A Whiskered Tern at Rockland Broad last Thursday would not only have been a massive hit on the patch but also a lifer for me. It just wasn't meant to be however, I was working late and the bird was present for just over 3 hours once it had been reported. Rockland is a good site for this Tern, and despite no news on the Friday I headed down after work for a check round. 5 Common Tern were new for the year list, and if one thing has come out of this it is that I am now better at Terns having read ID guides to death since the event! Thank-you to all of the people who contacted me about the Tern, nice to know such a support network exists and I hope I can pay you guys back with a biggy on the patch one day. Providing I get to see it of course!
Teal are still clinging on at Church Marsh, with 3 pairs present as of yesterday. Whilst counting the Ducks, a familiar call instantly had me looking to the sky, and a lovely Yellow Wagtail flew east over the lagoon. I am sure they are present on passage both here and elsewhere at peak times, but nonetheless this was a bird I did not record anywhere last year, so I was pretty chuffed. Walking round to the ruins, another 2 flew over, something of a small passage taking place.
After Connor's superb Alpine Accentor on Saturday morning (he had calmed down by the time I spoke to him) I was keen to try the coast myself so made an early start at Caister this morning, exploring the area east of the gold course and then the scrubby heathland north of Fifth Avenue. Very few migrants in evidence, in-fact the highlight was not avian at all, but a Harbour Porpoise heading south. This made the early start worthwhile for sure. I know Ryan Irvine has them regularly off Hemsby, so this individual is probably a local. Other bits of note were 24+10 Barnacle Geese North (later picked up by Richard Moores at Happisburgh, I wonder as to the origin of these) and singing Sedge Warbler, Blackcap and Whitehroat. I pushed on to Winterto North Dunes, but even fewer migrants were in the bushes here so I called it a day and headed back to paint the bench. I couldn't resist a stop-off at the patch on the way home, and enjoyed excellent views of Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel at Langley and Claxton Marshes. Possible Hobby at Langley but it disappeared to ground on the Cantley side of the river, so I will have to wait to add that to my list. The patch is really buzzing at the moment, Sedge and Reed Warbler all over the place and surely something a bit special soon?