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Nearctic sugar fun

As the fringes of the Kingdom seem to be filling up with Nearctic waders etc, it was time to get to the Sugar Factory at Cantley in case something rare dropped in.

It had, funnily enough. On the sticky wader pit, a scan revealed not the expected one but four Pectoral Sandpipers, feeding along the edge. One was rather small and tricked us for a while, mainly because we were dreaming of Long-toed Stints. Then three decided to fly off, leaving one posing for us. A gripping afternoon.






Equinox birding in Norfolk

An afternoon visit to Breydon to coincide with the high tide wader roost which resulted in some great views of raptors stirring everything up. I arrived to find a swirling mass of waders in the air, and setting eyes on a Falcon tearing through the air I expected Peregrine, yet it turned out to be an adult Hobby that clearly thought it was able could catch some wader prey instead of its typical dragonfly snacks. It caught nothing, yet twice it shot around the saltmarsh, reshuffling the pack and scaring off any small waders that might be lurking! A real Peregrine appeared a short while later, stood on the mud before confidently headed elsewhere, and a juvenile Merlin appeared on a post just in front of the hide. Hard to digiscope due to the stiff south-westerly, pictures weren’t so great


Apart from the carnivores, there were 5 Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, and nice views of hundreds of commoner waders.

News came of a Snow Bunting at UEA,  (just 1000m from home!), so I headed back to town and found this little beauty eating dandelion seeds  on a tiny lawn between the crags of the new blocks there. How odd!

Buff-breasted Sandpipers

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Loop Head 9th Sept 2011:

This was one of a flock of five found on short grass right by the sea just along from Loop Head. Initially the birds (or at least four B-b S) were picked up in flight in a flock of Ringed Plovers that were flying over calling. I heard the flock as I was trying to record Choughs, and merely lifted my microphone to record the vocal Ringed Plovers without bothering to look at the flock! Luckoly, after a search we found the quintet and had crippling views. And this came after Keith found one at the seawatch place, clearly just arrived from North America.

Sabine’s Gull 07.09.11

A juvenile Sabine’s Gull, one of over a hundred seen passing the Bridges of Ross on a four day sea-watching trip to the west of Ireland.

Welcome to the new face of ‘Shortwing’!

So, here it is! After many years of neglect, the old Shortwing is dead, long live the new Shortwing! The old site was primarily a vehicle for selling my sound recordings, but that has now gone the way of the ark, as most sounds are freely available somewhere online, so the new site aims to keep it simple with photos, links to my sound recordings on xeno-canto, trip reports and a blog. Thanks to Will for his hard work on the design, and thanks to Ramki Sreenivasan for permission to use his photo for the logo.