Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Shore Larks at Great Yarmouth and a continental Starling Invasion

Today started well when I stepped out of the front door to walk Tia and saw a Tawny Owl take flight from the large Oak tree in the garden. Muntjac Deers called from the small wood behind the cottage and on returning from my walk I noted Marsh Tit, Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Brambling and Nuthatch feeding in the garden and watched a Buzzard fly along the field behind the barn we're staying in as I made breakfast.
I left early and made a stop off at Salthouse to connect with the Grey Phalarope I'd missed yesterday and then quickly set off along the A149 in the direction of Great Yarmouth determined to find my first Shore Lark of 2013. I arrived at the small car park opposite Sandown Road as the rain stopped and made my way  to the beach where I quickly located two Shore Larks feeding amongst the shingle. The weather was poor with grey skies and a dampness still in the air but I grabbed a couple of shots anyway as a record before moving along the beach where I located a third Shorelark.
Shore Lark
Shore Lark 
Shore Lark (one of my favorite birds)
On the eastern side of Britannia Pier I was pleased to find a few Med Gulls and a large roost of Ringed Plovers which must have included twenty or more birds in with a flock of Dunlin.
Ringed Plover and Dunlin
Med Gull
From Yarmouth I carried on down the coast to Lowestoft and parked up at Ness Point where I watched in the rain as four Purple Sandpipers fed amongst the waves. I have to say they amaze me how they can stay put with fierce waves crashing against them. Turnstones walked the footpath looking for an easy meal and a Rock Pipit looked fresh in. Gannets dived and a Red Throated Diver flew along the tide line close in.
Male Kestrel by the car park at Ness Point
The tally of birds for the day was 74 giving me two year ticks in the process and moving the 2013 total to 282. I got a couple of good soakings but enjoyed the day and the spectacle of thousands of Starlings coming across the sea today. No matter where I was today the Starlings just kept on coming with the only other migrants noted being a couple of flocks of Fieldfare and a couple of single Blackbirds in off the sea.

 I stumbled on this hoard of winter fuel on my way back to the barn this afternoon....enough apples, turnips and hay to keep a few pigs happy for a while.
Winter supplies

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