Saturday, 25 September 2010

Thankfully the Wardens Conference passed without me missing a good bird on the reserve. In past years I have missed glossy ibis and Bairds sandpiper amongst others. Unfortunatly the pec sand that was at Potteric Carr when we visited had just be flushed by a sparrowhawk.

A shed load of skuas along the coast yeaterday tempted me out for a seawatch this morning. Despite the seemingly good conditions, the couple of hours didn't produce a great deal. Highlights were 16 bonxie, 1 arctic skua, 1 Manx shearwater west and 261 gannet. A annoyingly distant small skua was probably a juv long-tail but the terrible heat haze put pay to an ID.
A juvenile diver, that was a red-throated in the end, caused a bit of a stir. Initially ID'd as a great-northern, the fact that it was very close on the grazing marsh made it harder ti be certain! If it had been on the sea I am sure it wouldn't have been so difficult. I thought it was a black-throated and had to be convinced otherwise. It is probably the closest juv diver I have seen and although the head shape didn't look right (steep forehead, flat crown, puffed out hind neck and nape) this did change with the light and angle. Several other people said they saw a vent strap (I didn't) when it preened and all the diver species, including pacific, were looked into and rejected. As someone once told me 'it's an educational bird!'

Need to decide if I go for a pre-dawn walk to Blakeney Point for the for the Yank flycatcher - I hope it isn't raining in the morning!

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