Sunday, 12 October 2014

Murky Autumn Day

Typical autumn weather on the Norfolk coast today with calm but foggy on the coast, not great for our WeBS count.

We were fortunate enough to have got most of the count completed when the fog suddenly descended taking it from bright sun to visibility down to 50m!
Numbers of duck are building up now with at least 500 teal present along with 6 spotshank, 2 greenshank and a couple of juv little stint. Beardies were good value although views weren't great due to conditions.

The fog wouldn't lift so we had to finish the count early. By the time I'd finished a cuppa the fog was lifting fast so Dave and I headed around the Meadow Trail in search of the yellow browed warbler. Our Cape May catch up was cut short when I heard the bird call. Despite being elusive, we had good views so headed for the sea.

I was hoping to catch up with some of the divers and grebes and wasn't disappointed.
Neither of us had seen the sea so calm and with the fog about, at times you couldn't tell if you were looking at sea or sky and judging distance was really hard. Good views were had of 2 slav grebes, at least 2 red necked grebes and a nice group of little gulls but I couldn't get onto any of the black throated divers that were being called. I yearticked guillemot and razorbill before getting onto a pom skua flying east. Two further skuas were called chasing a gull. They turned out to be an Arctic and great and we even managed to get the pom flying back into the Wash, 3 skua sp in the same scope view!!

We decided to head off to Thornham Point in search of the 'big one'. A group of linnets (70+) drew out attention but we couldn't see any twite so we checked the sea again.
We were both following a young little gull when I picked up a small bird sat on the sea. I didn't really think but just said to Dave that I had a grey phalarope. The bird was feeding in one small area but did fly a short distance.  We radioed it in and a small group of people twitched it

We left them to it to search the bushes but apart from a few reed buntings, the cupboard was bare.

Yellow browed, red necked & slav grebes, 3 spp of skua, a self found grey phal and 8 new species for my yearlist (176), not a bad day at all.

Pic 1-2 - foggy morning WeBS count
Pic 3 - sunny yellow browed warbler bushes on the Meadow Trail
Pic 4 - flat calm sea conditions and some good birds proved popular!
Pic 5-7 - the Thornham Point bushes only produced a handful of reed buntings this time

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