It didn't rain, it wasn't too hot but........it was windy.
Pam woke me at 5.30 having been up since 5a.m., said she couldn't sleep. We both spent much of the rest of the day trying to stay awake !
We started well with a Grey Wagtail at Ebridge, the first we've seen there all year. A Sedge Warbler produced a muted song from the small reed-bed, no sign of the Mute Swan pair and hanger-on.
Tree Sparrow and Great Spotted Woodpecker at Harpley, Song Thrush on a verge, breakfast at Abbey farm. The high water level has caused the Kingfisher nesting bank to collapse, no nest this year. Last year it was lack of water causing the spring to dry up.
The Little Owl was hard to find. The trunk base is completely concealed by nettles but I adjusted my eyes to the bright sunlight into which we were looking and spotted a brown blob on a shaded branch near the nesting box. It's head moved..........
No need to stop at Hunstanton Cliffs, Fulmar and 'Rock Dove' ticked off from the car. The road to Holme has been re-surfaced, thank goodness, still those hideous, placed at a slant, road humps though. A pair of Stonechats was the highlight on the track out, plus a singing Lesser Whitethroat. Very little on Broadwater, a few Common Redshanks and a cluster of Avocets, well grown young amongst them.
A 6cm long caterpillar photographed on the path out to the hide is yet to be identified.
We found an empty, backless bench overlooking the fresh-marsh pool at Titchwell, set up our scopes and enjoyed the surveying. Monday seems to be oldies day, all other benches were occupied and/or surrounded by scope peering birders. Fewer Knot to-day, someone estimated 5k at the weekend. Amassed on the exposed mud islands, there seems to be no room to put a piece of paper between them, then other birds join them and slot in without so much as a ruffled feather. Plenty of Black-tailed Godwits too.
I saw only 3 Little Gulls to-day and one black Spotted Redshank in the far right corner of the pool. Another 4 winter plumaged Spot Reds slept beside a small pool on the western Freshmarsh itself. One Marsh Harrier. We returned to the car park via the Fen Trail where the Marsh Orchids were still blooming amongst very tall grasses and ragged Robin.
A Reed Warbler sang from the Water Vole pond, no sign of the latter to-day.
Walking down the grassy path at Choseley eventually produced a Corn Bunting and several more Common Whitethroats.
Brancaster Staithe, as usual, for lunch and Little Tern, enough space on the mound for us to watch the tide slowly receding and the first ever sighting of a large fishing boat leaving via the mussel fisher's channel. Pam took a quick pic out of her window.
Cley Beach for Sandwich Terns and Meadow Pipit, Salthouse for the inevitable ice-cream, home via Gunton lake for Great Crested Grebe. Will we ever see one of the reported Red Kites in the area? We did see a family of four Great Spotted Woodpeckers on an approach lane.
To-day's big miss (es) in the 85 total ? Robin. Pam gripped me off, she saw one in the garden this morning. The early bird .......
Apart from Pam's, all photos were digiscoped using my point and shoot Canon held against my Swarovski 92 scope eyepiece. I was pushing it's capability to get any depth of field at the distance. Probably obvious!