Sunday, 20 April 2014

Dotterel at Kessingland

We set off this morning with a plan to stop at Landguard and check for any migrants that may have dropped in and whilst there wait for news on yesterdays Dotterel in Kessingland. Landguard was dead save a fly over Red-rumped Swallow that we managed to miss. At 8am news came through of the Dotterel having stopped over night so we jumped in the car and headed north up the A12 arriving in Kessingland around 9am. We parked in the caravan park and walked out to the beach. Luckily a small group of birders already had the target in scope so we joined them a few yards up the shingle and enjoyed the bird as it wondered up and down feeding happily in the grassy edges between the shingle. We moved on towards the sluice and bagged no less than five Ring Ouzel here along with several Wheatear and plenty of Linnets and Whitethroats etc. A small group of Swallows were busy over the cow field but after scanning I only found a Sand Martin for my trouble but no sign of a Red-rump I'd hoped for amongst them.

Dotterel at Kessingland
Ring Ouzel at Kessingland
On the way out we stopped to check out the Dotterel again with a few other birders and again it looked very settled and was giving plenty of visitors good views. As we left I thought I'd let a dog walker know what the small crowd was doing as he was about to let his dog run straight through the patch. "Excuse me" I said politely.." There's a bird in that patch of grass that all those people are watching so you may want to take your dog behind them to avoid flushing it" The request was not what I expected and I quote..." I walk here everyday and I'll go where I (insert suitable expletive) want."  My reply was as follows "I wasn't telling you what to do and don't care what you do, I wasn't rude to you and don't expect you to be rude to me all I was saying was the route behind the birders rather than the one you are about to take might result in the bird staying put for others to enjoy but do what ever you want to do just don't try to provoke an argument when I simply asked you to consider the other people on the beach"
He put his big macho tail between his legs and walked off BEHIND the birders.....He could have just thanked me for pointing it out and then walked behind them and saved me having to put him right twice.
On the flip side I bumped into a guy with four dogs all on leads who asked me what the crowd was about and then after chatting went on to enjoy views of both Ring Ouzel and Dotterel so It's not all dog walkers that act like Tw*ts it's just that some Tw*ts walk dogs!

Redshank at Minsmere
Anyway that little drama over and we drove back down the A12 stopping briefly at Minsmere where the Sand Martins colony seems to bb thriving. A cuckoo was heard and several deers came close enough for a photo opportunity. No Terns yet at Minsmere which surprised me but I guess they'll be in at some point in the next few days. So just the three year ticks for me today taking my year list to 195 The Jim's however bagged a lifer with the Dotterel so went home even happier than me. Arsenal beating Hull made for a pleasant journey down the A12 home too.

Red Deer at Minsmere
Sand Martin at Minsmere
I had a go at digiscoping the dotterel too adaptor just held my phone to the scope and tried to cover the lens to restrict the light......the result was the image below which I didn't think was a bad effort.
Next I'm going to make a jam jar lid this space.

Digiscoped Dotterel

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