A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

High tide roost at Snetts

I had a day off on Wednesday 30th September and decided to head to Snettisham for the high tide roost.  An early start was required to get there for the recommended time but I overslept and arrived later than intended.  As I walked down towards the hide I could see the last of the waders coming off the wash and on to the pits.  Not a good start, missing them coming off the Wash, but at least I'd be able to see them roosting and heading back out to the Wash.

high tide, Snettisham, 30th September

I stopped off on the way down to photograph this Eider.  I've rarely seen beached Eiders in Norfolk and suspect this one was sick.  Mind you, it's perfectly normal for them to rest on land further north so not sure why it shouldn't be here too.

Eider, Snettisham, 30th September

Little Egret, Snettisham, 30th September

From the hide the spectacle was great - Oystercatchers covering one shore but the moving carpet of Knot (among other things) was fun to watch. 

Oystercatchers, Snettisham, 30th September

Knots, Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits, Snettisham, 30th September

Knots, Snettisham, 30th September

 Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot, Snettisham, 30th September

I tried hard to pick out something more unusual among the hordes of birds but struggled to find anything remotely unusual.  I eventually picked out 3 Greenshank and there was a flock of 8 Spotted Redshank away from the main flocks.  A Kingfisher showed and a Short-eared Owl did so very briefly.

 Spotted Redshanks, Snettisham, 30th September

As the tide turned the hide emptied.  I should have taken that as my cue, but with thousands of birds still on the pits I figured I had enough time to sift through them before heading out to look at the swirling around on the Wash.  Once I admitted defeat on that front I headed out of the hide expecting to find the water still pretty high, albeit going down, and huge and impressive flocks of birds swirling around the Wash, the spectacle Snettisham is so well known for.  What I actually found was that the tide had gone down far more than I imagined was possible in what seemed like no time (but in hindsight probably was much longer than I'd realised) and all the waders were tiny dots about a mile away, happily feeding away and not flying around at all.

So all in all a bit disappointing.  But at least I know for next time - get there in good time and don't stick around in the hide for too long!

Long-tailed Tit, Snettisham, 30th September

Other days this week were spent at work, getting out only at lunch times when I failed to find anything of note.

Blue Tit, Thornham, 28th September

Little Grebes, Thornham, 28th September

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