Thursday, 28 January 2016

Three Target Species at Jaywick and St Osyth

16th January 2016

Time for a reminiscent return to Jaywick and St Osyth where I spent 6 weeks a year as a child and learnt much of my early birding, armed with just an Observers Book of Birds and no binoculars. The day started at St Osyth Beach where Target Species No 1 was a reasonably long-staying juvenile Glaucous Gull. As soon as we pulled into the car park I popped my head over the sea wall and there it was, so breakfast was put on hold.

At first it was sitting on rocks with the sun in an awkward position, but then it kindly flew on to the beach which was far more photographic-friendly. I started snapping away as I edged close and eventually got with 20 yards allowing some nice lose-up shots.

When it did eventually fly its enormous size made it difficult to fit it all into the frame and I had to wait until it was a bit further way before getting some shots.

Now on to Jaywick for Target Species No 2, the Snow Bunting. Up to seven birds had be present for a few weeks but were frequently being reported as "mobile", which didn't sound too good. We soon found the flock and I was amazed to see just how settled they were and totally comfortable with our presence. After time we were able to get within 10 yards of the flock and just 5 yards from one particular individual.

So finally on to Target Species No 3, the Dartford Warbler also at Jaywick, which seemed to be quite skulking when it first arrived but was now showing quite frequently, albeit briefly. This made photography very difficult, but after about an hour I did manage to get a couple of shots of it buried deep in some Sea Buckthorn. What a fantastic day some 60 years on from those earlier informative years. I certainly didn't realise then that I would be photographing Snow Buntings and a Dartford Warbler on that same beach!!!

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