Another day closer to the icy northern blast but today was still a light south westerly when I headed down to Pakefield Beach before 8am. The sun was actually visible and I had to work around it but it did mean that the visibility either way was superb. I conjured with the thought yesterday that I should be able to see the Kessingland Snow Bunting flock from my patch if they got up and flew around. I harboured no such thoughts about the Shore Larks just in case you were wondering.
The same two mad Spaniels as yesterday were on the beach
again and up went the little cloud of flickering dark and white Buntings in
front of them thank you very much.
From Pakefield Beach, Kessingland looks like it goes out to
a point and just beyond that I could see an immature Swan on the sea. I had seen Mutes on the beach pool a few days
ago but they had moved on and after a while of looking quite hump backed it
flattened out and I was curious enough to put the news out of a Swan and was
anyone at Kessingland who could check.
Chris Derby was there but although I could see him and the
Swan in the same view, he could not see it.
As it turned out it was far further away that I though being almost
opposite the Waterfront café in the village itself (about three miles) but at least Chris was able
to confirm that it was a juvenile Whooper.
It later got up for a short flight and I could see the gleaming white
Red-throated Divers were once again a feature and I logged
63 along with 32 Scoter and a couple of Razorbills. A snaky line of over 100 Cormorants went
north and I was pleased to find my first Bonxies with two powering south and
completely ignoring the Gannets. With three new PB species under the belt I
headed for home but not before a curious local asked if I was looking for immigrants. I delighted in telling him about my hope of seeing Little Auks from the high Arctic over the next few days but he simply looked confused at my blatant misunderstanding of his inference.
Lunchtime saw me heading down to Kessingland itself to pick
up Antony who had walked there from home before trundling further south to
Southwold to discover the Town Marshes where a Lesser Yellowlegs has been seen
sporadically. We may have drawn a blank
but it is a lovely series of flooded fields mirroring those on the Walberswick
side of the river.
A single Redshank, five Dunlin, two Blackwits and 60 Curlews
were noted along with about 100 Lapwings and a boiling mass of Teal and Wigeon
all of home seem determined to engage in a spot of dive bathing!
Suddenly I heard the distinctive call twice of a raspy
Yellow Wagtail! There was no mistaking it and thankfully Antony heard it too
but it was now so windy that frustratingly we never set eyes on it. I put the news out and fingers crossed that
one of the locals picks it up in the coming days. Two Swallows zipped through as we were searching for it!
Barnacle Geese were everywhere; their constant chattering
filling the soundscape. I looked through
them, aware that I might find one of those cute Cackling Goose lookalike
hybrids but found nothing except a couple of ringed birds and interestingly two
small Greylag Geese that were barely bigger than the Barnies.
|Spooked by this
We saw no others and the feel was akin to that I get when I see them on Shetland where they also feel sleeker and my lightly built than our traditional southern birds of introduced stock. the bills also appeared a little small and almost less triangular - not as deep.
I had not quite got the front to put them on the local WhatsApp group as
potentially wild birds but I would be interested in what anyone else thinks if
they catch up with them.
|Greylag and Barnacle Goose yellow L35
|Greylag and Barnacle Goose yellow L35
|Barnacle Goose yellow L35
Rooks and a few Jackdaws probed the grassy mounds and a Grey
Heron was looking very disconsolate along the reed fringe. Down at the harbour mouth there were a few
loafing Gulls on the breakwater and some Turnstones were having a freshwater
bath in the only puddle in the car park.
|Herring Gulls - wished the bird at the front had stood up
We came back along the beach where a group of large Gulls
were scavenging in the breaking waves and amongst them was a pristine 1w
Caspian Gull. It was magnificent (if you
like gulls) and easily picked out with the naked eye as it patrolled with the Herrings
and Great Black-backs. I am very convinced that the same two Spaniels were on the beach here too...
|1w Caspian Gull - just an underwing in the scrum
|1w Caspian Gull - what a beauty - last two by Antony Wren
|Herring Gull - Antony Wren