Thursday, 1 December 2011

Striking Sandpiper

The Unions could not have timed that any better. Perhaps I should be shot, but a day on strike on the Wednesday of the week now almost past saw me take a trip to Cley NWT, in search of a new bird to add to my British (and Norfolk) list. Not only that, but but I am a huge Sandpiper/Shorebird fan, so a possible Semi-palmated/Western Sandpiper would be an education whatever the case.

At the time, I made the following notes:
Black Legs
Very short primary projection
Relatively long, pointed bill
Contrasting white underparts
Grey tones to feathers, but scapulars showing some rufous in better light
'Dumpy' appearance. 

Now, a key feature (concave or convex shape to marks on  feathers?) could not be seen in the field, and photos are proving ambiguous! I'll be honest, I was siding with Semi-P by the time I had left, yet today the bird is being pagered as Western, so I and others await instruction!
I did make a couple of notes regarding another small Wader. It was small, dumpy, similar plumage colouring to the grey Dunlin, couldn't make out a supercillium (although photos do show a hint). Could this be simply a small Dunlin, or something else? Looks to big for as Little Stint, bill also too long. Do we have a Semi P and Western  in Norfolk at the same time, on the same pool?! 

Also on site, a brief glimpse of a Water Rail, and a Peregrine sat on the bank opposite the hide. 

Cracking birding!

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