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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

East Norfolk Goodies: Ibis Duo at Martham et al

A very enjoyable day's A/L today, Wednesday 29th January, a trip to East Norfolk. First stop was Cess road, Martham and I parked up and walk the 50 yards down to the end of the road and then carried on a further 50 yards east along the river bank. Looking west over some fields where amazingly the 2 Glossy Ibis were constantly feeding around 7 to 10 metres away. They were in a loose fenced enclosure, the 2 Ibis's fed here just metres away from 5 photographers stood by the fence gleefully snapping away, although the light could have been much better. They (The Ibis!) then walked over to the next door field through the open gate. There were two birds one was was around 10% smaller than the other with a light brown cast on its wings. They fed quite well and I even photographed one gorging on an unfortunate worm. Next stop was Horsey Mere and was unable to look from the usual southerly viewpoint due to the recent flood surge. I took the northerly route and from the path I could look over the Mere, seeing some birders they said they had seen the 3 Smew and the BT Diver was viewable apparently from the N Broad, the first of that species seen on the Mere since 1950's! I scanned and couldn't see any but another scan revealed a single redhead Smew on her own whilst over to the left were 2 long rafts of duck, the nearest one was half the length of the furthest one and scanning through these, I eventually spotted the second redhead Smew amongst this raft. I was walking back when I met when Geoff and his wife from Beccles and went back to show them where the female Smew were, having shown them the Smew on its own at the back, I suddenly spotted a Diver flying in from the west towards us, It had a very grey slightly bulging upper neck and it landed showing an extensive white rear flank patch and medium bill, it was the excellent Black- throated Diver which had flown in (presumably from the North Broad) and it started to swim towards the nearest Broad edge and was eventually totally obscured by the reeds and we didn't see it again. A great sighting and just reward for my good deed of the day! Drving back just past Brograve farm still around the Waxham end, I looked west and could see 3 Cranes in the distance flying north and they landed somewhere out of sight from the road. Whilst driving along the Horsey strait 500 yards south of the mill, I looked left/ east and saw 2 Cranes on the fields, I stopped the car and scanning there were another 2 Cranes behind them, I photographed the closer pair as they were feeding and walking right/ south all the time. 4 Cranes seen along the Horsey fields and 7 Cranes seen in total.Parking at Great Yarmouth opposite the Imperial Hotel, I was going to try and tackle the daunting task of searching for the Shore Larks in the Dunes or the beach, with a bitter raw moderate but bitterly cold east wind blowing. On the beach stood a small group of Gulls included several BH Gulls and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls. Whilst flying north over the sea was another adult Mediterranean Gull. Walking further north along the beach, I heard the call of a wader and spotted a single Sanderling close by. I met 2 lady birders and we promised to let each other know if anyone spotted the Shore Larks. After around 20 minutes I was following them walking back resigned to not seeing the Larks when they waved me over, I walked over to the dunes very close to the Coffee Shack, which must have been around 300 yards north of the Imperial Hotel, really close to the road and concrete walkway. The 2 excellent Shore Larks were constantly feeding, the ladies eventually left and I was crouched down and amazingly the Shore Larks started running towards me and I managed to get a couple of reasonable shots (including the sub header shot above). They then ran eastwards along the side of the dune following the large sandy track towards the beach were I was happy to leave them. Walking back I noted a flock of 5 Sky Larks.


Tim Allwood said...

Hello Peter

The previous inland records for the TG42 10 km square are Hickling Feb 23 and Horsey Mere Mar 13 (presumably same bird) 1956

and an oiled bird in Somerton Dyke Dec 30 1967.

Birds are seen passing the coast in Oct-Nov but even those are not quite annual here, so this bird is a fantastic record and the first to stay for more than a day. A harder species to get here than many other birds which are genuine rarities in Britain.

The joys of patch birding!

Peter Ransome said...

Thanks for this Tim, a rare site indeed and I was really pleased to see it. I always like seeing unusual birds on my Lowestoft patch too.