Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Early Autumn Update

Its been an exciting and at times frustrating few weeks in birding terms. The recent August Bank Holiday weekend was full of eastern promise but, for me at least, it failed to deliver. It started with a yomp down Blakeney Point on the Friday morning. Some nice waders skimming along the surf as we walked out including a Little Stint but otherwise the point was quiet and well....pointless! We birded Burnham Overy Dunes that afternoon where we had two Pied Flys and one Spotted but left before the rain and missed a mini-fall that included two Wrynecks and a few more Pied Flys. Well done to the Wryneck magnet James Lowen.

Pied Flycatcher, Burnham Overy Dunes, Norfolk - 28 August 2020
Strong north winds on the Saturday morning meant a sea-watch from Cley. It looked very promising as I arrived at 7am but in the hour that followed it was just ducks, gulls and a few Sandwich Terns. Give me The Bridges, Cape, Galley or even The Old Head any day! At least on Sunday I managed to see the juvenile Black Tern at the local Colney GP (#92 on my 5kmfromhome list). On Monday I chased an elusive Temminck's Stint at Cantley BF and lost whilst Happisburgh that afternoon was deadsville!
However, the week did pick up. On the Tuesday night I had my Ortolan candidate over the garden (see Sounds in the night). The same night I added a surprise Barn Owl to my garden list also.

The next night a pair of Tawny Owls serenaded me from the garden too.

Richard Moores found a smashing White-winged Black Tern in the rain at Cantley BF on the Thursday morning that I managed to see that evening (sadly its been predated since).

Juvenile White-winged Black Tern, Cantley BF, Norfolk - 3rd September 2020
A supporting cast of fine waders included Green, Common and Wood Sandpipers, Greenshank, Redshank, Ruff, Snipe, Dunlin and Ringed Plover plus Yellow Wagtails and Hobby.
On Sunday I went late in the evening to Waxham where I stood alone in the mellow evening sunlight with just this smart Red-backed Shrike for company.

Juvenile / 1W Red-backed Shrike, Waxham, Norfolk - 6th September 2020

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