Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Double Dipping

Count the Bramblings!
Deepest midwinter and a spare morning. Which bird to miss? Top of the list is the Pallid Harrier in Norfolk. Better birders than I have been several times for this and missed it. Then out on the Norfolk coast there are Shore Larks and Snow Buntings. Much opportunity here to walk miles and not see them. Or the Brecks with "distant" Great-Grey Shrike, single Hawfinch at Lynford. hmmm.

In the end I decide to miss the Hawfinches at Bramfield again. Something I achieve with ease, as a twenty minute patrol produces nothing. Standing waiting is not my kind of birding.

On to Rye Meads RSPB, a reserve that gets better year-by-year. No sign of the Bittern or Water Pipit, but the obligatory Green Sandpiper and a few Shelduck made the list. And for the first time this year Brambling. Three of us set up with scopes and camera a reasonable distance from what is a quite skittish flock and eventually found three males and a female, the males now looking quite spectacular. The grain put out by the staff had attracted 13 Magpies too. The photo above of a bush by the path has a Brambling clearly out in the open about a third from the top, a second one near the RHS two thirds of the way down, and a third bird hiding in the bushes in the lower left.

The second dip was a very predictable one on Monday night. The regulars at Amwell had seen a Franklin's Gull in the roost on Sunday so about forty birders dutifully turned up on Monday. To no-one's surprise the star bird didn't turn up, but a Caspian Gull and a Peregrine dashing through made up for the no-show.

1 comment:

Graham Canny said...

Hi John,
I wondered who the DD was! Nice to meet you, too.
Might see you around the River Stort, one day.....
Best wishes, Graham TBT