Monday 10 September 2018

Autumn begins despite westerlies

Despite the west winds there will still some migrants around. I was in bed early Friday night and up at 5am Saturday morning to go and see the Lowestoft Booted Warbler. I hadn't high expectations for photos as most reports had the caveat 'tho elusive'. However, it was worse than that and the bird had done the usual Friday night bunk and was nowhere to be seen come Saturday morning. A small supporting cast of White Wagtail, Whinchat and Northern Wheatear knocking around the net poles was scant consolation.

Whinchat, Lowestoft denes - 8th September 2018
I checked the tamarisks all the way along the edge of the Bird's Eye factory where I had a couple of very yellowy looking juvenile Willows and two Common Whitethroats. After that I did a circuit around Great Yarmouth cemetery but it was empty.
Sunday I took a little lie in and didn't get out until 10am. I hate missing the best part of the day but I needed some sleep. This time I decided to walk Winterton dunes, its a big area to cover but usually has migrants. I started well with this pretty little Spotted Flycatcher.

Spotted Flycatcher, Winterton dunes - 9th September 2018
Then I walked the bushes around the totem pole. I flushed a bird off the deck just on the edge of some bushes that looked like a pipit. It didn't call and that alone had me thinking it wasn't a M'ipit. Because of where it was I figured Tree Pipit or Olive-backed (although its a little early for OBP). Anyway, I eventually pinned it down sitting quietly in a low branch - Tree Pipit it was.

Tree Pipit - Winterton Dunes
Both of those encounters put a spring in my step. However, I walked all the way from the totem pole to the concrete blocks without seeing anything else. Before the plantation things picked up again with four Whinchats, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Common Whitethroats. A relatively uneventful return walk to the car with just one Whinchat, Marsh Harrier and two Stonechats.
After a sandwich break I decided to head to Kessingland where the Wryneck was still present. I had directions from Rob Holmes to the spot although it was quite a walk from the village to sluice with all my gear (and having walked Winterton already) - I was pretty 'cream-crackered' by the time I got there.
However, the bird was showing really well - a little distant for photos but any closer and I doubt the bird would have been so showy. It was a really crisp, fresh-looking individual. Stunningly cryptic plumage when viewed up close. I stayed there until 6pm before tiredness and hunger pangs caught up with me.

Wryneck, Kessingland, Suffolk - 9th September 2018

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