Wednesday 22 November 2023

Dipping the Pallid Swift

Yesterday was the first full day I had spare that I could take the Jims for a crack at the Pallid Swift lingering for twelve days at Winterton. The Jims need the bird for a life tick so were keen to go but life had got in the way for all of us until yesterday and even that was far from comfortable with my daughter in law being rushed to hospital for an operation on a detached retina an having that on my mind whilst out birding was less than ideal but I'm pleased to say the operation appears to have gone well and she's now back home.

We landed at the car park in Winterton village at first light and scanned the skies for over two hours with no joy. It appears the Swift has moved south or maybe met a sad end through lack of food and plummeting temperatures. It was bitter cold today for sure. During our watching the skies we encountered thousands of Pink-feet Geese and some movement of winter thrushes but the best bird was a Woodcock that flew over the park. As the cold started getting into my bones I called off the search and we headed for the warmth of the car as we drove down to Filby broad which was only a few miles away.

At Filby we scanned both bodies of water finding two Kingfisher before a single Scaup amongst the Tufted Duck on Ormesby Little broad. On Filby broad we eventually located two Fudge ducks along with many Tufted ducks a few Pochard and five Goldeneye before again the cold weather had us retreating to the warmth of the car. 

Our next stop was Ness Point at Lowestoft where we worked hard to eventually find six Purple Sandpipers on the concrete below the caravan park along with an Oystercatcher and six Turnstone. Being two miles from a reported forty Waxwing we couldn't head home without checking them out too.

The day added two year ticks bringing my struggling 2023 year list 231 and now just seven below my worst ever year list total........can I get there or will 2023 be a new low?

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