Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll

Today, my wife Lori and I had a 300 mile round trip out to Suffolk from our home In Woking. We departed at 06:10am and arrived at RSPB Minsmere just after 09:30am. Weather remained good all day with only a few spots of rain; though the wind stayed with us for the duration of our visit. 

We started our day by checking the bushes near the north hide for a reported Penduline Tit, which from what we heard, was probably a misidentified bird. We did, however, get nice looks at Blackbird and Fieldfare feeding on berries. 

Though wind was not on our side, we did get a brief glimpse of Bearded Tits; pinging their way around the reed bed near the north wall. There was a good selection of dabblers to scan through at the east hide; represented by Shelduck, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall and Shoveler. Dispersed throughout were Lapwing and the occasional Dunlin. A family group of 7 Bewick's Swan were showing well. (2 adults and 5 juveniles). After checking the fields for geese we headed back toward the visitor center; retracing our steps,instead of cutting through the reed beds. Our last stop was at Bittern hide where we got a flyby BITTERN! Other species of note include Marsh Harrier, Marsh Tit and Siskin. 

I have recently signed up to Rare Bird Alert and my first experience has been fantastic. Checking the alert I noticed that the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll was still present at Aldeburgh: a twenty minute drive south of where we were. Twenty two minutes later we were looking at our first Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll! 

There were about 20 people already at the site with more arriving. This was day 2 for this rare northern breeder. It has possibly never been in contact with humans and it happily fed on seeds on the beach, literally feet away from the group.

Had a great day....

Weekly round-up by Rare Bird Alert including an article about the redpoll

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