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Friday, 11 May 2012

Corton Spotted Flycatchers and Stone Curlew

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With news of several Spotted Flycatchers seen around the coast, I decided to try my luck and finding my own at Corton straight after work, James B had beaten me to it as he tweeted one seen at Corton OSW, and then a Stone Curlew! Within minutes I pulled up in the Church car park and was amazed to see Paul and Jane's car there already! I was convinced I wouldn't see either bird as the accursed bird scarer cannon fires off its deafening double shots every 20 minutes. I'd been unsuccessful in my attempt to get this moved as Waveney District Council said they couldn't do anything as it was on private land and I wasn't complaining as a neighbour living next door. Anyway, walking down the track I could see James B, Paul and Jane were still watching it in the eastern most field of crops. Initially this excellent Stone Curlew was first seen sat in the field, its head looking back at us looking very wary. At one point it struggled to its feet and appeared to limp away before it flew around and settled a little further in the field. Ricky arrived and I walked back to put the 1.4X converter on the camera in the car. before i did that, I walked down the west track by the old sewage works and saw the excellent Spotted Flycatcher flit out and in again by the bushes, before it flew up and perched on the top in full view. having reattached the converter, I walked back along the track to the south-east corner of the old swage works and got a few distant record shots of the Stone Curlew, before it wandered out of sight behind a ridge in the field. In the far south- eastern corner by the footpath of the field to the south of the old sewage works, 4 Wheatear were seen in a group, comprising 1 male and 3 females. We retraced our steps and walking down the western path by the OSW, the Spotted Flycatcher was seen again, and the moment I spotted a fine female Ring Ouzel, James B called it, flying in a NW direction over the old SW and towards us, it flew into the hedge near the Flycatcher and disappeared. One well regarded Lowestoft birder unfortunately made an error in walking round the outside perimeter of the OSW and as he reached the NE corner, the timid Stone Curlew took to flight, much to the chagrin of watching observers, first heading out see it arked around and headed inland and appeared to drop down possibly in fields just north of Stirrups Lane and west of Broadland Sands. An extensive search failed to relocate the bird (1 Oystercatcher, 1 male Pheasant and 2 Red- legged Partridges seen) but by the entrance to Broadland Sands, Paul and I saw a skulking Lesser Whitethroat that was helpfully singing as it tried to hide itseld within a bush, just 4 feet off the ground. By the Corton Old rail track, I spotted another excellent Spotted Flycatcher in the sunlite bushes bordering the eastern side of the track just 10 yards south of the Stirrups lane Bridge. It showed reasonably well and worked its way to the cental copse, where late on we saw up to 3 excellent Spotted Flycatchers, one posed beautifully fully lit by the sun as it perched on branches of a Pine tree, behind it 2 other Flycatchers flitted around. Near the Sallows, I saw and heard a calling Chiff- Chaff. Finally driving back along the A12, not far from here, at 8.05pm, I saw clearly a Little Owl perched on a horizontal main branch extending left of a tree just left of the road. A great finish to very enjoyable evening's birding. Pictures to be added 12/5.

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