Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spring Tide at Snettisham - Sunday

Although there was a later high tide at Snettisham we decided that rather than go back to the same spot we'd start further along the Beach at Snettisham Marsh, which had a car park next to a small nature reserve (and guess what the land next the nature reserve has been bought by a gun club for shooting - cynical scumbags).

Anyway another foregone breakfast and an early-ish start saw us on the beach by 8:15am. We weren't sure what we'd find but were delighted to be only ten minutes walk from a group of flighty waders:

They were clearly agitated at the exceptionally high water levels had pushed them off their feeding grounds for probably the fourth or fifth day running. The flock was tightly packed:

With some birds trying to snooze between flights offshore and back again:

As well as Ringed Plover the flock contained Dunlin and Sanderling:

In the distance where we'd been yesterday we could see a huge flock of waders wheeling around in the sky watched by a smaller group of birders than on Saturday but I bet they were loving it! My ears were hurting with the combination of wind and cold so we headed back for a walk around said nature reserve and were delighted to find a Lesser Whitethroat, seen here with a Long-tailed Tit:

The reserve was very busy with dog walkers so whilst there were birds there they weren't staying put for long. A post dawn visit one morning during Autumn migration could well turn up a few interesting migrants on another day.

From Snettisham Marsh we headed to Welney WWT to pop in for a mooch around a cup of tea. We got there just after it opened and thoroughly enjoyed ten minutes on the 'hirundine bridge' that is the walkway that connects the reserve with the visitor centre, which was being buzzed by loads of Barn Swallows and House Martins, a last blush of summer. Also on the bridge a distant Meadow Pipit was outshone by a reasonably close perched Yellow Wagtail:

Another Beautiful Bird! While the reserve was quiet by the river the air was buzzing with dragonflies and there were still plenty of butterflies around including this Red Admiral, though it wouldn't oblige and display its wings:

We had a great weekend even though we were home by lunchtime on Sunday, Snettisham at high tide is great and we'll definitely be back. The Wryneck makes our UK list 227 and our life list 657 :)

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