Monday 8 September 2008

Honey I'm home!

Awoke to a brisk northwesterly wind and rain showers - could be good for some seabirds! Walking the dog along the north shore revealed a trio of Common Sandpipers and little else, though intrigue was provided by four medium sized waders which frustratingly avoided identification as they flew south.
News came of a juvenile Gannet over Paxton and for a few minutes my heart raced until the update came that it had headed due south. It arrived at Stewartby Lake in Bedfordshire later.
Despite seemingly perfect conditions, nothing appeared save for one or two juvenile Arctic Terns with the Black Terns off Mander.
I retired to spend a bit of time with the nipper and have lunch.
Vicky's friend turned up later, so leaving them to coo over the bairn, I headed off again in search of skuas. Five minutes after arriving at Mander, the rain stopped and a large dark long-tailed raptor got up out of the woods and began circling out over the reservoir. Scoping the bird, I realised I was watching my first Cambs Honey Buzzard - Awesome! I quickly rang out the news in case anybody else was in the vicinity and then got back to enjoying this big barred beast as it headed off south over the car park.
Still no seabirds, but for the next hour or so the raptors put on a fine show, with 2-3 Marsh Harriers, Osprey, plus several Hobbies and Buzzards. Great stuff.
Hearing the news of more skuas coming south out of the Wash into Cambs, gave us renewed hope, but it wasn't to be and by 5.30 I gave up. Back out after tea and the gull roost revealed a fine adult Little Gull.
So ended an exciting day that lived up to expectations but not in the way I had imagined!

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