Friday March 16
Grey, overcast - and absolutely freezing at Gore Point, Holme. We managed 20 minutes of misted scope, running eyes and nose, before making a hasty retreat to the car. The only reward was a pair of Mergansers and a Shag.
A drop-in to Thornham en route to Titchwell (again), where the pager announced that there was a pair of Garganey at North Wooton. Just up the road !!
We set the SatNav (Cynthia), and she took us very directly via an enjoyably traffic free, cross country route to North Wooton. It took half an hour at the most - we did divert via Wolferton Triangle, no sight nor sound of Golden Pheasant. I downloaded the British Birds app. onto my IPad recently, the bird calls are really good.
We found the Red Cat Hotel in the very pleasant village of N Wooton, drove west and found the 'river'. Looked like a canal/dyke to me. There was a small pull-in the other side of the bridge, where we stopped and walked, to immediately view a rather distant and actively feeding pair of Garganey. Always close together, Teal nearby to compare size. I tried a few digiscope shots before returning to the car's warmth once more.
I can't recall seeing an earlier pair in Norfolk. Excellent, one of my favourite ducks.
News of Wheatear at Cley sent us directly east, Cynthia came up trumps again. We drove along Beach Road and there was a splendid male Wheatear feeding in the Eye Field. He was very active - we couldn't see any goose bumps - bet he wished he hadn't come. A chat with David (Geordie), he'd reported it, a turn round in the car park and the bird was using roadside posts as a jump-off. A passing car spooked it and it flew into the field again, a chance for some more distant pics.
Not a good photo but, the best I could manage in the weather/distance with my equipment. (Note to self. I'm always making excuses, must stop).
Another very early Norfolk migrant for us - we usually see ChiffChaff first. We happened to be in the right area for the early birds to-day.