.Left the hotel and almost forgot my bins this afternoon, had an inkling this was some sort of sign! So news of a Lesser Yellowlegs in the general area had me scratching my head about where the ‘rocky pool’ and ‘Blakeney Channel’ could be. Decided that the Morston area would be the best bet and as I walked along the mussel beds, it was suddenly immediately obvious what ‘rocky pool’ was being elluded to. No Yellowlegs but absolutely delighted to see that the Spotted Redshank has yet again returned and was as usual giving stunning views. Another decent wader was added when I had a Whimbrel flying along the inside side of the main harbour. The tide was in so shanks were going to be few and far between, but this would mean it would be a good chance to scan for any kind of seabird in the harbour. Got a decent return too with a Great Crested Grebe and a single Guillemot, the later actually a patch tick, since auks flying offshore are generally too distant to ascribe to species.
Another look at the Spotted Redshank on the way back, roosting, with legs tall and close together and looking very stilt-like. What then followed was one of those incredibly lucky encounters that will last forever in the memory. As I slowly pedalled back along the coastal path, I caught sight of an Owl working its way along the bank towards me. I could see that there were two other birders on the bank who had presumably flushed it, hoping it was the now long absent Barn Owl, got it in the bins and could see that there was too much brown on it – great a Short-eared. At the same time slight panic because it was heading straight towards me. Ok, think fast Pom! I dropped my bike and ditched myself belly down on the other side of the bank, occasionally catching glimpses of it as it rose above the bank. I knew if this worked out there would be no need for bins. I slowly inched forward and then it happened, it hadn’t seen me at all and flew virtually within touching distance just the other side of the bank, hovering for a while when it drew level with me, every wonderful streak on its head visible. Over twenty years of birding and this is the best moment with a SEO I have ever had!
I then met up with the other birders and this was nice too, slowly walking back to the village talking about birdy stuff, the images I had just seen still alive in my head.