Friday, July 18, 2014

"Great Knot! Marty!"

"Great Knot! Marty!" Two life ticks in one day. On the morning of Tuesday 15th July, I headed to Egdeware for a call, the part ordered for the desktop, could not be found, this turned out not to be a problem, as I fixed the desktop with no parts required. No more calls in, so I headed up to Breydon water for the Great Knot. I crossed over the Breydon bridge and parked in the recreation grounds car park. Only a couple of cars in the car park, so I walked to the sea wall, no birders to be seen, so I call LGRE and he said to cross over the bridge and park in the ASDA car park, and walk across to the hide to view the high tide roost. I returned to the car park and two cars came in with more birders, one of these had a local birder who had seen the Great Knot the day before. So I joined him, he was staying on this side of the bridge and was going to wait for the water level to drop, and for the roosting birds to fly out on to the first mud to be exposed. From where we were I could see across to the hide and the gathered birders who were looking at the roost, as I had about an hour, before the water level dropped, I walked across the bridge to join them. Going through the roost the birds that I noted were Cormorant, Little egret, Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Lapwing, Dunlin, Curlew, Black-tailed godwit, Redshank, Black-headed gull, Lesser Black-backed gull, Herring gull, Great Black-backed gull and Common tern, but No Great Knot. So I returned to the other side as the water level had started to drop, to join the much smaller number of birders and waited. As soon as the mud became exposed it was covered in birds, we went through the birds until one of the other birders found the GREAT KNOT. It was distant but good scope views could be had as I watched it feeding with some Redshanks and then on its own. As the Collared Pratincole was still at Minsmere I left and near to the car was a Wren.

I arrived at Minsmere and found that the best place to view the Collared Pratincole was from the East Hide over looking the scrape. I entered to east hide and the upper level was full so I set up in the lower level, and found that the Pratincole was on one of the far islands and out of view. After a while a lot of birds went up, and the call went out that the Pratincole was in with them, they soon settled again and the Pratincole was again out of sight, I did not manage to see it. So as I waited I scanned the scape seeing the following: Cormorant, Grey heron, Shelduck, Teal, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed godwit, Redshank, Common sandpiper, Turnstone, Mediterranean gull, Little gull, Black-headed gull, Lesser Black-backed gull, Herring gull, Great Black-backed gull, Sandwich tern, Common tern, Woodpigeon, Sand martin, Pied wagtail, Magpie, Starling and Goldfinch. There was a report that the Pratincole could be viewed from the North hide, so some of the birders left, I stayed and waited, and was rewarded with good views of it in flight as it flew around the scrape, it dropped down behind the reeds and lost to view. Soon after it was spotted again and it landed in full view and managed to get a look through a scope, but it was soon of to it favourite island and again out of sight, so I headed home with two life ticks.

2014 Year List = 202

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