Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wridiculously Wronderful Wryneck!

With time to spare (Megan (and Louise!) had friends round :)) I decided to head up to Wells, where a Wryneck had be showing well (at times) since Sunday. There had been no news on the bird on the pager(!) so when I arrived I asked the car-parker if he knew it had been seen. He claimed it had, and after chatting he allowed me to park up without paying and said I could pay when I left!
I made my way over to a single person sitting on the ridge. I wasn't that hopeful, not even sure if the person was a birder. She was, and I crept up behind her and could immediately see the Wryneck feeding c 20 m away, out in the open on bare soil. It remained in the open for the next 2 1/2 hours, only twice moving to the hedge and both times remaining in full view, and was extremely confiding, walking up to us to within 5m at the most. People came and went and, with a little encouragement to approach carefully and quietly, the bird was never disturbed and gave all-comers fantastic views!

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Monday, 29 August 2011

Cley Revisted: In Better Light!

Decided to return to Cley yesterday to see the Red-backed Shrike and try to get some better pics of the Red-necked Phalarope. The Phalarope was not playing ball and people were using extra caution when viewing the Shrike! A second visit to Cley coincided with a good showing from the 8 Spoonbills that were present (after a while, anyway!)  Also on Pat's Pool were up to 30 Curlew Sandpipers and a few Little Stint. A brief sea watch produced a Manx Shearwater and a few Arctic Skua, not enough to make me feel an early start would be that profitable (although the, 'Mega Norfolk Yelkouan Shearwater', this morning from Cley made me rather regret that; but then again, I would have been at Sheringham, where the Shearwater was not picked up; but then again, I might have picked it up and made a name for myself; but then again...)
(I also dipped the Burrowing Owl from Saturday, and, yes I did look for it!)

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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Finally Got Off My ... Sofa!!

The vaguity of a Bonelli's Warbler sp at Warren Wood, Cromer was enough to bring back my paranoia, having not gone for the 'Booted' Warbler at Sheringham in 2002, even though I was told to (it turned out to be a Syke's!!)! So I arose from my slumber and made my way up to the coast.

I parked up at The warren, unsure as to where to head. I made my way up through the wood, even asking a dog walker if she had seen any birders, not seeing any myself! Worrying for what could be a 'mega'! Into the clearing I noticed some birders watching on the far side, but was fortunately intercepted and returned, up a small hill to a watch point.

It was good to meet up with a number of birders that I hadn't, obviously seen for a while, and the wait began. After a while a 'phyllosc' flew in from the right and from there a Greenish Warbler called loudly. Over the next couple of hours sightings could be pieced together of the whole bird (although I was happy with a good head view!) The bird was even heard singing, a quiet, dainty Wren-like rattle, quite opposite to the harsh Pied Wagtail like disyllabic call! Others noted that one wing bar was much prominent than the other.

Whilst waiting for further views another 'phyllosc' called to the left and flew right landing briefly, tail on. I had just enough time to shout, '*~#*! Bonelli's!' before it was gone. Even in this split second view I was able to notice the contrasting clean white underparts, to the light greyish-brown back and yellow flash in the wing, with rather plain face! Others then confirmed that they had picked up the Bonelli's on call and that this confirmed that it was in fact a Western - with a slight disyllabic hu-it call. Must say, I was rather glad that I didn't 'need' Western Bonelli's for Norfolk (having seen the bird at Wells last year, found by the same observer!) as this was the only other sighting of the afternoon!
From here I moved onto Cley to see the Red-necked Phalarope (with a quick excursion to Gramborough Hill as i thought there were quite a few people watching!) The Phalarope showed well, but in bad light, spinning around as if its life depended on it - which I suppose it does!) Amongst the other waders on view were 7 juv Curlew Sandpiper, with Common and Green.

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