Another early start with a straightforward cruise eastwards. Following a rather forgettable experience dipping last week, I was keen to get back and have another go at what might be one of Britain's last-ever Cat A Lesser White-fronted Geese. This adult has fortuitously returned to the Yare Valley - last year I was very blasé about this bird and dismissed it (probably no help done by good old LGRE), only realising too late that Taiga Beans have traditionally acted as a carrier species for LWFG and that this bird, realistically, is about as good as it gets.
Anyway, I digress. It was a much more pleasant morning than the one I visited on last week, with the day dawning to clear skies and light winds - pretty cold though. A scan east from the railway revealed the Taiga Bean flock was present towards the northeast end of the marsh, so I steamed around to the old windpump, avoiding several groups of dawdling day-listers en route. Basically, it didn't take too long to find the LWFG which was, as usual, keeping tight to the Taigas and ignoring a nearby contingent of some 80 or so Euro White-fronts. Distance was a problem though: the birds were feeding pretty much on the railway line so were absolutely miles from any public right of way. Must have been good views from the passing trains though, which regularly spooked the flock into a spectacular fast-waddle away from the line. Light was great, too - I must say I enjoyed the bird alot more than I had anticipated. Photographic opportunities were at a minimum due to sheer distance and some early morning heat haze causing pretty bad image distortion, but here are my efforts.
The Lesser White-front was then spooked and flew off north of the railway line a short while before 09:00 with a small group of Taigas, so I decided to leave the site (via a pleasant chat with Andy and Vicky) and head up to nearby Ranworth Broad.
Being a Bank Holiday, the visitor centre at Ranworth was shut so viewing was pretty limited from the adjacent boardwalk. The female Ring-necked Duck nevertheless showed on and off when it emerged from behind vegetation.
Ring-necked Duck through trees.
On the way home I called in at Dogsthorpe Tip, where there were about 200 large gulls but nothing interesting. The tip needs to get working again.