Friday, 29 November 2013

Purple heron!

Yesterdays guided walk at Titchwell was one of the most memorable I have led.....

We're just half an hour into the walk, looking at the throng of waders on Thornham Pool when I turn around and see a heron flying towards us from the east.

Raising my bins to check the bird I say to the group "You should always look closely at herons, one day you might get lucky and find a Purple....." stopping mid-sentence, I check the features again, "....PURPLE HERON!!" The bank echoes with my scream!

Fortunately, the bird is fairly close and I manage to get all the folk on the walk (and several passers-by) on to it. A young lad is jumping up and down like he's just scored the winner at Wembley! What a start....

It's not long before we've added a nice barn owl, marsh harrier and had crippling looks at ruff, common snipe, dunlin and black-tailed godwit.

Moving on to Island hide, water rail and yellow-legged gull soon fall along with scope-filling views of more waders and wildfowl. The flock of 2500 golden plovers live up to the translation of their Latin name as they repeatedly take to the air before landing again just like a shower of golden raindops in the weak afternoon sun.

Further along the path, we jam in on a ringtail hen harrier and I get a chance to finish the 'Godwit ID' class with both bar and black-tailed side by side for comparison.

I'd promised Thomas, the young lad on the walk, some divers and sea-duck action on the beach but unusually the sea is quiet and he has to be content with brief and distant views of a single red-throat and a couple of common scoter.

Soon we are back down the path and score again with a handful of late marsh harriers, barn owl and finally two thousand pink-footed geese coming in to roost at Thornham Point.

Not a bad tally for just short of three hours birding!

No comments:

Post a Comment