Sunday, 25 August 2013

A weekend of two halves

Although yesterday was good, the birding didn't really match up to the rest of the coast so I hoped for a better day today.

Things didn't start well. I decided that there wasn't really time to go ringing before the WeBS count which soon backfired when I got a call saying they had caught a pied fly!! I missed the last one too.

I was determined to hit the reserve hard but had the count to do first. The fresh marsh has been great for birds in the last few weeks and today was no exception. 20 curlew sand, 5 little stint, green sand, 12 greenshank, 15 spotshank, 12 spoonbill, 350+ golden plover, 200+ dunlin to name a few. The people who keep saying that there is nothing about are either idiots or blind!!

After a quick stop to look for the red necked grebe on the sea (didn't see it), Thornham Point was my base for the rest of the day. The plan of booting through every bit of scrub didn't prove successful with only 1 dunnock, 2 skylark and a handful of pipits. It seemed the Titchwell rarity forcefield was turned up to full power...! A massive female peregrine stooping on a little egret and then chasing a group of wigeon over the saltmarsh was an impressive sight.

Reaching the Point the first decent bird I saw was a lovely little pied fly feeding on the edge of the buckthorn. Could be better but that would do.

A walk around the edge of the dunes produced a cracking redstart and a small brown warbler flushed out of the long grass. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get any views I nailed it, my 1st ever migrant grasshopper warbler. All the others I have seen have been singing males.

I then began to notice that birds were beginning to appear, 3 whinchats in the dunes became 5 and another redstart appeared in the buckthorn.

I then noticed a group of birders come into the dunes from the beach. It turned out to be Ashley Saunders. They were looking at the brambles and what I assumed to be the whinchats. As I headed over to see them I noticed a greyish bird on the same brambles. I didn't have my scope with me but I thought it was a wryneck. I shouted to Ashley if it was and sure enough it was. It turned out that they had already seen it at least once! I didn't know that so I'm having it as self found.

Birds were still arriving; 2 wheatear, willow warbler, 2nd pied fly, lesser whitethroat and a spot fly when Ashley shouted Icterine warbler. The bird flicked up into the the top of the buckthorn, showed well for a short period then vanished. A further 5 whinchat on the way back from the point made it a day to remember.

Sueda, bramble and blackthorn scrub at Thornham Point

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