Mothing has finished for the year, we still met for coffee at Natural Surroundings. The morning was heavy misty drizzle, meeting was a better option than a day's birding.
We left soon after 11 in clearing weather, still very cloudy but rainless. Pam suggested Morston ,where the tide was going out, the creeks still well filled. Pinkfeet and Brent, with the occasional Curlew, rose from the marsh, Redshank changed banks with their sentinel call, a lone Skylark gave thanks for the cessation and a few Meadow Pipits temporarily left the shelter of the marsh vegetation. A couple of Little Egrets gleamed into view. Lovely.
Our first visit to Blakeney Harbour for some months was a triumph. Scanning Mallard (!) I saw part of a bird, partially obscured by a notice. Cormorant......... no, its head came into view. A winter juvenile Great Northern Diver. Excellent.
I spent the next 10 minutes photographing it in between its frequent food dives, catching at least two Crabs. Pam was ever obliging in moving the car in order to follow its movements, diving against the tide and then drifting back, eventually disappearing fast around the bend on the strong ebb.
The Brent flocks at Cley were very distant on the drive out to the beach car park. We watched over a 1,000 Golden Plover milling about high in the sky over the Eye Field, never landing. A male Marsh Harrier drifted by and we left to find a sizeable group of Brent had landed in a field at the village end. The Black Brant was immediately recognisable but, too close to the verge and obscured by roadside reeds for my liking.
Julian's white drinks van was a welcome sight at Salthouse, not always there since the car park disappeared. Pam fetched our hot chocolate (I was parked too near the ditch to get out) whilst I scanned the pool. Mainly Wigeon and Teal with a few showy male Shoveller.
The birding was very unexpected.