Friday, 26 January 2018

Coues's Arctic redpoll, Hazelwood Common

A trip to Suffolk this morning started with a visit to Hazelwood Common. Arriving at first light we were the only birders present. There had been no reports of the Arctic Redpolls presence for two days and we were hoping this was due to the awful weather conditions of the previous two days rather than the bird's disappearance. My optimism waned a little when I stepped out of the car to find the fields opposite the sailor's path had recently been ploughed. However, as I reached the bend on the path a small flock of Redpolls flew up from the field and perched in the hedges bordering the path. Almost immediately the Coues's was found among them! We watched the flock of 20-30 Redpolls for a couple of hours, picking out all three Redpolls Lesser, Mealy and Arctic among them. The Coues's regularly perched up in the hedges giving some nice views of the almost unstreaked white rump.

Coues's Arctic Redpoll

Mealy Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll

A walk towards Hazelwood Marshes located another flock of Redpolls with one maybe 2 more Mealy Redpolls among them. 

The hide overlooking Hazelwood marshes

A Glossy Ibis had been seen feeding in a flooded field at Eastbridge earlier in the morning. First seen on the 17th on Minsmere's West scrape, it had now relocated to this field and we had spotted it before we had even parked the car. After initially showing at close range it flew to the back of the field and remained distant throughout the rest of our brief visit. 

With limited time we made our way to Dunwich Heath searching for Dartford Warblers. Two were found after a short walk along the paths among the heather.

Dartford warbler

On route to Dunwich, we searched the fields along the whole length of Lymballs lane but failed to find the reported nine Bewick's Swans. 
A quick walk around Minsmere added another couple of year ticks with a Marsh Tit coming to feeders at the reserve centre and several Bearded Tits "pinging" from the reedbeds in front of the Bittern Hide.

Before leaving for home we drove along Lymballs lane once more in search of the Bewick's Swans and found them in a field opposite Charity farm.

Bewick's Swans

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