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Monday, 20 March 2017

Eclectic mix of Garganey, Parakeet, Frogs & Purple Sands

On Sunday 19th March, I headed down to Minsmere and on entering the North hide, on first scan across I picked up the male Garganey asleep on the bank to the west of the hide in the foreground looking right just left of the West hide. Typically in resplendent plumage. On closer inspection I could also see the female Garganey also asleep sat just right of a male Teal. Nice to see after missing this species repeatedly last year on several unsuccessful trips to Minsmere in the spring. As the female stood on the bank, it was striking that she had a really pale cream underbelly. Constant scans of the marshy area to the east of the hide failed to pick up any of yesterdays quartet of Jack Snipe the best I could find were 3 Snipe. I also tried in vain to catch sight of an early sand M all to no avail. A Buzzard flew over the trees in the distance leading inland of Sizewell Power station. Sawbills were elusive for me, as I failed to see the Smew or the Goosanders at Island Mere. Little else seen there. With time pressing, I headed back home and was delighted to see 2 adult Frogs in the fish pond sat guarding the frogspawn. Heading just round the corner to Oulton Community centre, only a minute after I arrived, I heard the distinctive "kee-kee-kee" screeching of a Ring- necked Parakeet and the female Ring- necked Parakeet flew in from the east at 5.20pm right past me, I could see the bird was a female (no neck collar) and she perched up in trees just west of 20 (Woodlands) Oulton Street, the tree with 3 Rooks nests in it. She perched on the right hand side, a green bird with very long tail. I quickly set up my scope but then looked again and she had gone! Nofurther sign for me. At Ness Point in fading light, I saw 5 Purple Sandpipers on the far rocks just opposite the compass, 1 flew north before I left and later 6 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks by the NE corner of Ness Point, as I couldn't rule out the birds seen later flying a little way north after I had left the compass viewing area, I had to conclude I had seen a total of 6 Purple Sandpipers rather than 10!

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