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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Richard's Pipit & Whitefront

At around 9am this morning, it was a lovely sunny morning, I, belatedly made my way over to Covehithe (having resisted the urge to go on a dull and rainy Saturday, yesterday) and walking along the cliff-top fields south-east of the church, I saw a small group of birders looking up the cliff top path around 2 fields south of the track. They were looking directly north along the cliff- top path and I and some Essex birders, stopped at the top of the field looking down. It was in exactly the same area, where I had seen my last one in Suffolk, 2 years ago. Immediately, we saw the excellent Richard's Pipit pop out at the edge of the field of green-shoots (not sure what the crop was?) before almost immediately darting into long grass and weeds by appropriately enough given the day, 2 very red flowering Poppies. We had to wait around 3/4 of an hour before we had good views on the cliff top path, where it gradually made its way towards us. It showed on and off for the next hour, giving good scope views. I also heard a Snow Bunting which appeared to be flying north over the sea, although I couldn't spot it. A Common Darter flew in off the sea and flew steadily inland. A group of around 45 Barnacle Geese flew over and north. While behind the southern group of birders a late Swallow flew west and over Covehithe broad. The Pipit then flew out into the field and perched up for a couple of minutes before flying back and occasionally showing along the path again. It was good to see everyone hanging back, allowing the bird space to feed. Back at the Church seeing Dick and Clive, we scanned the field, for winter finches and Sparrows of the arboreal variety, but we only saw a group of 25 flying Skylarks, 2 Reed Bunting and a Chaffinch. Small group of Starlings, 100, 30 and 45 flew in off the sea. A stop off at Asda, revealed many c80 BH Gulls on the very low water, so low a Redshank flew in tried to land, it ended up swimming for 2 minutes before getting fed up with that it flew west. An adult Shag flew west. Late afternoon, in fading light, I drove to Oulton Broad, following tweets from Rob Wil and Rene B, looking across towards the maltings were 145 Grelag geese and bang in the middle and swimming just in front of them was the smaller White- fronted Goose, always nice to see. A smaller goose, being around 20% smaller, with pink bill and white surround by the base. The new scope was really excellent in the fading light and I could clearly see the bird. It then swam into the pack of geese and I left in the fading light. Paul & Jane F were turning into the car park and told them to follow me back to save time, we also saw Rene B briefly (and having thanked him for his tweet) and we were soon watching the bird again.

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