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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Highs & Lows

Sunday the 21st September was certainly a day of highs and lows. An early morning drive to the excellent RSPB Boyton Marshes reserve was quickly rewarded with good views of the immature Glossy Ibis (High no.1) . It was on the flash initially to the right of the path and Rob H & I took the well trodden path through the reeds and photographed the birds down to 40 feet the only problem was it was mostly silhouetted against the sun and the bright water. The Ibis fed on snails and at least 1 Frog. Initially it loosely associated with a pair of Mute Swans becoming more independent as it fed closer and closer. It then abruptly took flight and flew right over us grumbling a croak as it flew over. As we were watching the Ibis here, we heard the distinctive "chup chup" calls of Crossbills and 3 Crossbills flew North then finally a singleton Crossbill flew North also.
Sadly, the Ibis had settled at right at the back of the left hand flash but it soon flew over and fed closer to us in good light before it flew back to it's original feeding area.
On looking at my mobile phone, I realised I had missed a message about an Ortolan (Low no.1) seen at Corton. Driving straight back I reached the fields around the old Sewage works area and I was informed that it had been seen just 5 minutes ago, but it did not reappear (Low no.2) 
It had been flushed by a well known photographer who did at least have the decency to apologise for his indiscretion. Apology accepted.
Driving to Winterton I took a walk down the valley just 200 yards beyond (south) of Hermaness, a few Oak trees stood in a cluster by a few other trees and a big gorse bush.
Looking at the base of the Gorse bush the flitting shadows quickly revealed a superb split second view of an immature Red- breasted Flycatcher (High no.2). walking around the side of this clump by the main path, I decided to do my own thing and not follow the crowd but try and pick up the bird myself. I was seeing quick darting shapes of the bird, but it was also calling it's soft rattling "tchik-tchik-tchik-tchik" trill fairly regularly and I was soon regualrly able to pick out the bird through the foliage sometimes getting really good brief views and even some good pics too (High no.3). It flicked out into the open very occasionally preferring to show in the foliage of the tree. A Wheatear was seen near Winterton car park.
Having just returned home, I had a message from Rob W that the Ortolan was showing well down to 12 feet and I raced out of the door and parked by the old Sewage work and raced down the path and south along the cliff top path to roughly half way down the stubble field where a small crowd of 5 were watching the bird feeding in one of the 2 big furrows,
Rob W kindly let me have a good look through his scope and I finally saw this superb Ortolan Bunting (High no. 4) feeding and then hopping down the furrow before finally crossing left into some dense stubble, it didn't come out so presumably it had  gone to roost.


Terry said...

Hi Peter. Nice pic of the RBF. Surprisingly the first record for Winterton, I believe... Great find by Tim!

Peter Ransome said...

Thanks Terry, managed to get some shots of the RBF by leaving the crowds and picking up the bird by it's rattling call and flitting movements within the foliage. I noted there were several spots it favoured and I just sat and waited.