Sunday, 20 April 2014

Dotterel and Ring Ouzel, Kessingland

It was another grey day in east Norfolk today and, with a wind whipping in off the North Sea, rather a chilly one too. A bright spot was news of a Dotterel at Kessingland Beach so with all quiet on the marshes I trundled over there this afternoon. The Dotterel was easily found in the vast expanse of shingle by looking for the small group of birders huddled against the wind. The massed ranks of dog walkers were thankfully sticking to the landward side of the beach leaving the Dotterel undisturbed in the middle.
Whilst I was there it spent all its time sat down on the shingle resting, only occasionally opening its eye for a quick look around. Without the other birders already there, it would have been very difficult to find!

With the Dotterel seemingly glued to the one spot, I walked over the dunes towards the sluice in search of the Ring Ouzels that were there. I quickly saw two including a superb spring male feeding with Starlings by one of the many paths that crossed the rough ground. The birds were very skittish, not helped by frequent disturbance from Sunday walkers using the area, flying back and forth from the line of bushes inland across to the rough brambly areas just inside the dunes and only occasionally lingering on the short grassy areas. However they were still easy to see unlike many other Ring Ouzels I've looked for in the past. I saw at least 3 birds in total, male and female and also some smart spring Wheatears, my first of the year.

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