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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Roller at Horsey

Following a fruitless look in the morning for the Roseate Tern at Lowestoft on Tuesday 6th August, as usual no sign of this really elusive Lowestoft bird. I decided after work to go straight for the Roller. After 40 minutes tortuously negotiating the holiday rush hour track through Yarmouth< I finally arrived. Parking off the road just before the Nelson Head pub on this lovely sunny evening, by the style at the start of the walk I saw a Painted Lady with almost half its right wing missing but it was still able to fly, it perched briefly on the path ahead. I met Julian B who was as helpful as usual, describing exactly where to see the Roller near cows in a fenced field 400 yards south of the end of the path. Julian said it was very distant and I was unlikely to get a usable pic. Walking south for around 150 yards I met a 3 birders scoping it, including Jeremy G. The excellent Roller was on posts at the western edge of the field. 2 Kestrels were perched on other posts nearby. Occasionally the Roller would fly down for prey before flying up again to the fence posts. When it flew down the very pale sky blue panels in the tail could clearly be seen. A jackdaw sized heavily built bird with a chunky black bill pale. A blue bird with brown back and black on the primaries and secondaries. Just behind it, a Hobby was perched on another fence post. We enjoyed this scene for around an hour, I took a few record shots but the bird was so far away. A couple asked had we seen the Seals on the beach and in retrospect I wished I had checked them out as there was at least 1 Common Seal subsequently photo'd by Danny P. Walking back we met a birder who had heard the Cranes bugling call and I was very fortunate, whilst driving past Horsey Mill to see 2 excellent Cranes flying directly over the road and right over the car!

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