Saturday, 17 September 2011

First Pinks

Thursday September 14
As we walked out to the car at 4.10 a.m. before driving to Heathrow for 6 weeks with the family in Australia, a skein of Pinkfeet flew, calling, overhead. Lovely.
I am writing a separate Blog for our trip as it's a family experience - with lots of birding of course.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Sea Watching

Tuesday September 13
Very strong wind still but from the wrong direction for a good Norfolk sea watch - NW is best. Couldn't resist a last look before flying out to Brisbane on Thursday.
We were awake early, had a look at Walcott and decided that Winterton was probably the best bet. Not having much time to spare, we didn't stay long but added two Red-throated Divers, several Guillemots and a Razorbill on the sea, close in. Further out, there was a steady trickle of Gannets and several Terns. No Skuas.........

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Not Much - one Goodie

Friday September 9
It was drizzling heavily at Roughton and the whole area looked well set for more. No Titchwell to-day, we turned back and drove to Buckenham Marshes. A pager message saying that Titch would be disturbed by ' unavoidable seasonal work' after mid-day was some vindication of the decision.
Buckenham was devoid of birds, all the pools were dry, that is, the Fisherman's car park and the Old Mill. A 100+ flock of Greylag, a smaller flock of Canadas and another of the feral Barnacles were the only birds on the marsh apart from an adult Peregrine Falcon sitting on one of the gates. That alone was worth the visit. I had fantastic scope views as it surveyed the scenery, occasionally cleaning its yellow feet.
Two Marsh Harriers sailing over Horsey Broad....We met Robin A who'd been sea watching from Horsey Gap seeing Bonxie and Arctic Skuas, Red-throated Diver, Guillemots, Whinchat and Wheatears. We saw nothing.... Pam walked the dunes to have a look at the sea whilst I scanned the car park.
Little Bittern reported at Titchwell this afternoon but no further reporting of the Cattle Egret and Buff-breasted Sandpiper we were hoping to see.

Friday, 2 September 2011

September 1


I was distinctly reluctant to get up this morning, the weather didn't help either - low grey overcast and cold. We eventully made it out by 8.15.
A paucity of birds too, we barely made it into double figures by Abbey farm - and missed Tree Sparrow to boot. Abbey was empty of both water and birds, Two smallish pools in the main area in front of the hide, no geese and no ducks. Amazing. We didn't linger long......
7.6 Spring Tide forecast for Snettisham to-day and we got there half an hour beforehand, at 8.30. The pools were full of birds of little variety, mostly Oystercatchers. The highlight was a Greenshank and a poorly looking Avocet. A couple of dozen Dunlin, Ringed Plover and a few Sanderling on the tideline and a single Little Stint which scattered before Pam could see it. My patience was short too, we didn't stay long here either although it was as lovely as ever.
The blackberries by the entrance gate helped lift the gloom..........
Scanning the apparently empty and calm sea at Hunstanton, I found two Great Crested Grebes, a few Sandwich Terns and a single Arctic Skua. The only other birds were six Black-headed Gulls.
At last, the sun appeared as we drove out to Holme NOA. Pam walked to the Obs to hand in our raffle tickets and money. I completed the Telegraph Code Words puzzle whilst she was away.........finding out that Jed had split with Sophie, the reason for his resignation. Old news to most I guess. Luckily Pam had also heard the Whimbrel and Chiffchaff.
Six Avocets and a Spoonbill on the Broadwater, the first of three different sightings of Spoonies to-day. A lone Spotted Redshank roosting on one leg to the right of the pool.
A very wet road at Thornham, the tide had been well over. A handsome Grey Plover stalked about on the mound and two Spoonbills, one asleep, the other flying. A 'first' for us at Thornham. The first Golden Plover flock of the Autumn distantly over the marsh.
We called in at Titchwell to buy next year's diary and, having read the record book, decided to walk out at Cley instead.
Sea watching off Coastguards first. What a penance. The sun had disappeared and it was very cold, I was sat with my fleece zipped up to my nose. After 20 minutes we'd added 3 Gannets and a few Common Terns. Back to the haven of the car.
Parking in the main Centre car park, we walked to Pat's Pool which had seven well scattered birders in situ. Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Lapwing (!), Gadwall, Shoveller, Mute Swan and Little Ringed Plover to add to the day list. Four more Spoonbills asleep at the back of the pool.
Surprisingly (as always!!) the species list was 77, many more than the impression we'd gained.

I decided not to take any more crap photos to-day, didn't take any at all in fact.