Dotterel, female, Titchwell / Choseley, Norfolk
Absolutely tipping down this morning. The rain woke me up at 5:30 but I decided to venture out anyway. It was, absolutely, the right decision. I headed toward Choseley drying barns to see the Dotterel again. I could see them, barely, through the overworked windscreen wipers, though I could only see 4. Thankfully the rain let up enough to get the scope out. There were 11 birds in total though they tended to keep to the furrows out the way of the wind. While there I also had 2 Corn Buntings singing in the hedgerow, Whitethroat, Whimbrel and 12 Brown Hares.
I was on a roll now so I went to Titchwell RSPB to see what else there was around. I headed off to Parrinder hide. It seems that the bad weather had kept most people indoors as there were only 2 cars in the car park. It was cold, windy & wet as I headed off. I saw a Water Rail in the ditch on the west side of the path but mostly the birds were keeping out of sight.
Red-crested Pochards, Thornham Pool
The rain returned with a vengeance as I neared the hide. My first impressions of the bird life were not good. Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Mallards and the ubiquitous Black-headed Gulls were all that I could see. Oh, and Swifts...masses of Swifts moving west against the wind.
As I settled down other things began appearing, several smart, summer plumaged Dunlin and Turnstones, Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover. There were a few Common Terns and a Little Tern. A burst of excitement briefly as Bittern flew over the reed bed and another Whimbrel flew past. There were also 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls flying North east.
As the morning wore on and the rain eased it was plain that there was a massive movement of hirundines and Swifts. Hundreds of them. I noticed a small wader flying south along the East bank and watched it land in the South East corner. It was a Common Sandpiper but that's not what grabbed my attention. It was the chubby, short legged little thing that was with it. It appeared so small that it was very difficult to see it properly. Ray, one of the volunteer wardens, wandered in and we both agreed, after much deliberation, that it was a Temmincks Stint and that it was crying shame that it was so far away. So, feeling slightly better, I decided to "pick up sticks" and move elsewhere (the café sounded good). As I made my way toward the café, "Murphy's Law" slapped me across the chops. I was told that the Stint had also decided to move and was now in front of the hide! so did a full 180 and headed back for much better views. A Spoonbill put in an appearance for good measure.
Temmincks Stint, Titchwell, Norfolk
Spoonbill, Titchwell, Norfolk
This will be the last blog until the end of May. I'm off for a 2 week tour of the Cairngorms and the Western Isles. So, until I return, here are a few other recent photographs that I hope you will enjoy.
Grasshopper Warbler, Holme, NOA car park
Ring Ouzel, female (different from previous post), Snettisham
Whitethroat, male, Snettisham