Thursday, 30 October 2014
Surf Scoter in Holkham Bay & 2 Grey Phalaropes
On Saturday the Scottish birding team was re-assembled John H, Tim H, Tony S and myself and we arrived at Lady Anne's Drive Holkham at around 8.0am, 2 parties of Pink- footed Geese were seen in the mid distance and flock were flying over all the time. As we walked out to the bay, I noticed a small flock of mostly 15 immature Brent Geese on the near shore. From the dunes and we scanned the sea, some Common Scoter could be seen plus a male Velvet Scoter, black with a "white wing clip" and just next to it was the excellent near adult male Surf Scoter with bright orange bill and when it turned a waking great white patch on the nape which really stood out but only when it turned its head. It swam along dived occasionally and spent a lot of time flying down the bay and then back again flying in a little closer. Further down the shore line, a sharp eyed John spotted the Grey Phalarope feeding, actually walking along the shoreline and pecking for food. We approached it and watched it for some time as it walked up and down the shoreline. Driving down to salt house, viewing from the duckpond in the further pool in the field, I spied the 2nd Grey Phalarope of the trip this was swimming in the water swimming and feeding sometimes characteristically spinning around, presumably to disturb invertebrate in the water ready for it to snap up for its lunch.