Eight members chose the dry but chilly weather to visit this fabulous reserve rather than stay at home where as I understand it, the weather was not so kind.
We benefitted enormously from the fact that there was a particularly high tide peaking at about 08:40 that morning and thus driving thousands of waders onto the scrapes. (Sea water had got as far as the sea wall in places which is unusual.) As the sea receded, many of the waders returned to The Wash providing a dramatic change between morning and afternoon viewing with few waders after lunch although still one special species remained.
59 species were seen during the day, the best of which, in no particular order were:
Great White Egret 1, Spoonbill 1, at least 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Greenshank, 9 Little
Stint, a Grey Plover, 1 Sandwich Tern, a Whooper Swan, Yellow Wagtails and a couple of
Wheatear. However, it was the shear numbers of quite common waders which was probably the most impressive feature of the visit. There were literally several thousand Black-tailed Godwits creating an evocative background sound with their chattering
(probably discussing where they were going to go for breakfast), hundreds of Dunlin and Ringed Plover and one visitor counted 80 Linnets. Added to this, there were quite a few Swifts still about and all the hirundines plus a large flock of Goldfinch which would rise en masse from the thistles as you passed. As you walked along the sea wall, it was fabulous to have House Martins drifting past at head height in the strong wind and only a few feet away.
And then there were the other animals!
In spite of missing out on the Wood and Pectoral Sandpipers, which remained stubbornly elusive, we had a wonderful time and if you get the chance to go in the next week or two it could prove a worthwhile experience.
The good photos were provided by the proper photographers on the trip – the rubbish ones were digiscoped!