Wednesday 3 July 2019

North Norfolk, scorchio!

It was the hottest weekend of the year so far and the Leadley clan were in North Norfolk. Not only were we lucky with the weather, but also with the birds. I didn't have a great deal of time to go birding, but managed to get a cracking view of the Squacco Heron which rocked up on Stiffkey flood first thing on Sunday enabling my Dad to nip out and see it. I saw my first British Squacco Heron in Norfolk, near Horsey Broad about twenty years ago. This bird was much smarter however, and much closer too!

Stiffkey Squacco Heron. I looked up the origin of the word Squacco and it is Italian apparently. And is the name for this species: so none the wiser really!

Titchwell Freshmarsh. Superb water level management by the RSPB team has created epic wader conditons. Nice work!

Later on, a superb hour was spent at Titchwell, looking through hordes of waders (350 (!) Avocet, 100 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper, 10 Dunlin, 40 Knot, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, 20 Ruff etc) for a Lesser Yellowlegs. Sadly, it had flown off prior to our arrival. We got back to the car park and got ready to head back to York when a guy told me that it has just dropped back in! Well, it was too close to ignore, so I pegged it back to the freshmarsh and soon picked out this elegant wader, my first since my rejected bird from Wheldrake Ings in 2015! An elegant wader, short-billed with long legs, yellowish but heavily soiled by the gloopy mud. Long wings noticeable, giving the bird an attenuated look. A smart end to a fab weekend.

'Legs. Elegant wader, turning up at the eleventh hour!

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