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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Long- tailed Duck & Little Auks off Ness Point

With a strong north- easterly blowing and frequent squally showers and hail storms the only place to be was Ness Point! Arriving at Ness Point this morning, by the former Coastguard lookout, I could see James B looking from within his car sheltered from the elements and the more intrepid Paul & Jane were presumably the other side of the Lookout as I could see their car parked there too. As it was raining/ hailing steadily, I elected, like James, to stay in the car and had 2 single Knot fly by plus a female Common Scoter and a single male Eider, all flying north. A flock of 15 Wigeon flew past north over the horizon, With the sun coming out, I joined Paul & Jane & Andrew E to the east of the lookout first we had a pair of Scaup flying north. We also saw impressive single sex flocks of 10 and then 12 male Eiders flying north, later a flock of 16 birds included 4 females. Another flock of 16 Wigeon and some Teal flying past north incredibly included a superb Long- tailed Duck (my first for many years), certainly the first one I have seen this century. We also had 2 small groups of Knot, 8 & 12 also flying north. Andrew E, did really well to spot it trying to hide within the middle of the flock of Wigeon. These days this bird is rarer in Lowestoft than RF Bluetails or OBP's! A Harbour Porpoise was seen briefly too. We were still celebrating when shortly afterwards, Andrew shouted "Little Auk!" and sure enough, an excellent Little Auk was flying north a third of the way out. We were all there, fervently hoping we would get some Little Auks, with the first strong northerly blow of the late autumn. Ten minutes later, Paul got our total of Little Auks into the plural, when got onto another Little Auk which was about half way out also flying north. We also saw a Snow Bunting flying north low over the sea about half way out. Plus 21 Starlings flew south and west over the sea. With the sun out, I raced to Oulton Broad and sure enough the Slavonian Grebe was still near the Wherry end, but the light was still not right, sadly.

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