Saturday, 30 April 2011

Rough and windy

A Hoopoe reported from Winterton Dunes this morning was more than enough motivation for me to hit the east coast and bag some migrants.
Disappointingly few birds seen, of any description. Happisburgh was windswept and bare, so I headed for 'cover'; the dunes at Eccles. 3 Lesser Whitethroats were heard rattling, but no Wagtails, Falcons, nothing. This was hard going- the wind blew so hard I actually had a headache. Probable Swift over Whimpwell Green, but I was unable to stop the car for a look.
I sat back in the car and collected myself and decided a change of tactics were in order. It's windy, too windy. Birds are either hunkered down or passing straight through, maybe stopping further inland, I hoped. Hickling Rush Hill Scrape seemed like a good shout, so that was where I ended up.
3 Wood Sandpiper were at the far side of the scrape, and 3 out of 4 Greenshank showed much closer to the hide. 8 Ruff were almost looking smart, and 2 Avocets provided more colour. A good wader fest! 2 Marsh Harrier were in the air, then something else caught my attention. Clearly a Buzzard, and prolonged but distant views showed off a white rump and dark carpal patches. Having just seen a few of these beasties in Estonia, I was watching a Rough-legged Buzzard. I managed to get the other birder in the hide onto it before it drifted west over Hickling. A good bird for east Norfolk and a satisfying end to the day. More tomorrow!

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