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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Three out of Four ain't bad

On Saturday 28th May an early morning visit to Breydon ultimately reaped dividends as the Broad- billed Sandpiper was seen out of the middle mud, the split supercilium could just out be made out, the back braces and flank streaking plus the stooped posture and slightly smaller size compared to Dunlins nearby. The bird was feeding and occasionally settled for 40 winks or so for a few minutes before feeding again. 2 Sanderling (in summer plumage) also seen plus Curlew. 
A trip in the mid afternoon to Minsmere RSPB, by reception, I saw regular correspondent Paul W, who was just leaving he'd seen all the birds including the elusive Purple Heron. I also bumped into Danny P.
First stop, armed with Paul's info, was East Scrape hide and on taking my sear I instantly saw "Fiona", the escaped Greater Flamingo who was busy feeding at the back of the east Scrape, just in front of a long bank just right of central area. She spent most of her time with head in the water feeding. A chap very kindly pointed out the Spoonbill (new 2011) again at the same distance this time left of centre. The bird was preening and then promptly went to sleep. 
Looking at the 3 islands just to the left of centre I was pleased to see the Little Stint (new 2011) feeding on the left hand edge of the island it walked out of sight behind the island then walked into view.
Also on the Scrape were several Avocet including 2 young, a Barnacle Goose on the island right in front of East hide and a drake Shelduck just left of the hide. To the right were 17 Dunlin (9 summer plumaged birds) and 11 Black -tailed Godwits.
A look from Bittern hide was unsuccessful in seeing the Purple Heron despite a 2 hour vigil. However I did see 4 Marsh harriers flying about (2 males and 2 females) the female Marsh harrier often flew close past the hide.
2 different Bitterns were seen in flight. A Hobby (new for 2011) flew out of the wood and low over the marsh before flying high up and across Sizewell power station in the distance. 6 Red Deer were seen in a pool far right plus 2 Red Deer crossed a stream to the right of the hide and walked away. Sand Martin and several Swift also seen.

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