Sunday, 18 September 2011

Red letter day

Me and the 2 Craigs headed down to Cornwall on Friday night as we were booked on the 1st chopper going over to the ISles of Scilly on Saturday, the aim to see the Solitary Sandpiper. Just after we left we got a message to say a possible Waterthrush Sp. had been found on St Marys, result. The next morning as we waited to board the chopper the Waterthrush had been confirmed on the pager, this was exciting stuff.

However after reaching lower moors at around 8 it became apparent the Waterthrush has gone for cover so it was going to be a stressful wait. Whilst waiting we saw the Pectoral Sandpiper but little else so we decided to look for the Solitary Sandpiper as that was the bird we had originaly come for.

Pectoral Sandpiper

The Sandpiper showed ridiculously well and we watched spell bound for about 20 minutes, before heading back in to town for breakfast.

Craig gets intimate with the Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper 

Whilst eating the pager leapt in to life with the news a Black-and-White Warbler had be found at lower moors.A taxi was soon flagged down and we were off!! A rather tense 30-40 minutes of scrambling through dense wet sallows ensued but soon we had nice views of this bird creeping and flitting through the vegetation almost oblivious to the panic around it. Several back slap, hugs and hand shakes were had as a good crowd enjoyed the bird.
After getting some second looks at the warbler we headed to the airport, finding a female Woodchat Shrike sat on the airfield fence as we walked up the hill. The 4 Buff-breasted Sandpipers showed distantly from the terminal building but all too soon we had to leave.

Female Woodchat Shrike
Once back on the mainland we made a detour for Drift reservoir to see the juvenile Semi-palmated Sandpiper, which like the Solitary Sandpiper showed really well. The Lesser Yellow-legs showed distantly but brought with it the 7th species of American bird for the day.

Semi-P Sandpiper

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Southwold seawatch

An early morning seawatch from Southwold produced 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Sooty shears, a lone Manxie 6 Black Terns, 6+ Arctic Terns, 6+ Arctic Skua and a probable Storm-petrel. By mid morning the sea became less productive with just the odd Little Gull and a steady stream of Terns passing by.

A little Bit(tern) of Norfolk

The plan was get to the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper early, then pop in and get the drake Blue-winged Teal at Salthome before stopping off at Titchwell for the Little Bittern, the reality was get half way to the Sharpie find out its gone then head to Norfolk.We did however have a rather good day with 23 species of wader, with highlights being 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper and a couple of Dotterel as well as numerous Curlew Sandpipers and a few Little Stints. The best bird of the day however for me was the juvenile Little Bittern that showed superbly after a nail biting 2 hour wait.