11th September. All mixed up.

With yet another Friday off (I haven't done a five day week for almost two months now) I decided on a cunning plan. I'd figured that seeing as the majority of birds reported from Hatfield were being at the weekend I would get on and have the whole area to myself. I was wrong. By the time I got there some bloke was already walking back and another was halfway round. Undeterred I carried on. Things looked good straight away when a Grey Plover flew over calling. it had been that long since I'd last seen a Grey Plover that I'd actually forgotten that they existed. The distance call of Pink-footed Geese seemed surreal, it was after all technically still summer. But sure enough they were Pinkies, 44 of them in fact. They headed at first east before circling round and thinking about landing, no doubt mistaking the former peat workings for napalmed North Norfolk arable land. This was certainly the first time I'd watched migrating Pink-feet whilst just wearing a T-shirt and watching dragonflies - bizarre.

There also appears to be at least two Cormorants among them!



The rest of the morning was spent watching two Marsh Harriers a Hobby and looking for waders and most of the latter spent looking at an interesting Calidris that was obviously smaller and shorter straighter billed than the Dunlins present. At a distance it looked good and I was seriously thinking White-rumped but as I got closer and closer (down to a few metres) it became clear that it was just a small short-billed Dunlin. However during those few long minutes several things became clear: I need to gen up, My photography skills are even worse when the adrenalin is flowing and that it's not a good idea to wander out into the middle of a peat bog for a Dunin. Feeling somewhat frustrated with myself (If I'd had the ability I'd have kicked my arse all the way back to the car) I went home.

At a distance it looked interesting

Not quite as interesting now!

4 comments:

DorsetDipper said...

1. did you spot the coromorants at the time, or when you looked at the photo? I had to expand it to see them.

2. No need to worry about your birding skills on the basis of the weird Dunlin. You saw something different but didn't get carried away and worked it until you got the right answer - that's how it should be?

thedrunkbirder said...

Bloody hell DD well spotted there.

Mark said...

No DD I only noticed the Cormorants when I opened the photo up. Can't say I've ever noticed other species (other than geese)tagging along with Pinkies. Thanks for the words of encouragement I won't fall on my sword just yet.

Rob said...

Were you really JUST wearing a t-shirt? You dirty old bastard.