The excellent spell of birding continued with the addition of the Lesser Yellowlegs at Cley, although it could be seen as one that earlier got away (not really from me, I'm not that good!) - more on that later!
In a week that I managed to see three Megas: one being a 'Lifer' and the other two being Norfolk Ticks, as well as the already mentioned rarity (actually not so much these days as they are getting near annual in Norfolk now days!) and an excellent selection of 'back up' birds (plus the escaped Eagle Owl!) and even a few scarce finds (not 'Scarcities', but birds I don't necessarily find each spring), combined with a rather hectic home life week, I feel I have 'earned' some time to relax! Obviously strange that it is a Saturday, when the majority of birders are out and about (hopefully, finding something else for me to see :)!)
So, back to the birds and back to Thursday morning. Without any doubt watching the displaying male Great Snipe was one of my birding highlights and it was a privilege to be there (and, having spent quite some time following up the story behind the 'find', I am convinced that there was no deliberate suppression, perhaps a couple of decisions that in retrospect would have been altered, but news of its confirmation was broadcast within minutes).
There was a selection of other birds to keep us occupied as we waited for the next 'showing'. A 1st sum Little Gull loafed around over the scrape and I picked up a Spoonbill flying off west, a Wheatear graced to area by the Snipe. In the distance a number of 'tringas' were flying around. I had seen a bird that I was sure was a Wood Sandpiper, but at the same time Dave was watching something that he thought was more interesting. In my jovial way I dismissed it as the Wood Sandpiper I had seen, and although there were 'memerings' from elsewhere the bird was 'forgotten' (well not by some, when news came out that evening that there was a Lesser Yellowlegs in that area!) See Dave's account and his excellent pictures of other birds here: http://gobirding.eu/Diary/Diary.html (sorry, Dave, that I wasn't more supportive!)
I had a good look round Salthouse, but could only find a couple of 1st sum Med Gulls and 5 Wheatear, with small numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit and a couple of Whimbrel.
I returned home, then had to pick up Megan from Winfarthing, back to Dereham, then to Besthorpe and back home: over 120 miles and never left Norfolk!
Friday 13th May
I'd already decided to return to Cley to check out the area, but with news of the Lesser Yellowlegs, there was no doubt! As I drove down Old Woman's Lane I could see a couple of birders on the West Bank so decided to go there before returning to Avocet Hide. The Yellowlegs was still present, but somewhat silhouetted looking into the sun. But an even better 'spot' was an all-nighter Josh, who I hadn't seen for ages! We had a great chat about Birds, Life and Everything, something that in a conversations with Josh is always one of the same! This led me to giving him a lift back to Blakeney and therefore no visit to Avocet Hide, but news of the Snipes non presence had already filtered out!
I returned to the Lesser Yellowlegs after work and had much better views in superb light, although distance all the details on this summer plumaged adult could be noted (see Steve Gantlett's pic: http://www.birdingworld.co.uk/Cley%202011.1.htm as well as his amazing Great Snipe!). Whilst watching this, a maximum of 6 Wood Sandpipers, 4 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 each of Little and Ringed Plover and an elusive Temminck's Stint, as well as numerous Redshank and Lapwing Chicks were noted - and also the neck collared Greylag. Ian picked up a flying Temminck's Stint and I found two others that then joined it and landed in view. A Yellow Wagtail flew along the bank.
And now for something completely different:
some pictures of 'ordinary' birds!
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