Friday, 19 June 2009

Suffolk - Orioles and Rosies

With two nights in North Norfolk booked for the weekend, a 'productive' route was planned - not necessarily in the right direction but at least the disappearing Lincs Terek Sandpiper had saved me from temptation further North!!

The day started at Lakenheath where a pair of Golden Orioles have been showing well for the past few weeks. I joined the crowd at the 'official' viewpoint, the birds quite distant but everyone was going away happy! They were not always easy to find, often obscured behind poplar braches in the gusty wind. Never guaranteed at this site, I left with a couple of record record shots......








Also here, a long awaited year tick in the form of Marsh Harrier plus other decent birds, Bittern and Cuckoo in flight. I had to settle for just 'seeing' both these and a solitary Stone Curlew at Cavenham Heath.

By midday, I'd become tempted by Roseate Terns at Minsmere which were queing up for display portraits for the locals by all accounts! Of course, by the time I got there, they had moved on from the South hide. Question was - where??

All I had to admire were Sandwich Terns trying impress the girls with an offering or two!











Why are there so many Sandwich Terns?







The scrapes as ever, even at this time of year producing plenty of waders, including three cracking Spotted Redshank in summer plumage!










Numerous Avocet and Black tailed Godwit of course.....








Plus an adult Mediterranean Gull....






After completing two circuits of the reserve, I eventually caught up with two of the Roseate Terns a couple of hours later - from the West hide and at least 100m distant. Forget feather detail - strictly record shot time!!!

Nice to compare with nearby Sandwich Terns, the rosy flush to underparts, smaller size, lack of yellow tip to bill and leg colour....








making them pretty obvious - shown graphically here....






A day that starts with Golden Oriole and Stone Curlew then ends with Roseate Tern can't be that bad eh?

Despite a vigil at the South hide, the Rosies never returned to the wooden posts and the drive up to Sheringham beckoned.....

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