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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Little Auk & Desert Wheatear (Thanks Rene!)

From 7.50am to 9am I sea watched hoping for a Little Auk, none were seen during the first part of the sea watch although several flocks of Brent Geese c15, 18 & 22 flew south, a large Auk flew North, 5 Wigeon flew south and several small flocks of Common Scoter 15, 18 and 22. In bound migration included a Song Thrush and several Meadow Pipits in off. Then at 8.40am I suddenly saw a Little Auk flying north, it pitched onto the sea in front of the sea defence rocks stayed here of 5 minutes before flying again and pitching down again and settling on the sea around the first groyne north of the Point I quickly hurried over and took 4 shots of it at mid distance before it flew north. Just before I had to leave (for a funeral) I bumped into Chris M. As I was attending a funeral, (a Brambling was heard calling outside Gorleston crematorium. I had left my mobile at home and was shopping in Tesco and very fortunately bumped into Rene, who said "Have you seen the Wheatear? It's showing really well down to a few feet". "Which Wheatear" I replied. "A Desert and it's on the North Denes!" Rene clarified. (I Should have left my mobile in the car!) I raced back home, grabbed my bins, scope and tripod and camera gear and raced to the site. Parking at the Links road car park, there was a group of people looking a little North along the sea wall and in the last decent bits of the fading sunlight, there it was, a fine adult male Desert Wheatear in winter plumage, with varying amounts of black on its face, wings and completely black tail. As always a really smart bird and like the others I have seen also very confiding. It was initially seen at mid distance using the eastern most sea wall as look out it often hopped onto the beach and then back to the wall, carefully treading back along the car park the bird flew towards us and perched on the wall again, sometimes it flew onto the seawall path before flying back to the eastern most sea wall again.

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