Well, if yesterday was just the start, then I certainly didn’t find anything rare to finish it off properly! Birding was pretty hard work at times today, with a freshening north-easterly breeze and almost constant rain – at times verging on torrential during the late morning. That said, there were a reasonable number of birds about – within the first hour of daylight at Shingle Street, I’d picked up a flyover Lapland Bunting on call, a handful of Redpolls and various other finches on the move, and a nice Black Redstart. Promising stuff, but from here things went downhill, as I got a proper soaking at Thorpeness for nothing better than a Firecrest and a smart male Sparrowhawk. After lunch, there was a bit of a break in the weather, so I persevered at Sizewell Hall and then Greyfriars Wood in Dunwich, but no joy.
Hey ho… can’t win them all. I’m still somewhere between excited and nervous about the week to come – with a non-stop easterly vector to the wind, a quality bird or two wouldn’t surprise me. Hopefully if it happens, it will a) linger, and b) be within range!
But anyway, having taken precisely zero photos today, I thought it was time to get back into editing the remaining shots from South Africa, taken back in August. I’ve worked through a number of species this evening, some of which will be posted in due course – but when I came across this guy, it put a smile on my face. It seems the ideal antidote to a grey and miserable British autumn day!
This is a Malachite Kingfisher, an absolutely tiny little bird, but pretty unmistakable given the colours! These shots were taken just outside Wilderness from the bird hide at Langevlei, just after the bird had been bathing and preening. Aren’t the hairstyles fantastic?!