Sunday, January 08, 2012


Wigeon,Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Sunrise at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Sheepie,Wrighty and assembled bird spotters at Titchwell.
Approaching weather front at Titchwell.
An organised trip to Norfolk today with Chris,Alan and Dave to see the wintering adult Lesser white-fronted Goose and Western Sandpiper,resulted in a cracking days birding.We started proceedings at a freezing Buckenham Marshes with us eventually finding the Lesser white-fronted Goose albeit at long range feeding with the wintering flock of 'Taiga' Bean's and White-fronted Geese,unfortunately for us ,the bird was feeding in a shallow ditch and allowed only glimpses of it 's head at first,before it decided to show itself properly.This is probably the returning bird from last winter and constitutes the first sighting of this very rare goose species for all of us.We also enjoyed some excellent views of the 'Taiga' Bean's,which showed very nicely.Also at this superb site and apart from the afore-mentioned species,were masses of waders and wildfowl,which included a couple of thousand Wigeon,30 Barnacle Geese,43 Ruff,2 male Cetti's Warbler and a juv. male Peregrine which was causing havoc amongst the feeding ducks and waders which swirled around the reserve every time he was spotted,an amazing sight.After this great start,we made the long journey back to the North Norfolk coast and to Cley and after getting robbed blind for five quid for our reserve permit,we made our way around to view the Western Sand.Thankfully,within five minutes,i was watching my first Western Sandpiper after squeezing into the packed hide.It showed very well at times,mainly feeding on it's own,but loosely associating on occasion with a small flock of Dunlin.It was strikingly small compared to the Dunlin,but looked like a miniature version of one and could easily be picked out with it's frenetic,jerkey feeding action,what a bird!.This is the first sighting of this incredibly rare wader for myself and around the tenth for Britain.Also seen at this amazing reserve,sightings consisted of an adult male Peregrine,causing mayhem as the bird earlier at Buckenham and showing very well on the ground,30 plus Ruff,at least 3 Marsh Harrier and a distant flock of Snow Bunting along the shingle ridge.A brief stop off en-route to Titchwell,saw us locating the Dark-bellied Brent flock at Wells and picking out the wintering Black Brant,which gave decent views from the roadside.We finalised our day at the superb Titchwell,with us eventually seeing the 1st winter Arctic Redpoll after some confusion amongst visitors as to which bird it was,but thankfully it flew in and i managed to get everyone onto this distinctive bird.There were at least 2 Mealies with this small flock also.Other birds observed here included a 1st winter Drake Scaup on one of the freshwater pools,3 Marsh Harrier at dusk,2 drake Pintail,1 Spotted Redshank and 2 more calling Cetti's Warbler.Very little of note was seen on the sea,but a large mixed flock of waders and gulls feeding along the tide edge on the incoming tide,provided a great spectacle and great views of the birds involved which included Bar-tailed Godwit,Grey Plover,Sanderling,hundreds of Oystercatcher,Herring,Common and Black-headed Gulls.Mammal sightings today comprised of a couple of cracking Chinese-water Deer at Buckenham and a roadside Muntjac near Kings Lynne.A great day out and thanks again to Chris for driving.

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