Sunday, October 24, 2004
Dirty twitching in Norfolk
Went to the Norfolk coast for the day with WeedWorld, guided by Mark 'Wardy' Ward to take advantage of his immense skill, local knowledge and twitching expertise. Oh, and the 'X' factor [for bird-finding] that Mike and I both seem to lack...
Weedon and Ward go seawatching
We started off at Holkham, where Wardy felt sure we'd stand a good chance of finding Pallas's or Yellow-browed Warbler. But all we could muster was a single Firecrest (seen only by Mike). Which was a bit disappointing, though seawatching was pretty interesting, with highlights including Black-throated Diver, Velvet Scoter, Red-necked, Black-necked and Slavonian Grebes, a Razorbill close-in, and stuff like Brent Goose, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and a Pomarine Skua which we saw hunting down an incoming migrant thrush - so near, yet so far...
Mike has his own way of solving the 'seawatcher's eye' problem.
Mark's admirable theory is that if you spend the morning working hard, trying to find your own stuff, then it's OK to go twitching what other people have found in the afternoon.
Click on the photo to see a bigger, brighter, better version!
Another Lesser Yellowlegs to add to the collection (see the Drift Reservoir pics from last month), at Stiffkey. Though it didn't come as close as the Drift bird, it fed more actively and the light was much better for digiscoping purposes. In some of the pics, you can see where new, grey, first-winter feathers have grown through.
This Redshank showed nicely next to its transatlantic counterpart.
This Ring Ouzel was one of two at Stiffkey. It looks like an adult female, though it seems to be very 'scaly' indeed (just like the alpestris bird illustrated in Lars Jonsson's Birds of Europe). But I don't really know anything about Ring Ouzel plumages so I'll leave it at that.
A most enjoyable day, despite the lack of self-found rares.
photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 62 with 16x eyepiece