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Monday, 14 July 2014

Great Knot at Breydon Water

On reaching home after work yesterday I was very surprised (I am swamped with work) at the moment current) I was surprised to find a whole host of messages about a Great Knot at Breydon Water! Here we go again I thought as the last alert of one of these had proved to be an erroneous identification and I had thought it was just a Knot and raised doubts at the time. So leaving home at 6.10 by 6.40pm I was pulling into the Rugby club car park and walked what must have been a 2 mile walk along the south end of Breydon where we appeared to be almost along the Burgh Castle end. I joined the 80 strong throng of birders and was directed to the further end of the estuary along the western bank where it was seen on the western muddy bank just metres from the the river channel. Directions were good where it was seen "underneath" and between a windmill in the distance and a telegraph post. It was seen just behind a trio of BH Gulls. It appeared slightly larger than a Knot with a more attenuated rear end (a bit like Baird's Sandpiper) It had had a slightly longer black bill which appeared thicker at the base. What was most obvious was the blackish on the breast which appeared to contrast with the more whiter underparts with black spots on the flanks. It showed more rufous brown on its back too and showed pale straw coloured legs. It was indeed a fine adult Great Knot in full summer plumage. Only the 4th record for Britain, a rare British tick for me and the first I've seen since my trip to China in 1999. A great bird and a great find by the Yarmouth birder. It spent its time busily feeding on the estuary before finally flying right and seen at the same distance just by the Tern platforms. Other birds seen on the estuary included 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Greenshank, Whimbrel, Black tailed Godwit and 5 Avocet.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Wood Sandpiper at Carlton Marshes

A quick visit to a very wet Carlton Marshes, following the monsoon rain this afternoon which actually hammered down. I waded and hobbled through the puddles all the way down the path and from Wilton's Mount, I could clearly see the Wood Sandpiper over the far side and 3 Little Egrets although curiously no Garganeys could be seen at all. I walked around to the other side and from the west side, the Wood Sandpiper was seen very close to the path and great views were seen, albeit in very poor light. Walking back going past Spratts' Water, a fantastic Hobby flew past from left to right again a close view.

Brown Hawker in the garden today

Still having a prodigous amount of work to do today, Saturday 12th July plus the fact I badly stubbed my toe on the cat's scratching post in the hallway (but fortunately no Beckham style broken metatarsal bone so need for any orthopaedic advice at work!) I was hobbling around and couldn't get out, certainly not walking down to Carlton Marshes scrape. I turned my attentions to the garden, in a break from my Library Quality Assessment Framework work that I need to submit by the end of the month. I was delighted to see Ringlet & Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the garden and the superb Brown Hawker seen in flight late morning rested on the wooden horizontal beam of the pagoda as the sun shone directly on it from late afternoon, my best shots were taken at a slight side angle to the Odonata where the fine female Brown Hawker settled and allowed a few shots before she flew off.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Brown Hawker in the Garden

At 7.30pm, on Thursday 3rd July, on this extremely hot day, I walked out in the garden and heard a rustle from the Copper beech and was delighted to see a female Brown Hawker Dragonfly fly quickly west and then over the back fence and out of sight. She had a brown abdomen with yellow spots by the side. A very wary individual but I'll keep a look out tomorrow, they can often hang around and have posed exceptionally well for the camera in previous years, here's hoping!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Pyramidal Orchid at Gunton

Both yesterday evening, Tues 1st July and this evening, Wednesday 2nd July I was delighted to follow up James W's tweet regarding the Pyramidial Orchid at Gunton. Arriving at the site, I quickly spotted this fine plant. It was already in flower, perhaps slightly past its best, as the lower flowers had died, but still looking really impressive This was only my second of this species in Lowestoft (or first if you count Corton outside Lowestoft!). It was situated within the Gas compound along the western side at the back and was a delightful plant to view. At 7.30pm yesterday, the sun was fading behind the wood behind me but at 6.40pm tonight, the sun was still sufficiently strong to shoot at F8 at ISO 100, always the defacto settings I tend to use for plant photography, but I do vary settings according to what I am photographing. I was also delighted to bring my Aunt along who only lives 100 yards further down the road, she was delighted to see the plant too.