Friday, 4 October 2013

Pam's Day

Tuesday October 1

Not light until after 6 a.m. so a later start than usual on a lovely pink dawn morning. First stop, Harpley area,  where Pam spotted  a Wheatear on a barn roof. Try as hard as we could, no Tree Sparrow this morning. Where have they gone? They disperse post breeding but normally remain in the general area. A sole Buzzard rose swiftly in the strong wind updraft.
Both partridges on the way to Abbey farm but very little else. half a dozen Redwing were good to see again as were the madly flying migrating flocks of 'continental' Blackbirds, flying crazily in front of us before diving into hedgerows - and out again.
Gannets, most of them this year's young, plunge-dived in Hunstanton Bay, still no Fulmars visible.
Maybe Holme had retained some of yesterday's migrant birds. 200 metres before the NOA car park, Pam saw a warbler dive into a bush which she thought may have been a Barred. It flew out again, posing briefly in the open before going into cover never to be seen again. A definite, chunky, Autumn grey, Barred Warbler. We spent 15 minutes looking and waiting where we are not supposed, to before driving on.
The Yellow-browed Warbler at the NOA site was only being heard very infrequently, never seen, in the madly moving, wind blown branches of the sycamore near the centre. We did not stay long.
Low tide at Thornham - the reason for giving Snettisham a miss - good views of a winter Bar-tailed Godwit feeding in the creek, a distant sprinkling of Brent geese on the marsh and... Pam found a Great White Egret, good enough views to see the yellow beak shining in the sun.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Walking out at Titchwell, don't know where I was looking...Pam called 'Bittern', we had good views of it flying across the track and away into Thornham Marsh. Such a lovely warm brown colour.A sudden buzz , warden excitedly using his CB, hastening hangers-on in his wake, a Great White Egret had been reported on the marsh. Doubts were expressed as it was not in view. When it got calmer, we told them that we'd seen one from Thornham 10 minutes previously to be dismissed with ' it could have been'.  Men !! Well, some of them.
We were both tired to-day after a busy few days with little sleep, we drove to Burnham Norton and squeezed into the only parking place left to view the extensive area  below, stretching to the west end of Holkham Pines.
I set up my scope, found the distant field with grazing cows and spent the next half an hour scanning backwards and forwards, hoping that the Cattle Egret would show itself somewhere in the midst of the cattle. Eyes getting tired, I reached for my pager and... Pam saw the Cattle Egret rise briefly into the air before landing out of sight again. Momentarily disturbed by a cow I suppose in the belly high grass. No justice after my hard work. I waited another 10 minutes before we needed to get home - going out to-night.
A total of 76 species with some goodies. As always notable misses, Greenfinch and Carrion Crow this time.

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