Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Away days

Just back from a week in Suffolk, a long slog (450 miles) from East Lothian.

Not long into the drive south, stopped off in Northumbria to see a Roller, only the second I've seen in Britain, which was a good start. Then a week based at Dunwich on the east coast of Suffolk - not as flat as I expected and with a really good network of footpaths, large areas of forest, heathland and lots of coastal lagoons and marshes, including Minsmere RSPB reserve.

In the first couple of days re-aquainted myself with a few southern species (such as Dartford Warbler) that we don't get too many of in Scotland. I also saw loads of Jays and Green Woodpeckers, both of which are pretty scarce up here.

On 17th, decided to go and twitch a Red-flanked Bluetail about 10 miles down the coast. I got there at dawn, and there was only a couple of other folk there, but within half an hour there were 50+ birders there, shouting and yelling, charging through the bushes and basically only allowing very brief views of the bird before it was flushed deeper into cover. What a bunch of idiots. No concept of a patient sit and wait....

18th at Minsmere was more enjoyable, even though the Reserve was pretty quiet. Excellent views of Marsh Harriers, a very brief Bittern and a late Swallow were the highlights (although Reserve staff were more interested in 2 fly-by Velvet Scoters I had offshore!).

"No I can't see it! Just off to crash through the undergrowth to get a better look..."

On 19th, about 30 Avocets on the Alde estuary were a pleasant surprise - there were none elsewhere.

Back home, and out at the Reserve on 22nd and I found two drake Surf Scoters offshore. Ordinarily bird of the day, but that accolade went to a pair of Gadwall that were the first for the year here - I had a Surfie in January! Yesterday, 17,000 Pink-footed Geese came in to roost at dusk. Magic!

Just goes to show that you don't have to go too far to have good birding!


Post a Comment

<< Home

The FatBirder's Nest
FatBirder Web Ring
Prev Site Random Site Next Site
Linking Birders Worldwide Join