Saturday, 4 August 2012

Alpine Swift, Norfolk

A quick check on the weather and Norfolk is looking likely to be a good location. News of an Alpine Swift still present in the Sheringham area seems like a good starting point.
The two hour drive turns into two and a half hours when we find out the M11 is closed due to an accident. Brian wastes no time in finding the general area and very soon after leaving the car calls the bird as it flies directly over his head.
Alpine Swift
I'd bought the scope with me, Thinking we may well have to be satisfied with distant views of the bird. But it's flying around directly over our heads, So I quickly ditch the scope for the camera and manage to grab a few record shots.
There's Common Swifts in the air with the Alpine, and it gives a great chance to check out the size comparison between the two species. The Alpine looking huge compared to the Common Swift.
Well pleased with bagging the Swift we move on to Cley.
We visit the Swarovski and Dauke hides looking for the Little Stint that was reported the previous day. We have no luck locating it but do see plenty of Ruff, Black-tailed Godwits, and Little Ringed Plover. There's also a single Common Sandpiper and four each of Green Sandpiper and Greenshank present. A count of nine Spoonbill are also seen. The Spoonbills were doing what they always seem to be doing. Sleeping or preening. In the adjoining fields there's a flock of thirteen Whimbrel and a single Curlew.
With no sign of the Stint we decide to try our luck at Titchwell. From the first hide we pick out large numbers of Golden Plovers along with plenty of Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits and a single Dunlin.
The second hide produces a smart looking Curlew Sandpiper, plenty more Ruff a single Yellow Wagtail and another six Spoonbills. There's also two Little Gulls present and a Spotted Redshank.
We head for home without adding the Little Stint , But well satisfied with the views of the Alpine Swift earlier in the day.
Another great day birding, having avoided almost all of the rain showers and spending the day at two of Norfolk's top birding locations. 

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