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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Arctic and American visitors

On Sunday 17th January, a very frosty, hoar frost morning with a very thin covering of snow too, first thing 2 Redwings added to the wintry seen by flying south right over the house and garden calling as they went. An early visit to Oulton Broad revealed that half the Broad was frozen over around by the causeway it was totally frozen, no birds seen although I did bump into Richard S. I then drove up to Great Yarmouth and no luck on Beaconsfield road recreation ground. However, I looked from Marine Parade by the Waterways and I spotted a large Gull soaring over the building that looked promising, its large size, biscuit coloured appearance and creamy- white primaries with a two tone pink/ black bill and black eye proved it was the excellent 1st winter Glaucous Gull. As always, a very fine looking bird, it soared over and then settled on the roof of a house opposite the Waterways. It was quite wary and only spent 5 minutes here before flying over to Yarmouth Crescent, it then flew back over the road over my head and then wheeled round and settled on another roof opposite the Waterways. It was again wary and only settled for 2 minutes before it flew off away over the road and then slowly soared and glided with very languid flaps of its wings and last seen flying over Yarmouth Hollywood cinema. Seen with Paul & Jane who joined me. Receiving a text from Rob Will stating that the 'legs was back on Glebe Marsh, within 20 minutes (thanks to the new road Beacon estate & Belton) I was pulling into the Burgh Castle car park. Minutes later I was joining Rob, and initially I saw the excellent Lesser Yellowlegs, a more slender slimmer and slightly smaller bird than Redshank- c30 seen here with obvious yellow legs, grey above and pearl white below and narrow attenuated rare end, this bird fed on the mud on the middle island proving this was Glebe Marsh in Watsonian Suffolk and in Lizardland! It walked left and then walked closer and flew into the muddy edge (when we were joined by a greatly relieved Ali R who had tried on 7 previous visits) on the closest part- even further into Lizardland! Trip to Oulton Broad and looking at Mutford Lock the Common Sandpiper was back feeding on the far edge near a post. On the Broad itself around 30 Greylag Geese seen. Nothing else of note disappointing the assembled crowd of Tony B, Andrew E, Paul & Jane F, Neville L Rob Will & Erin. Back at Mutford Lock the Common Sandpiper was seen feeding in the same place. A trip to Oulton Marshes I was just a little too late, another birder had just seen the SEO which had given a really good fly around on Camps Heath marsh around but sadly for me it had gone to ground and in the 10 minutes of daylight left I failed to see it or anything else for that matter.

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