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May 10th

Following the school run I made a stop just west of the village to check the large beet field as it really does look prime for the attentions of a Dotterel or two. By this time the sun was beating down through a cloudless sky and a strong heat haze was shimmering across the ground. I soon latched onto a medium sized, long-legged bird as it ran a short distance across the dry soil right at the back of the field and my hopes soared. It was rather pale looking but I could make out a whitish brow above the eyes and it had a dark patch on it's lower belly in the region of it's legs. "Yes!" I thought to myself, but I needed better views to make a conclusive identification. I was a little concerned about the pale upperpart colouration, but knew that a dull male Dotterel could look quite pale, but as it continued to trundle up and down niggling doubts began to set in. It really should show a darker crown I thought and at one point, as the heat haze relented slightly, I could make out a small patch of dark feathering higher up the central breast. My choice of species was now changing and, as if to prove me correct, the bird flew a short distance to reveal black axillary feathering on the underwings; it was a Grey Plover, still mostly in winter plumage. I was left a tiny bit disappointed but as it was a new 2010 Happisburgh species for me all wasn't lost.

Bob and Keith happened to pull up just after this and we spent a few minutes catching up before heading for Cart Gap. We walked Doggetts Lane and reminisced of birding days gone by, it was good. One or two of Wheatears were noted here and a male and female Yellow Wagtail were briefly on the ground at the Decca site before flying further west. Other than a few Carrion Crows south and a few Linnets north it looked as if the bulk of any migration had ceased for the day. I walked Ossie out when I got home and saw nothing noteworthy other than a party of 21 Linnets feeding in the meadows behind Lower Farm.

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