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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Knot the Iceland Gull!


First birds of 2011 were 2 fine Jay in one of the trees at the back of the garden.
Also seen in the garden during the course of the day, 2 Collared Dove, up to 7 Greenfinch, the usual Blue & Great Tits, Robin and 2 LT Tits.
Oulton Broad North rail station produced zero Waxwings (unlike yesterday), so a stop at Ness Point initially we saw 7 Turnstone, a Knot and 6 fine Purple Sandpipers. At one point the Knot flew onto the new sea wall and I managed to creep up to it, "commando" style (which was appreciated by at least 1 Lounge Lizard), taking a few shots without disturbing it.
A close Great Crested Grebe flew north over the sea.
Hamilton Dock failed to produce the hoped-for Iceland despite Dick's generous feeding of the Gulls.
Leathes Ham produced a very tame Wigeon on the path; at the back of the pool on the right hand side, first 2 female Scaup and then 1 1st winter male Scaup seen too, 3 Scaup seen in total.
A call to James B's mobile (I had stupidly left mine at home!) alerted us to the fact that the Iceland was back at the point and we zoomed back to Ness Point to see the excellent 1st winter Iceland Gull flying low over the water by the southern most defence rocks in view. It settled on the water before flying across us and north and eventually settling on the 2nd groyne along albeit for a few minutes before it flew back and settled along the semi- circular curved roof just behind the "giant quill structure" Later it flew close onto the sea out of sight behind the sea defence rocks.
Out to sea James B spotted an excellent Velvet Scoter flying north and 2 Red- throated Divers also flew north as did an adult winter Mediterranean Gull brilliantly called by Dave H (we were already watching it, but thanks anyway!) I spotted a Grey Seal that slowly swam north just past the "finger"
Seeing many friendly & familiar faces including Andrew E, Robert Wil, Dick W, James B, Baz H, Dave H, Chris M  and others. As everyone left (except Chris M), I stayed behind to get some more pics of the Knot which was on the old seawall just east of the compass and I am especially indebted to Chris M I was able to get some nice shots of the Knot quite close by and awake it briefly from its slumber (thanks again Chris), as it spent most of its time asleep!
I searched for Waxwings in parts of Lowestoft/ Oulton Broad/ Carlton Colville this afternoon and drew a complete blank. The nearest I got were the murmuration of Starlings, flocks of c500 & c800 that flew north- east over Asda at 3.25pm.
Also seen from Asda at this time was the fine Peregrine Falcon perched on the 2nd window ledge from the top of the grain silo. Also GC Grebe, 6 Coot and 2 Cormorants on Lake Lothing.

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