16th December – Anyone care for a Hornemann’s?

Posted: December 20, 2012 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , , , , , ,

With the discovery of a Hornemann’s Arctic Redpoll on Saturday 8th December in Aldeburgh, Suffolk came a dilemma, should we go or not. It is one of those splits that recent information tells us to have a look at and you will be amazed, we were not disappointed. After a bit of a delay for football, works party etc a trip was organized for Sunday 16th myself, Steve K and one of our friends from York, Nigel Stewart.
At this point I must mention the passing of another of our birding comrades, Andy Booth. He will be sorely missed by us all on this side of the Pennines. Amongst our team Andy was the “best” birder of us all. Rest in peace Andy.
Steve K met me in Milnrow at 4:00am and we met Nigel at Fairburn and away we went reaching Aldeburgh at around 8:30am. About 50 hopfull birders here. Just a Woodcock of note on the way down. No news of the bird as yet and an American Buff Bellied Pipit in London was also in the sights of birders present. At around 9:00am the bird was found and we enjoyed watching it for well over an hour as it showed down to about 4 feet!! Even I managed to take some pictures of the bird, what a gem! Next stop was Dunwich Heath, which overlooks RSPB Minsmere. We were enjoying the winter sunshine and searching for Dartford Warblers (thanks Nigel for suggesting this) At first only little flights and call’s but eventually the birds sat out and gave nice views, a Chiff-Chaff was also on the heath and a few Stonechats. On the sea we saw Common Scoter, Red Throated Diver and a small raft of Pintails. While we was driving away. a small flock of Waxwings landed in a hedge right next to our car. Never been here before,must come back again though. With the shorter days we decided to stay in the area and visited RSPB North Warren near Aldeburgh. We searched in vain for the 2 Bean Geese that had been present in the morning. However we managed to see, 3 Red Breasted Geese – we know know these are escapes – but not then. 6 White Fronted Geese and great views of a male Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine Falcon that made all the smaller birds leave the water and take to the air, without ending up in the talons. Lots of Barnacle Geese and a few Brent Geese and lots of ducks present on these flooded areas. As the light began to fade we headed back to the car and headed home. Special mention to Steve K for doing all the driving – all 565 miles ,mostly in the dark as well, tar Steve.We reached Milnrow by 7:45pm and someone had stuck a pizza to my windscreen,what a waste!DSCN5806

DSCN5835 DSCN5836 20-12-2012 08-43-17 20-12-2012 08-51-27 20-12-2012 08-48-14 20-12-2012 08-47-03 20-12-2012 08-46-09 20-12-2012 08-45-38 DSCN5851DSCN5682 Lesser_RedpollRegards,
Dave O.

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