Monday, 28 March 2011

“Oi, Bradders!"

magpie

“Why haven’t you been updating your blog?!”

A good question, Mr Magpie – and a question that has been echoed by a few people lately (I’m touched that anyone has noticed!). The answer is rather uninteresting, I’m afraid – too much work and not enough birding makes David a dull blogger. Hopefully the deadline disappearing rapidly in the rear-view mirror means the worst is over.

Anyway, I escaped to Norfolk for the weekend, and even managed to take some photos: hurrah! Joking aside, it made me realise just how quickly I can ‘switch off’ from other irritations and stresses when I’m concentrating on birding (or just bimbling around in the fresh air not really concentrating on anything, perhaps) and how much better I feel afterwards when I do. On Saturday, it poured with rain almost all day, but after spending the morning cooped up doing nothing worthwhile, I opted to just go out and get wet in the afternoon. Mr “list, what list?” Lethbridge would no doubt be appalled to hear that I opted to twitch a Ferruginous Duck, but in my defence, Cockshoot Broad was no more than 10 miles away, and I haven’t been there for ages – honest! I probably walked straight past it on my way down to the broad, but a more diligent search on the way back found it feeding on the far side of the Bure, just a few metres away. Excellent views, particularly when it climbed out of the water and preened, showing the striking upperwing pattern. Those with cameras could do worse to take a look on a sunny day…

blackbirdSunday saw Dad and me heading south along the Suffolk coast, hoping (largely in vain) for some spring migrants. The north-easterly wind was still a bit fresh, but the Dunwich / Westleton / Minsmere / Sizewell area gave us a decent selection of birds – Med Gulls ‘kyow’ing overhead frequently, Dartford Warblers and Stonechats chattering away, and at least four different Black Redstarts were good value.I was a bit shocked to discover that these were my first pinging Bearded Tits of the year, as well: given how regularly I’d normally expect to come across these around East Anglia (or even Rainham), it just further illustrates my depressing lack of time in the field.

Our return route passed naturally through Lowestoft, where I couldn’t resist taking yet more photos of Turnstones at Hamilton Dock – they’re just so obliging, and so smart.

turnstone

We also found the usual eight Purple Sandpipers on the breakwater at Ness Point, and this:

mystery_tail

What could it be? Aha… cue totally predictable amusing and original jokes in the comments section…

shag_hamilton_dock

3 comments:

Miss Hedgepenny said...

You got the Fudge duck? Ok now I am really envious, I have been three times and dipped every time!

David said...

Oops, sorry!

If you can bring yourself to go back for another look, it was tucked in tight to the north bank of the river, about 20m west of the Cockshoot Dyke moorings before the boardwalk cuts in towards the broad. Was keeping itself to itself away from the handful of Tufties on the broad, but not bothered by passing boats.

My Dad saw it a few weeks ago, too - that time it was a bit further east along the river, almost out of view around the bend.

Hope this helps and you get to see it eventually!

Shaun harvey said...

Glad to see your back blogging again.....