Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Phalarope Day!

Debs and I met up with family today, both of whom were keen to see the confiding Daurian Shrike at Horsey. Excellent views were again obtained of this confident individual, which today was building up a small larder of bees and wasps. Shrikes can only 'show well', so why the photographers present needed to shove their massive lenses in the face of the bird I don't know, ridiculous.

A quick seawatch from here proved productive, a Common Scoter flock of c100 birds were loafing offshore, and closer in a few Red-throated Divers were fishing. Gannets fished distantly and one or two Auk species could be seen but not assigned to a species. A probable Grey Phalarope flew North, the first of a few today.

We had planned on giving the bushes a look around Shangri-La at Waxham, and on finding nothing of note we headed down to the beach. As luck would have it a couple of birders were watching two Grey Phalarope close in, gripping photos below!! The birds (possibly one adult and one juvenile) allowed for a close approach and we watched them spinning for food, classic Phalarope behaviour. A memorable moment followed, as two more Grey Phalarope flew South, over the heads of the pair spinning! My little cousin claimed another one South, so a maximum of six seen today, lovely little birds and I cannot imagine ever seeing four at once again!

Driving back we pulled in and studied the gulls following a plough. A distant Harrier would not come close enough, but a Mediterranean Gull was easily picked out amongst the masses of Black-headed.

We finished the day at Strumpshaw Fen and had brief views of Bittern. Marsh Harriers, Bullfinch, Siskin, Marsh Tit and Fieldfare made up a super supporting cast. Matt, one of the reserve staff, told us Otters have been showing beautifully from the reception hide, typical.




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