Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Black-winged Stilts - a reprise!

Since last week's photos were a bit rubbish, and since BWS was a new bird for both Norman and Brian, we decided to make an early start before the heat haze became too counterproductive.

In the event, even a 7.30 arrival wasn't that much better - it was such a beautiful warm morning! Still: lots to see, including Common Sandpiper, four or five Spoonbills and a Barn Owl that flitted along the fence line as we walked to the marsh. On the way we bumped into Australian celebrity birder David Taylor, his sister and brother-in-law. What a charming trio! We chatted away about our birding experiences and I was amazed to hear that David had shared several expeditions with Phoebe Snetsinger (if you don't know the name, buy her biography: just incredible!) The Stilts put on a great show, not only driving Coots and Avocets away from what is presumably their favoured nesting site, but also copulating a couple of times.

Next port of call was Rush Hills, Hickling for the long-staying Savi's Warbler. We heard it reeling away for long spells, but only caught occasional glimpses. We did see a Black Tern, however, as well as a Hairy Hawker - my first dragonfly of the year! As we were leaving, we met David and family again: he'd seen a bird at Potter Heigham Marsh that he was 95% certain was a Marsh Sandpiper...

A walk around Hickling reserve wasn't productive, apart from more hairies, so we headed home.

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