Sunday, 9 December 2012

Aldeburgh (09 December 2012)

Sunday 9 December:  Went to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast with John King where the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll gave superb views.  Perhaps not the crowd we'd anticipated but still some welcome faces I knew, not least John & Doreen Cooper (David & Brenda having found one on Unst some year's ago)!  I took almost 525 images which I've finally sorted.  They are a mixture of digiscoped and DSLR although more of the former it was often a bit too close but moving back only invited others to stand in front and restrict my view.  Joys of twitching!  My favourites follow:

superb feather edgings and fluffy body feathers, if only it had turned its head at this moment ...
this image captures the contrasting buffy wash to head and face 
a thin dark top to the yellow bill was quite noticeable
at times its bulk wasn't that evident ...
... at others it looked inflated
the restricted red crown patch and thin lack line down the top of the ill are obvious in this image as is the body bulk
an amazingly confiding bird perhaps experiencing its first encounter with humans, who it mainly ignored
head on the inverted triangular black face showed well
bath time
very white underparts with minimal streaking on the flanks and none on the undertail
zebra striped back
both stunning and subtle

very impressive even when partially obscured
the contrasting buffy face was quite obvious, as were long wings and tail
most likely the best bird I've seen in the UK this year

Saturday 8 December:  Cycled around Shoreham to Shoreham Fort and Widewater checking the usual areas and hoping to encounter some Waxwings but no joy.  There were several duck species on the sea off Widewater but their distance and the bright sun made most of them little better than silhouettes.    Those identified were 6 Gadwall, 27 Teal, 120 Common Scoter and 3 Red-breasted Mergansers.  The 5 young Mute Swans were also on the sea, perhaps their parents were encouraging them to leave.  A pair of Wigeon were on the creek at New Salts Farm and a North Thames Herring Gull by the Fort but was flushed before it could be digiscoped.  

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