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Saturday, 16 August 2014

BLAKENEY POINT & The Franklin's Gull Again!

Pat's Pool, from Teal Hide, Cley NWT
Taken with iphone 5s, Kowa TSN-IP5 Photo Adapter and Nikon ED50 Scope with 13-40 Zoom.

It won't take me long to write today's birding account up at all really! Got up very late and had an urge (crazy) to find some early migrants at Blakeney Point!

I didn't even start walking until 2.45pm! It was a west wind and not as cold as yesterday. I saw very little indeed – only managed to see a handful of Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings. Sat down at The Plantation and had a coffee and a sandwich. There wasn't a single bird in that plantation – most disappointing. Walked round, pished, squeaked, waited..... nothing, not a movement or sound. I really regretted this walk, as I was now in excruciating agony with Plantar fasciitis in my left ankle and I had to sit with my boots off for a while.

Taken with iphone 5s on Slow Video Mode.

Just as I was leaving a small bird appeared in the small white popular branches – it was facing me and well..... I couldn't quite work out what is was. Chiffchaff came to my mind first, but I couldn't see any kind of supercilium and then for a moment it looked like a Spotted Flycatcher – yes I know the two are entirely different, but just voicing my thoughts at the time. Very dark eye, very pale breast. It slipped away between leaves and I didn't see it side on at all. I spent the next HOUR looking for it – round and round the plantation. It had to be a Chiffchaff, I suppose, but I was really frustrated that I couldn't find it for a proper look. I left the plantation to head back and as I walked up to the big tamarisk shrub, next to the hut, I saw a fleeting glimpse of what I presume was the same bird, flick between branches in the bush! Again, I walked round and round, peeped in the bush, pished, squeaked, waited..... nothing, not a movement or sound!!! Gone, vanished. I gave up! How frustrating!
Walking back from Blakeney Point – a beautiful evening as always here.

Walked back along the beach, watching a steady flow of Sandwich Terns and Common Terns heading west and also a few Gannets distantly. I listened to music on my iphone after a while to stop me going insane. The walk back is a killer, even more so when your ankle is so painful. The moment I got back to my car at Coastguards, the pager went off to say the Franklin's Gull was on Pat's Pool at 7.39pm. No rest for the wicked! No time to waste either, if I wanted a parking space. Drove straight to Old Woman's Lane and had to park on top of the grassy verge – only place left!
Pat's Pool, from Teal Hide, Cley NWT

The hides were packed out. A local birder very kindly let me creep in front of him to sit on the seat. Before I got there, the sun was shining I was told – there must be some cracking photos of the gull this evening from the longer lens's, especially as it came in much earlier than previous nights! Took another video and also got some pictures on the Canon 7D, but not particularly good.

Walked back to my car, had a coffee and cruised home.

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