The view from 'The Observatory' at Welney WWT, Norfolk - can you spot the WILSON'S PHALAROPE?.... Nah me neither!
Here it is! A splendid first winter WILSON'S PHALAROPE just about to get 'ruffed' up whilst 'widgeoned' in between two ducks.
Photo kindly provided by Matthew Deans
It was a toss up today between a trip to Essex for a SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER or a slightly shorter twitch to Norfolk for a WILSON'S PHALAROPE. With 'school run' duties and a new windscreen to be fitted there was no way I could do both birds in a day. With none of the usual suspects willing to join me, I opted for the easier option of Welney WWT. I arrived just after opening time and headed straight down to view the main lagoon. Within a few minutes I was scoping a first winter WILSON'S PHALAROPE (283) as it fed at pace amongst a flock of roosting Eurasian Wigeon and Greylag Geese. This transatlantic vagrant was a most welcome addition to the old year list and completed a nice hat trick of Norfolk Phalarope species this year following the Red-necked Phalarope and Grey Phalarope I was lucky enough to see at Kelling at the end of September.
Other sightings included 2 Barnacle Geese (feral), 3 Northern Pintail, Marsh Harrier, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Common Snipe, 8 Dunlin and 2 Little Stint.