Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Spring That Just Keeps Giving

I really had thought that last weeks Icterine Warbler would be our final good bird of the spring, and I was well into summer chilling mode, strolling around barefoot, coo-ing over chickies and spending the days soaking up the sun and some serious mountaineering literature. Blakeney Point had other ideas however, and on a day when the only migrant this morning was a Stonechat, and we looked set for a lazy suny day,  a stonking male Red-backed Shrike appeared in The Plantation suddenly, and proceeded to spend the afternoon decimating our bumblebee population. Aah, happy days, this is why I love The Point, it's full of birdy surprises.

And then it all went all went horribly wrong..........
Just as I was finishing patrolling the eastern edge of the dunes this evening, and about to turn back homewards with thoughts of imminent dinner occupying my mind, I got that dreaded phonecall: 'unstreaked acro, looking a bit pale'. A cold knot of fear formed in the pit of my stomach, I hate acrocephalus warblers, especially on The Point, where you are limited to flight views, and occasionally the briefest of distant perched views, but at this time of year especially, they all need serious grilling. A quick sprint down the beach to the suadea in question, and after a long, tense struggle, I came to the conclusion that this is a Reed Warbler. I have practically zero experience of spring Marsh Warblers, but the rump on this bird seems to have a hint of warmth to it (more apparent from the flight views), there doesn't appear to be any pale tips to primaries, bill doesn't seem particularly stout etc.etc. However, it is somewhat cold for what I would expect from a Reed Warbler, so if anybody has any comments we would be very happy to hear them, and i'm quite prepared to receive copious amounts of egg on my face!

Breeding birds are still going strong, the Ringed Plover chicks are doing very well for themselves, and still being hideously cute.

Yesterday was alright too, with this flyover young Spoonbill, 2 Hobbies zipping through together and a dark-phase Arctic Skua nicking fish from our Sandwich Terns offshore.

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