Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Goosander and Wheatear Brighten up the Week

After a rainy couple of days in Norfolk it was back to much the same weather at Seasalter although not quite so wet! 

8th Nov.
Still very mild, 14 degs. - a look over the beach and sea produced 1 male merganser and 8 sanderling plus dunlin, turnstones and ringed plovers. A flock of c.20 siskins flew west along the seafront and inland the plots were quiet. At the LNR, a little grebe was in the ditch just behind the Sportsman PH which was a good month tick.

Again, very mild, 17 degs., and not much doing - I parked up by the outfall which afforded a view over the sea and whilst having a coffee  a goosander swam past the outfall, I was out like a flash camera in hand getting a few shots.  

As it was mild I didn't need a coat so I stayed out a bit longer (its amazing how much more you see when you get out of the car)!  A few dunlin of various sizes were on the outfall and I picked out two showing the differences in bill lengths. The larger one is perhaps the Greenland Arctica or Northern/eastern Russian race Alpina? The small one, maybe  Schinzii which breeds in Iceland/Baltic and a few in the UK.
The brent flock only numbers about c.250 and still virtually all adults - the most juvenile birds I have seen was a group of five!

Various size differences in the dunlin bill and leg length.

Another visitor that I'd not seen for a while was Whitstable's race of 'pied crow', seen flying west over the sea.

The sub- race Whitstableii race of crow! 

One of the smaller races of dunlin

Hearing of Geoff's wheatear at Swalecliffe prompted me to get there and see this unusually late individual that would normally have gone back south in September or early October. I eventually found it on the Herne Bay side after seeing  stonechat and little egret on route.  

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