Having the day off today I was slightly torn between going birding on the North coast (wind looked good) or go to Boyton.
5.30am and Boyton was on the menu for the morning, I managed to get there for about 7.30, just in time to catch the first good rays of sun striking the bird.
Needless to say it was crane like and a new British bird for me, I didnt go last Sunday because it was hot, the roads were busy and for some unknown reason Sandhill Crane didn't quite 'do it' for me. As I say quite odd but if it had been an equivalent mega passerine I'd have been there in a shot, its possibly got something to do with the fact that I see cranes quite frequently and 'ours' are better looking, I dont know!
Still it seems as though I managed to jam into seeing it on its last morning at Boyton? The bird flew around at 10.30 and flew off South. How often do good birds turn up on a Sunday and leave the following Friday, must be very annoying for those who 'need' birds.
After having my fill of the crane, staying for about 2 hrs, I headed to Minsmere as I have not been since Feb. Turns out it was a bit of a waste of time, very little there on the scrapes apart from the usual common species and the woodland and lagoon loops were not passable as a circuit, I should have checked the website. The trails are closed due to urgent sea defence work, so all for a good cause . There was a small flock of Godwits, Dunlin, 6 Avocets and small duck numbers but apart from that the lagoons were pretty empty (save for dodgy geese). Most of the visitors were enjoying all the bird identification challenges, the Red breasted geese and Barnacles made most peoples day despite being as plastic as the Roller in Cambs! I do love overhearing identifications in the hides, always brings a smile to my face, we all start somewhere.
I walked from the sluice to the power station and managed to see 3 chiffchaffs, 2 goldcrests and one long tailed tit who had lost its friends, positive mental attitude was hard to keep up when looking at very little. There were a few Wheatears on the beach, all juvs, which livened up the walk a little and it reached a crescendo when I saw 2 Bonxies .
So as days go it was very good in as much as I got a mega Nearctic crane, possibly on its last day of showing, however the lack of drift migrants in East Anglia is begining to get annoying, surely I wont an autumn without seeing a Yellow Browed Warbler!
Some poor pics of the crane below, dont enlarge them, it was about 600m away, good through the scope not the lens....excuses..