Day 4 - Sheringham Sea Front:
Today, we decided to go sea watching - the first proper sea watch for me - as ex-hurricane Gonzalo would hopefully bring in some good pelagic birds. So after a lie in (of only half an hour!) we set off for Sheringham - "arguably the best sea watching spot in the county". As there were good strong winds blowing onshore, we thought that there might be little space left in the shelters on the promenade, but as it happens we were the first there. We set up the scopes and had nice views of a single Sanderling with a Ringed Plover and some Turnstones on the sand below us. I went down onto the shingle to see if they would come closer for some good photographs, but the birds were quite shy, so I gave up.
Unfortunately, our seabird identification isn't great, so some dark birds that flew east way off in the distance got by unidentified, but we could make out some Gannets, a single Brent Goose, and of course the Greater Black-backed Gulls that sauntered past. However, soon more people showed up, with much better seabird knowledge, and soon we were getting Guillemots/Razorbills, Red-throated Divers, Kittiwakes and my 5th lifer of the trip; Pomarine Skuas! A guy in the shelter had a Sooty/Manx Shearwater, I'm not sure what his decision was as to the species, but as I didn't see it, I'm not really bothered! Shortly after, we got Great Skuas quite frequently, and an Arctic Skua - this was amazing considering that I had never seen a Skua before today! Two Knots flew west, and my granddad told us afterwards that he had a Manx Shearwater quite close in.
All of these species were way too distant for photography, but I did notice a Turnstone land on the promenade near to the shelter, so I grabbed the camera and headed slowly towards it. It was very unconcerned by my presence, and after a few minutes it allowed me within a couple of metres of it! I was so annoyed though because the camera battery was dying, so I couldn't concentrate fully on getting a great shot, but here's what I did manage to get:
I'm Sorrel, a young birder and wildlife artist based in the East Midlands - this is my blog all about my birding and wildlife adventures.