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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Union Jack bird!

Hot footing it over to Carlton marshes on hearing there was a Bluethroat, I met regular correspondent Paul W at the car park and we trudged down to the area of Whitecast marshes where it had been seen. Ricky F was following us behind and I briefly congratulated Richard S on an excellent find, as he made his way back along the path. Eventually, we reached a small crowd (including Andrew E, OFB, Chris M, Roy H and his wife) by a turnstyle over looking a boggy field dissected by a marshy dyke on the left hand side. We waited around 3/4 hour before Matt D arrived and after half an hour he ventured forward and as it turned out, rather fortuitously flushed the skulking Bluethroat, it flew left over the path and into the reeds. I thought I may have seen the chestnut- brown panels in the tail. However, what wasn't it doubt, when it promptly hopped out, was the superb White- Spotted Bluethroat (but just at that moment some dog walkers chose to walk through the turnstyle and they very kindly held back so we could admire the bird for a few minutes) and it fed on the edge of the path. As usual, a brightly coloured Spring bird. It sported a very patriotic union jack- coloured breast, red or should that be chestnut brown (thick lower breast/ belly band) underneath a gorgeous chevron of metallic blue on its mid breast with a dash of very prominent persil- white in the middle. A real cracker of a bird and it showed a white supercilia before the eye too, as it hopped around mostly behind bits of grass. We even heard it singing its scratchy song on at least 2 occasions!
It then flew into the reeds again and it was only when some further dog walkers walked past that the Bluethroat popped out onto the path albeit a few metres further away showing for a few minutes.
It then flew north along the main path and into a thick bush, where it was seeen briefly but I then had a cracking flight view as it flew right and past us showing off its chestnut-brown tail panels off to a tee. We (Carl B and I)  then saw it very close briefly by the turnsyle barely 20 feet away but alas, it was obscured by grass in the foreground. It then worked its way away west along a dyke.
We crossed a boggy field and 3 Common Snipe flew up singularly and finally we saw the Bluethroat perched in a bush by the dyke and then hopping in a grassy area beyond this.
This bird was my first White- spot Bluethraot for Lowestoft and Lizard area having missed the previous Ness Point March 24 2001 bird, a good catch- up bird, I just need an Isabelline in the Lizard area now!
Finally a low flying Common Buzzard flew south over the visitors centre.


Paul Woolnough said...

Still singing the blues over the bluethroat.

And buzzard.

My notes say my first Lizardland buzzard was on March 8 1998. On the same day as a red kite, both in Lound area. Moreover I saw a rough-legged buzzard on the same day. At Herringfleet so I have rough-leg in Lizardland after all!

Peter Ransome said...

Glad you've seen Rough-leg in the Lizard area Paul.
My last was the one from Chedgrave marshes flying towards and into Fritton woods last Feb.
There was also a Rough- leg seen today albeit outside Lizard land in the Minsmere/ eastbridge area further soutth in Suffolk.