Thursday 17 July 2014

Knot too bad as twitches go really

The arrival of Britain's fourth Great Knot had me all in a twist. How typical, the whole weekend more-or-less available and I find out about it on Monday morning on the way to work! Never fear though, there is always a way. With the amount of daylight at the moment, evening twitches are game on, and even though Breydon Water is over two hours away, it was still a walk in the Park. Met Bradders and Paul "it's only a bird" Hawky chez the former, and we were on our way. Regular messages about the bird's continued presence kept me calm in the back seat, and I continued to work on my Blackberry without much of a care in the world. Using local knowledge Bradders got us as close as could be, and after a mere 20 minute walk towards the long line of birders, there it was - boom, as they say. Superbly rare, and in the bag. Fairly decent views given the massive size of Breydon Water, no Great Dot here - very distinctive looking bird. Never close enough to see exact patterning, but you could tell areas of contrast, and all those present agreed that this was easily enough to identify it as "the boy". Bloody good find by somebody. 

So, another big one falls - somehow despite the large amount of travel and working away (last week in Glasgow, imagine if the bird had been a week earlier!) I seem to have been rather fortunate and not really missed much. Crag Martin perhaps, which had I forgone sleep one night would have been on, and I've still got that Ross's Gull to deal with at some point. But so far this year that's seven new ones, and the possibility of rich months to come. We'll see.

Better was to come on Monday night though, as post Knot we learned of an adult Long-tailed Skua lingering on the beach just down the road. Really? Really. And it was sensational in all respects. Distance from the car park, 10 yards. Distance from the bird, 30 yards. Tail streamer? Check. Amazing! Such a brilliant bird, it did a few little fly-arounds for us, gave phenomenal scope and bins views, and then 15 minutes after we got there buggered off out to sea. I doubt very much I'll see one like that again, and just like all birds that are amazing and close, will be remembered for a long time. Didn't get to bed until 1am, but it was well worth it. Almost unbelievably this puts me on 418, not many vs the big boys I'll freely admit, but for little old me, who would have thunk it? The Dusky Thrush, 400 (and now accepted) seems a long time ago, but it was only just over a year. Pretty good going for a non-twitcher.

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