Monday 16 May 2011

Shore Larks in Norfolk

A weekend in Norfolk with Dipper Bradnum resulted in eight hours of not seeing a Great Snipe. You win some, you lose some. Last week I won quite conclusively, this weekend I lost by a clear margin. Three attempts, one dawn, two dusk, resulted in precisely nothing. Still, it was nice to be up there, a great place to be birding, and there was plenty to see when we weren't freezing to death in Cley's Avocet hide.

A summer-plumaged Lesser Yellowlegs with a few Wood Sandpipers for company were extremely easy on the eye, but star bird status goes to a couple of Shorelarks on the shingle ridge that mostly separates North Norfolk from the North Sea. They took a while to find, but once pinned down, and once used to our presence, they made for very obliging subjects. Easily the best photos I've taken of this species, though I am sure you will believe me when I say I would ideally like to take many more. A sample below, with others here.

Elsewhere, at a very very secret Montagu's Harrier site, an equally posy Pied Wagtail made my shutter go into overdrive as it sang on a dirt mound only a few feet away. To keep the blog from being too photo-heavy, you can see a few more here.