Monday, 10 November 2014
Desert Wheatear at Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk
I have decided to do a couple of posts regarding the Desert Wheatears on the east coast due to the sheer number of images that I have of the birds. They will be posted in the order that I saw the birds, so this first post will show the female that was present at Gorleston-on-Sea.
I started the day with plans to go and see the rather showy male that was at Lowestoft in Suffolk and so left the house looking forward to a nice autumnal day with sunshine and no wind and images in my mind of a nice confiding male Desert Wheatear and after seeing that I would make the short trip to Gorleston-on-Sea to see the female. This was not how it panned out.
The rain started falling upon reaching Kings Lynn and as the journey progressed the rain became heavier, the roads more flooded and to top it all, upon reaching Lowestoft there were road works everywhere, with roads closed and even worse, the bird had not been reported! I was growing more and more frustrated and so upon checking Birdguides I saw that the female bird had been reported at Gorleston and so I decided to cut my losses and go for this bird first.
I arrived at the birds location, Pier Gardens, parked up and saw 3 more birders through the rain and gloom looking around, I assumed for the bird. There was no sign! We carried on regardless, walking further along the promenade when the lady amongst us saw the bird on the beach. Hurrah! It wasn't looking too happy to say the least, being extremely wet and shabby looking, but she was seen feeding and didn't seem too perturbed about our presence. I managed some okay shots considering the conditions, with the bird being pretty confiding, more interested in feeding than with my ugly mug looking at her.
I went back to the van in order to dry out and have a drink where I checked Birdguides and saw that the male at Lowestoft had now been reported as being present and so I dried out a bit and then made my journey south where the male Desert Wheatear was awaiting me with hopefully better weather!