we'd got it we'd have chased it (and still probably missed it) but were unaware until we returned to the car where Dave's pager was! We set up camp at Horsey Gap in the vain hope another might pass through! An interesting Stonechat was seen at Waxham. Over a 100 Swallows were scrutinised and a number of Yellow Wagtails amongst other birds were seen. From here we joined the wagtail 'twitch' just south of Sea Palling. The company was even better than the birds (although a nice male and probable female - a bird I too easily dismissed - were seen), being good to catch up and also meet a 'new' birder. After a late stop for food and a slow drive north, despondency started to set. 'Wryneck still at Holkham', we'd missed another message! In nearly 12 hours in the field, searching for our own birds, there had been little reward!
Until...the pager went off 'probable Black-headed Wagtail at Titchwell'. We made our move and eventually arrived with the knowledge that the bird was still present, and what a bird, an absolute stunner. A couple of hings concerned me, the white just under the bill and some greyish flecking on the nape. Both were explained by others due to it being a first winter, I hope they at right! After our fill of this bird we decided to call it a day and started to make our way home. This was soon interrupted by news of a Red-rumped Swallow at Cley. A quick detour had us arriving at the Mill and the bird was soon showing well, including perched up on an aerial! Wonderful! And a great 'end' to a hectic day, especially having 'missed' the earlier bird. We planned a quick trip for Nightingale, but again his was interrupted - but this time as I (re)found the Spoonbill between Walsey Hills and Iron Road.
What an interesting day and I am sure there are some interesting morals in there!

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