Friday, 23 December 2011

2nd time luck, managed to catch up with the western sand at Cley this morning. Got to Cley at about 9am and was greated with all the birds from the scrapes in the air and I could hear dunlin calling in flight, not the best start.
Straight around to teal hide and sure enough the bird had been flushed by a marsh harrier and was currently missing. Disturbance was high and as soon as the bird settled, a peregrine went through followed by a sparrowhawk! As the birds dropped back in the sandpiper flew in with a dunlin and landed on one of the back islands but toook off straight away and disappeared. After an age, the bird re-appeared at the back of the scrape but apart from being very small, not much else could be seen as it kept going behind the island. I decided to move to the hide on the south side to see if it was showing better. The island was much closer and the bird was feeding along the edge with the dunlin. I have followed the id dedate on BirdForum and it was certainly tricky to see all the features. The bird was a bit too distant to digiscope but here are some, rather poor, attempts.
If you look (very!) closely, you can just see the orange fringing to the upperparts
Very small compared to dunlin
Great grey shrike on the way home.
These shots came out OK considering they were digiscoped resting on a beanbag on the car window and not using a tripod.

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