Friday, 18 May 2012

Two little's too late

It’s always worth carefully checking any wader at this time of year as I failed to on Wednesday.  A distant bird at the back of South Marsh East was seen only through bino’s, so picture was taken and my intention was to look at it later in case it wasn’t just a dunlin like this one at dinner time tonight:
I also had a photo from Tony McLean of a ‘tiny bird’ on Watton NR at the weekend.   After spending some time looking at this we are still not 100% sure on it.  The first image suggested a possible little stint:
But the second has been suggested as sanderling (a more likely visitor at this time):
If anyone has any reasonable suggestions on this one we would be happy to hear.  The bird is long gone so it is only these two pictures to work on.
Unfortunately by this time I had forgotten to look at my picture, which it turned out was a temminck’s stint:
So there you go – two good birds nobody saw!  However on the easterlies tonight anything is possible.  At 17:30 tonight 7 turnstones flew north over D res and kept going – an uncommon Tophill bird.  Hopefully I slightly redeemed myself with this drake scaup present on South Marsh East this afternoon – still present tonight til at least 18:00
The pintails were showing well:
But the big highlight has been little gulls – the year maxima attained today so far in the form of five:
All first summers with varying head patterns:
Though not every gull is welcome on the marsh:
The terns were demonstrating how the lamprey might have ended up in the pond:

On Wednesday Michael Flowers managed a white wagtail on the D res wall:
More details on his visit on the blog.
The other interesting bird has been the aberrant swift on Watton again – feel free to string into whatever you want…
Cardinal beetle was a nice sight in South Scrub:
On Watton Steve Brimble also captured the emerging the fox cubs:
And a cracking picture of Kestrel on the deck:
Elsewhere Dave Ware found hobby on D res today – seen a number of times through the week, marsh harrier has also been about, short eared owl still here on Wednesday, the first purring turtle dove in South Scrub on Thursday, yellow wagtails and grey partridge on the approach road, cuckoos on the southern site, garden warblers all over and avocets a permanent fixture now. 
Finally keep your eyes peeled for raptors – not just for passing honey buzzards, but a possible red-tailed hawk, with 3 independent reports all suggesting the presence of ‘a buzzard with a red tail’ around site since Tuesday.  If one it will be an escape, but interesting none the less.