Wednesday, 28 August 2013

At Last

Tuesday August 27

Well enough, after my post Colombia chest infection, to consider a day out birding in Norfolk. We set off soon after 6.00 a.m., wondering why we bothered. There was a thick sea fret until mid morning. 
Abbey Farm was a wipe out. The owl tree was a distant dark smudge....
Tesco for a quick bacon bap breakfast, then we could see the sea at Hunstanton Cliffs, no Fulmars at all, they must have left the breeding ledges. A delight was the female/juvenile Wheatear along the road verge. Pam reversed so that I could photograph it before it was startled away by dogs and their owners.

Yesterday saw a wonderful migrant fall along the coast. Most of them had cleared out overnight unfortunately. Holme was pretty birdless, apart from one young Whitethroat along the track and two Redshanks on the Broadwater.
It was a high, high tide at  Thornham, everywhere looked lovely, creeks  full of water under a blue sky. Sandwich Terns squawked by at sea and a lone Meadow Pipit dived into the suaeda.
Maybe Titchwell was worth a look - and expenditure  of our sole (no pun intended) walking effort. 
We found somewhere to sit, despite the bucket and spade families and optic free trippers, dodging small children swooping through on their scooters en route. It was worth it. The fresh water pool was pretty waterless but full of birds. At least 37 Curlew Sandpipers, one Little Stint, a few Golden Plovers, about 40 Knot, 60 Dunlin, moulting Avocets and eclipse Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and Gadwall. A sizeable flock of Greylag with a smaller group of Canada Geese made searching more difficult. The dozen Spoonbill at the far end of the pool near the Clubhouse corner, were not immediately obvious......I was concentrating on nearer birds!
I was prepared to try some digiscoping, most of the birds were much too distant, apart from a young Great Ringed Plover actively washing and preening in some nearer water.

Having added 20 birds to our day/month list, we ambled back to the car and drove along the coast to Cley, adding Turnstone at Brancaster Staithe. Gun Hill still had enough migrants to tempt us, Wryneck, Icterine, Whinchats, Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers. Caution overcame spirit on this occasion. As did Gramborough Hill at Salthouse where a group of birders studied a bush intently. Was it the Wryneck? Despite extensive scoping, I saw nothing. If I'd remembered, the Red-backed Shrike behind Cley Spy was a real possibility - missed. 
We were home by 4.00 having thoroughly enjoyed our day, with a surprising total of 79 birds seen, including two year ticks.

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