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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hume's Leaf Warbler 1st for Lowestoft!

With the mild south- east winds continuing, I looked around Gunton woods and meadow first thing in the hope of finding some more eastern gems, but the highlight were the 3 Bullfinches seen and heard from the hedgerow, first the female flew out and then the male whilst another bird was calling from the hedge making 3.
Next stop was Link's road car park where around 30 Black- headed Gulls stood and 1 Common Gull sat. Whilst out to sea, a Grey Seal swam north between the 2nd and 3rd groynes south of the car park. Later it was seen swimming south between the 3rd and 4th groynes and it stuck its head up out from the water. each time I ran down to trying to get some pics it disappeared beneath the waves and stayed under water!
I walked up to Gunton warren and saw very little.
Driving down to Asda, as I walked to the assembled crowd, Paul W showed me his tweet on the phone "Hume's Warbler at Dip Farm" I turned straight round but got stuck by the bridge from 10.40am for twenty minutes as the Police stopped us as the Remembrance Sunday parade complete with drummers sea cadets and representatives from all the armed forced marched down the road and onto the cenotaph by the Pier. Without those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars and more recent conflicts none of us may have had the freedoms we enjoy today.
So half and hour later, I followed Paul & Jane's car as it turned off Yarmouth road and down Corton road where we parked opposite the shelter belt by Dip farm seeing Andrew, he said it had just flown across the road into the shelter belt. We walked across the road through the shelter belt and looked into the bushes just west of here bordering the Dip Farm Pitch and Putt golf course, a call from Rob Wil and the bird, which clearly looked like a Hume's Leaf Warbler as it was seen in a bush, a Buddlea (?) the bird was seen clearly, like a dull Yellow-browed with duller olive-grey back, darker crown and more buffy-yellow wingbars and supercilia and off white "muckier" underparts. This excellent bird then hopped down to the lower branches before darting up to the middle of the bush and then out into bushes left of there. The Hume's Leaf warbler called it's distinctive Greenish warbler/Pied Wagtail-like call "dsu-weet" call several times, confirmation clearly of it's identity and a great find & ID from Rob Wincup who fully deserves this fantastic find, well done Rob!
Lizard Cup winner for 2011?
The bird then flew over to bushes by the fence bordering the playing field before flying back north over to 3 trees where we saw it moving around at a frenetic pace, calling occasionally, I now only saw the movements of the bird, flitting into trees, always obscured by foliage and always restless and on the move.
Whilst exiting the shelter belt i witnessed the most disgraceful amount of rubbish I have ever seen, there must have been close on 500 different pieces of litter, beer cans, crisps packets etc, it looked like a mini rubbish dump, absolutely disgusting!)
Next stop, before joining Jenny at Southwold, was Asda where I saw Roy & Ruth H walking from the Lake Lothing side of the store who said it was just round the corner at the back of Asda store where a channel of water stretched west for 200 yards. Dick W was trying to get some shots of it, albeit at some distance away. The Red- throated Diver was seen at the end and then it swam right and back to the main channel, it flapped its wings on its haunches once but didn't give particularly close views this time. We finally saw it swimming west out into the main channel of Lake Lothing.
At Southwold, I looked on the marshes for SE Owls but failed to see any, there were several Blackbirds in the Churchyard and a smart and showy Pied wagtail in Church street.
Parking at Kessingland I walked along the beach and the grassy mounds hoping to reach a viewpoint over the levels where I was hoping to connect with SE Owls, I didn't but I was well compensated when I heard a vaguely familiar nasal "ung-unk" call and some largish long- winged Geese, 2 of them were flying south and directly over my head. They had brownish plumage with long dark neatly tapering long sleek wings, orange legs (noted as they flew directly overhead!) showing narrow white tip to the tail and darker brown head with a shortish bill darkish with an orange-tip.
They were 2 excellent Tundra Bean Geese, I had been looking at them as a birder and looking to ID them first and foremost and not a photographer, so I missed my chance for some excellent shots! They continued flying in a southerly directly and clipping over Kessingland levels and probably aiming for Benacre broad or nearby fields?


Paul Woolnough said...

Oh for a third crossing of Lake Lothing! (From near Leathes Ham to near ASDA)

Dipping another pallas's warbler I headed for ASDA to see the red-throated diver but it was distant. Should have gone the other way: was delayed on the way to a potential Suffolk tick - Hume's warbler.

Just missed it on arrival but all was well when the bird was seen and heard.

Have the big five rare warblers in Lizardland now! Greenish, Arctic, Dusky, Radde's and now Hume's, all in and around Lowestoft over the years.

Three scaup: one a drake, two tundra bean geese and a white-fronted goose at Benacre Broad. Eventually found the elusive drake green-winged teal which swam to the right, distantly from the hide, stopping by the far reeds to preen himself.

The sun went down too early. I headed home via Sotterley in the hope of some owls and a tawny was calling near the drive to Sotterley Hall.

Peter Ransome said...

Thanks Paul