Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Stilted and Stunned!

Really, for the past month, Will has been feeling especially unlucky, with his patch not really performing the way it should and over all being unable to get to Norfolk when the migrants were flooding in. Yesterday on the kind invitation of Chris Orders, Will ended up in Norfolk for the afternoon, at Titchwell in northerly winds when clearly any passage wasn't on the cards and the chances of finding something good were slim.

Luck would have it though, that Josh rang Will just as they were starting out the walk to the beach, "You do know there's a Stilt Sand at Burnham Norton don't you?" "What? No! You are joking aren't you?". He wasn't, and Chris and Will made there were rather quickly to the spot that saw Josh and Will add Issy Shrike and Dick's Pipit on their lists back in 2003.

Running to the spot, Chris and Will managed a good five minutes or so of brilliant views wonderfully lit, but unfortunately it was just out the range of DSLR, though if JJ was about he would have nailed it digiscoping.


Stilt Sandpiper, Burnham Norton, Norfolk | © William Bowell

Thinking he had all the time in the world to take decent photos, Will didn't check his settings and unfortunately most of his photos came out dark and were on the wrong settings! After five minutes of watching it the bird flew up and away with 4 Dunlin, it seemed to be going high, but then came down further along the coast. It looked like it came down on the pool that held Blue-winged Teal a few days before, so we decided to go and have look for both, with the Stilt Sand relocated but unsurprisingly no sign of the Teal.

As we were walking back news reached us that the bird had gone again! Bugger!

Will really does need to thank Josh for his call, for if we had waited for the text alert to come through we would not have had the views we got of such an ace bird, or worse still could have missed it- thanks JJ (just a shame he never got a chance to see it, but I hope it will be relocated)!

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