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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Dotterel and a quartet of Ring Ouzels on Kessingland Dunes

Receiving the twitter message very late 9.10am, (twitter problems again and delay in receiving the messages) I didn't reach Kessingland Beach until 40 minutes later and early birds Paul & Jane were already leaving. Walking up the Dunes it was obvious where the bird was because of the small throng of people peering at it behind a bramble bush, with 2 photographer standing or lying as lone sentinels either side of the them. I joined the first and managed some distant pictures of this fine male Dotterel that favoured an island of green grass amongst the pebbles, he would feed then run a short way as is so characteristic of the feeding action of Plovers. I later joined Clive N who was just standing north of the group and we got slightly closer shots. The Dotterel looked really impressive standing on a ridge and then it ran to a grassy stretch just south of the ridge. I then walked up to the sluice looking from the Northern side where I joined Ricky F, no sign of the Ring Ouzels along the southern grassy bank of the sluice where they had been seen. When we saw first a male then a female Ring Ouzel on the grassy area behind us i.e.. north of us and then we saw 2 "chakking" Ring Ouzels fly past us and north, so there were 4 Ring Ouzels. From time to time we would see a male perched on a bush male on the ground plus at least 1 female Ring Ouzel. When they were flushed again by dog walkers they flew back to the grassy ridge south of the sluice and all 4 birds were in view at once, definitely 2 males and what looked like 2 females? Another dog walker flushed them before we say for definite and looking west along the track we were on, just 20 yards west of us at least 3 Ring Ouzels, 2 males and a female seen, zipping in and out of the bushes. A Swallow also flew south. Before once again they flew north to the middle of the grassy area where they were seen again. Near them were up to 4 male Wheatears. Going back to the beach, I was joined by Dick W and we made our way to the seaward side where we were able to get quite close to the resting Dotterel without disturbing it. After a while it stood up did a series owing stretches and preening before it suddenly flew up and then south along the Dunes before Dave H picked it up flying past us and around 50 yards north of us where it settled more on he seaward side of the beach. We left it in peace and at Kessingland Sewage works, 5 Blackcaps all males were heard singing, nothing on the Sewage beds by the fishing pool, a Swallow flew over and back at the Common, a singing Lesser Whitethroat was eventually seen when talking to Ricky F and Steve, the male Lesser Whitethroat briefly sang from the near the top of a bush before hopping down again. Finally driving back, I stopped off at Oulton Broad and took a couple of pics of the regular immature Shag that was lying on the end of the Mutford Lock jetty.

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