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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Cattle Egret, Short-eared Owl, but dipping on a Dipper!

Brian is back from his expedition to Burma and Norman was keen to have a stab at the long-staying Dipper at Needham Market, so an early start found us at Hawks Mill on the River Gipping by around 8.15. Suffice to say that a two-hour vigil and regular checking of all the weirs failed to deliver the goods!

Brian and Norman both fancied a visit to Shingle Street so they could break their year-tick duck for Short-eared Owl. A long walk past the first three Martello Towers added nothing to the day's tally, apart from an encounter with Gary and John Richardson (who, perhaps surprisingly, are not related!) Having failed to photograph some flighty Corn Buntings, we started to walk back to Brian's car: it was he who found our SEO, right by the first Martello Tower! Never very close, we all managed some reasonable shots.

We moved on northwards to Iken, where it looked as if we were going to 'enjoy' similar bad luck as we had at Needham Market: a flock of four Egrets along Sandy Lane all had black bills and yellow feet. We checked out the farmhouse where the beautiful Lincoln Red cattle often wander on the lawns, but no sign. As we drove back along Sandy Lane once more, I counted five Egrets: the Cattle Egret had been hiding among the bullocks! All of us filled our SD cards and yet again I cursed Wex for still having my decent lens, three weeks after I took it in for a simple warranty repair.

And so home - briefly - because Linda's car was ready to pick up: I'm mobile again!

One of Brian's terrific images...

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