Sunday 22 September 2013

Sunday Spectacular

If you've never been to the high tide wader roost at Snettisham you're missing out. I hadn't, but I went today. Wow. On exceptionally high tides, there is no mud left exposed on the Wash and all the birds are forced off and onto the lagoons. Waiting on the beach in dense fog, we heard the birds before we saw them - the noise of a thousand wing beats, powerful and slightly unnerving, coming from out there somewhere, invisible. And then they were on you, over you, on top of you, deafening yet silent, the rush of air and the multitude calls as immense numbers streamed over the beach, dropping over the banks and in. More Oystercatchers than I have ever seen, thousands upon thousands of Knot and Dunlin, Godwits of both flavours, Sanderling, Avocet and Curlew Sandpiper. Quite incredible.

On the lagoons themselves, patterns of birds. Waves, synchronised shuffling, packed tight, with more dropping in and vanishing into the melee, swallowed up. An occasional splodge of colour in an otherwise weaving grey mass - Knot - think how far they've come, where they've been. And now they're here, on a high tide near you. Go and do it, I can't recommend it highly enough. On a dull grey morning it was close to perfect.


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