Wednesday, 23 November 2011

On the road ...

The Topsham Red-breasted Goose appears diminutive alongside its dark-bellied Brent companions.

It's been a very busy few days, with brief trips to Scilly and Norfolk and scarcely a break in between, and the best part of a thousand miles clocked up en route. Part of the purpose of the Scilly visit was snipe photography, and some of the results will be seen in next month's Birdwatch with a photo-based identification special on Common and Wilson's Snipe. Very grateful to locals Kris Webb, Martin Goodey, Will Wagstaff and others for their help while on St Mary's, and also to my mate and October Scilly resident Steve Young for advice and help organising arrangements. The last day was stuffed with rarities, from Dusky and Yellow-browed Warblers on Scilly to Red-breasted Goose near Exeter on the way home and, best of all, Sharp-tailed and Spotted Sandpipers and two Long-billed Dowitchers at Chew Valley Lake.

One of at least 15 Waxwings in Holt, Norfolk, at the start of the week.
Two days later I was back in Norfolk, and though with little time for birding I couldn't resist stopping off in Holt to enjoy my first flock of Waxwings this season. This showy individivual was among at least 15 feasting on berries at Gresham's Prep School; will it be another 'Waxwing winter'?

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