Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Snettisham - Wader Spectacular

We had timed our visit to Norfolk this year to try and make sure that we would see the Wader Spectacular at the Snettisham RSPB reserve, their website gives all the dates of the high tides when this may happen, of course nothing is guaranteed, bit there was one spell where it might occur 3 days on the trot (28/2, 01/03 & 02/03) so we thought that would give us 3 chances while we were there, so we headed that way after our visit to Sculthorpe Moor ensuring plenty of time to walk from the Car Park to the best viewing point.

I have to say it was really sad to see all the damage from the earlier surge tides as we approached the viewing area, wrecked hides and destroyed paths and banks, lets hope given time and money that the RSPB can restore it to as it was.

Anyway back to the Waders. The tide was still a way out when we arrived, but the large numbers of Godwits, Dunlin, Oystercatchers, Knot and Avocets were evident in the distance on the mud flats. So plenty of time for a coffee in the one remaining (but very busy) hide before the main event.

As the tide came in the birds were constantly getting up and repositioning onto the remaining mud, except for the Shelduck, who generally just waddled along as the tide pushed them back.

As time went on and the mud area became smaller the huge flocks of Waders rose more frequently, it was better than any murmuration that we have ever seen and the noise just added to the whole experience.

It was brilliant couple of hours and I would recommend it to anyone, just go to the RSPB website and look up the details of dates and times on the Snettisham Reserve page.

Our day wasn't done though, we headed back and stopped in the hide for a cuppa, before the final walk back to the car and the drive back to the digs. Of course you have to keep watching and there was a bird on the lagoon that at first glance we thought was a Little Grebe, but then I thought the neck is to long, so we gave it a closer look and found we had a Black-necked Grebe, a lifer for all four of us. It was getting pretty dark now, but I had to try for some record shots and got one that isn't to awful!

So four very happy people headed back to the car.

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