|Posted by birdbeards2010 on August 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM|
Having been woken at 2:30am by the small one, it was tough trying to get back to some zeds knowing I had a presh few hours out in deepest beet land once the sun was up. Eventually my mind stopped racing with images of floating Garganey and I dropped off until just before 6am, sorted the boy's bottle and the Welsh Girl's cuppa and was out the door racing eastwards to the sounds of some early morning Toots.
It was a glorious misty-sunny early autumn morning as the new Beardmobile pulled up by Cantley Beet Factory and I emerged ready to do battle with the birds. A trio of Linnets chirruped their way into a nearby elder and I made my way through the dew, feeling slightly lost without the pram in my non-scoping hand.
As I wandered up to the riverbank my eye was caught by a bird flapping its way over and across the marshes. It looked slightly unusual and proved itself to be just that. With a shorter than usual curved bill, slighter build and no white on it a close study signalled Whimbrel -get in!
Further along the path I got into position for a check of the outreaching dead tree on one of the smaller pits, that Le Hatt had told me oft held that most gorgeous of creatures, the Kingfisher. And there it was, perched and warming itself in the first rays of sunlight - another new lister!
Several Cetti's called out and a Kestrel hunted overhead as I approached the main pits. I checked out a number of brown ducks, hoping to find a Garganey, but no luck and, if I'm honest, little judgement. As Rastamouse would say, brown ducks, man, they are crucial!
My time being relatively away from the birding scene became ruefully apparent as I excitedly haired round the bend at the first proper 'wader corner'. I flushed everything in sight and had to move on waderless, remembering that old chestnut - a stealthy birder defo sees more birds. Sheepishly making my way round, it was nice to see Sand Martins, several Swift and lots of Swallows still in attendance. Also evident were a massive number of Snipe and Lapwing, very encouraging for their numbers. A single Little Egret, plenty of Shoveler and a couple of Redshank were then joined by a cute pair of Little Grebe, my first for a wee while and always cute to watch. Just then I was told by the birding buddha to look up, so I did. There above me hawked a beautiful, glinting Hobby - lush.
With time ticking on and Mam obv requiring my help back at the ranch, I picked up a couple each of Green and Common Sandpipers - they are cool birds. Moving further round to the large back pool I scanned the variousavian shapes. An elegant, long-billed wader feeding furiuosly, up to its mottled belly. A quick reference to Collins and it was confirmed - an ecliptical Spotted Redshank - bloody lovely! It was kept company by a couple of Ruff and a Black Tailed Godwit, before being joing by another Spotty. No luck again with the elusive Little Ringed Plover, but the Spottys had brought up my Norfolk List 2012 150 and topped off a delightful, stress-busting sesh. Norfolk really cannot be beaten on misty mornings like these.