Sunday, 29 December 2013


Today Wanstead went west.  Jono, Bob, Tim and (occasional Wanstonian) David B got up early today, which wasn't a coincidence.  It was deliberate. I would go as far as to say a well hatched plan, which ran remarkably smoothly achieving virtually all it's goals and bestowing much enjoyment on its participants.

Yay tick fest.

First stop a bit of auk-ogling at Portland where a Brunnich's... oh you heard about it!

Well that's nearly where the wheels fells off.  An hour in and no star attraction.  Picked up the Tystie, and a number of GN Northern and BT Diver, some showy mergs doing display and BN Grebe, but no Brunny.  With a few score looking it wasn't too long before it was called tucked up just below the castle.  While the more unrestrained rushed off to get closer views, we waited for THE shot in the calm sunny water before us.  And we waited.  It just wasn't going to happen, so eventually we all made our way round the castle to the closest bit of quay to the bird.  Stonker!

Next up on the trip list was a Glossy Ibis at Radipole. A Glossy Ibiszzzz, surely not?

Hear me out.

This one was being ridiculous....

From there we bombed round to Brixham, Devon and for me to lose bragging rights on White-billed Diver, duly picked up in the harbour, not showing well.  Or rather showing well but too bloody far to bother using the camera.  The Turnstones that scampered along the sea wall got that treatment, and were probably birds of the day. That prize could have gone to the accommodating Shag just below the breakwater, but a nasty growth on its lower bill is a bit of a turnoff.

Another Tystie off-shore, along with a female Long-tailed Duck and loads more divers (No Red-throats though) got me some Devon ticks.  Then as the weather looked set to change, we just had time to nip up the road for the Cyril Bunting, a couple of Sibe Chiffies at Broadsands before we had to get back to London before we all turned into pumpkins.

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