I was seawatching from the dunes this morning when a message came through on the Whatsapp group to say that Tariq Farooqi was watching one, maybe two Water Pipits from the Budge hide. Seawatching had been quiet so I headed straight there, Tariq was still there but wasn't seeing the birds. Shortly after I got there, a pipit flew - calling, like a water pipit. We got onto it just in front of the hide and watched it for a few minutes before all hell-broke loose when a Sparrowhawk arrived and scattered everything before flying off with a Starling.
Yesterday, Janet and I were at the timber screen when I heard a pipit calling and I said 'that sounds like Water Pipit' - we never saw it, then the hailstones came down and we headed home - probably was!
Water Pipit is my 177th species for the year on the patch and my first on the patch since March 2018. They became reasonably common for a couple of years on the Budge fields and then nothing...
I've done a couple of seawatches this weekend - both were pretty quiet. Today a couple of Great Northern Divers went north as did 26 Red-throats including a group of 15! Two Velvet Scoters were with the scoter flock and two flew north and there was a good count of 124 Sanderling on the beach. Two Great Northern Divers went through yesterday too, one in each direction.
No photos this week, it's been too dark!
The vocal Chiffchaff was still calling by the wooden screen this morning and through the week. A December Chiffchaff is always nice.