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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Spoonbill by the hide

Yesterday, Tuesday 20th December, whilst driving along the A12, just north of Hopton first a flock of c200 Pink- footed Geese and then 18 Pink- footed Geese flew west over the A12. As I drove over the Breydon Bridge, I looked west and I could see what looked like the Spoonbill on the marsh close to the hide. Parking at Great Yarmouth Asda carpark at 8.15am, I walked along the path and the Spoonbill, an immature bird was quite close to the hide and the path. The bird initially flew as I walked along the path, showing black-tips to the wings which proved together with the buff-black bill it was an immature. Initially, I couldn't find it and I assumed it was feeding down in one of the dykes. I walked west along the path scanning the dykes, no sign of it. Looking back the excellent immature Spoonbill was back in the same position quite close to the hide. I entered the hide and tried to getv a few good pics. It was asleep some of the time but woke and preened for a while before I had to leave at 8.40am to get to work for 9am. Yet another Asda bonus! I wasn't at all happy with the pictures I had taken, the light wasn't right (initially dark, but the rising sun had cast a bright pallor onto the bird, which even whilst darkening the exposure a notch hadn't helped either) and the distance showed up the limitations of the usually excellent Sigma lens I was using, something which should be remedied very soon! As I walked down the wet grass slope, I fell and skidded down the grass, no injuries and optics were OK too, good thing I had packed the camera and lens away.
Today, Wednesday 21st December as I was leaving Gorleston Library, 120 Pink-footed Geese flew over in a "V" formation, frequently calling and heading north.

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