Sunday, 2 November 2014

Twite at last

I had three targets in mind this morning. Surf Scoter, Twite and Yellow-browed Warbler. I succeeded with just one of that trio but it was the one I wanted to see. Surf Scoter and YBW I have seen before, many times in the case of the latter. But Twite has alluded me. In Ireland they are very scarce, I tried a couple of times at Raghly Pier in County Sligo but always came up short. I have also tried at Thornham Harbour in the past and there too I drew a blank, but today was different.
First though to Holkham Gap for a fine drake Surf Scoter. I parked at Lady Anne's Drive and walked to the beach, the tide was out so I needed to do quite a walk before I could get into a position to scope the scoters. Yesterday the bird was reported as being west of Holkham Gap, I walked in that direction and spent an hour checking through the Commons and Velvets but in the end came up with nothing. It was reported later, east of Holkham Gap. Never-mind, the Velvet drakes were nice consolation. I'll check again later in the winter.
On to Thornham Harbour for Twite and this time it was straightforward. A mobile flock of twenty plus birds seen on the saltmarsh, viewed best from just beyond the first bench on the seawall. They were too distant for photos, I tried an approach after first checking with other birders present if they would mind. However, a nervous Redshank spooked the flock and all I managed was this record shot. Still, a life bird all the same so I was happy with that.

Twite, Thornham Harbour, Norfolk
From there, with only a little time left, I headed to Titchwell to look for the YBW, reported yesterday as showing along the Meadow Trail near the dipping pond. However, no sooner had I left the car, than the heavens opened. I got no further than the cafe. In the end I had to call it a day as time ran out before the rain eased.

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