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Sunday, 26 April 2015

A 'Little' More 'Bunting'!

I was at work all day and selfishly, I was pleased to see dull grey skies, whenever I looked out of the window. But at 3pm the sun appeared which was a lovely surprise! After leaving work I flew home, quick change, quick tea and then drove to Snettisham Coastal Park again, in an attempt to see the Little Bunting for a second time.

I got lucky with a car parking space by the road! It was 5.30pm when I arrived and it was a stunning evening. As soon as I started off on my walk, a pair of Bullfinches appeared briefly in an elder! Other birds seen were: a Barn Owl, Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Blackbirds, Reed Buntings, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, heard a Cuckoo and several Cetti's Warblers. The  large flat area of turf didn't hold any birds at all though – I was expecting a Wheatear or two, but nothing. Passed Duncan M. who told me he had waited 2 hours for a 5 second viewing of the Little Bunting. I had just missed that viewing and the bird was not on show when I arrived, just south of the dam.

A birder standing next to me pointed out a Garden Warbler that was singing its heart out on a hawthorn right next to us – made a wonderful photo against the blue sky and evening light! I waited and waited for the Little Bunting. Time disappeared and sun setting. Bumped into Billy and Alison Rand and also Connor's Nan! I walked round the back of the bushes in hope of finding the bird elsewhere, but nothing. Returned to its favoured area and waited. A hedgesparrow fooled me for a moment, as did a Reed Bunting a bit later. Everyone had now given up and left, apart from another birder called Richard who had travelled from Hertfordshire via another engagement today. We watched three Bullfinches in a hawthorn in the last glimmers of sunshine and also excellent views of a Cuckoo flying across.

The light was disappearing and it was getting late. I gave up and left Richard standing further east along the path – I proceeded to walk back along the little path and suddenely I could see a bird feeding at the very end of the path, just before it turns – there it was! All that time I had waited and here was the Little Bunting at 7.55pm! I scampered back along the path and whispered loudly to Richard and he walked quickly to join me. He was over the moon as this was a new bird for him and he had been waiting here ages. I so wanted to photograph this bird and had I been on my own I would have crept along the path with my camera, but there was no way I was going to spoil someone's else's moment, watching their first Little Bunting! Anyway, a few moments later we decided to start walking a bit closer, BUT we didn't even get the chance – 2 Chaffinches flew in and flushed the Little Bunting across the path and into the bushes and the was the end of that!!! So pleased for Richard, but very disappointed after my long wait, to not get any photos at all. Oh well, I will just have to make do with yesterday's shot! Richard then left and I hung on a bit longer to 8.15pm, just in case – you never know, but the Little Bunting had obviously retired for the night. It was seriously cold now and I speed walked back to my car to warm up.

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

1 comment:

  1. Well done you for letting Richard "spot" the bunting...
    not a bird I've ever seen... and given where it comes from... unlikely to end up on my life list!!
    I always feel sorry for these birds... hundreds, often thousands, of miles from home...
    makes me want to mist net them, ring them for the record and then fly them home...
    or at least to an area they'll find similar company...
    had too many lonely spells in my life, I suppose!!

    I know the pic you got has veg in front... but, personally, that speaks volumes to me as a birdwatcher...
    shows the habitat it was in and a skulking nature...
    valuable info if you are on the lookout for a bird...
    and a pretty bird at that... looks very much like a Reed Bunting female... another of my favourites...
    only saw 'ours' the once this year... probably too warm over winter... no Water Rail from the kitchen window or regular Dabchick passes either... they only come regularly to the running water here when the étangs [small to medium ponds/lakes] freeze over.

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