Sunday, 26 May 2013

Norfolk 11th-26th May


Day 1

Well stopped at my mothers in derby over night and early next morning we headed for Ely the home of Oliver Cromwell where I started off doing the touristy thing for Rachel, mind you I did pick up Muscovy duck (self sustaining population ;-) ). Remember to click Pics to view


After lunch it was my turn and I had a good wall around Lakenheath where I got stunning views of Red-footed Falcon and Hobby. It absolutely poured it down but this was good because it meant the birds would sit in the trees out of the rain giving me a good opportunity to get some really crappy distant record shots. I did manage a couple of flight shots too.

Whilst watching the Hobby and Falcon I was fortunate enough to have flyby Common Crane and Bittern,.Cuckoo and Garganey also showed well but then they usually do from here. No Golden Orioles in yet though...
We checked into our van at Kelling heath then I headed for Cley for the evening. I only watched from the carpark but I did pick up a Curlew Sandpiper with the flock of Dunlin.

 Day 2

Was spent around the Coast firstly at Cley where I picked up Blue headed Wagtail from the eye field along with a dozen Yellow wags and 6 Northern Wheatear. From the swarovski hide it was very quiet with just a single Bar-tailed Godwit with the 50 or so Black-tailed Godwits. We moved further along the coast, Blakney, but this was pretty quiet, We then parked at Stifkey Campsite and walked to Stifkey Fen and back. This was fairly productive picking up good numbers of close Dark bellied Brent Geese and eventually a very distant Black Brant on the beach behind Stifkey fen. A fly over adult Med gull was a bonus. The flash itself was again quiet except for the high number of Black-tailed Godwits. From here we headed past wells looking for Spoonbill at Holkham without any joy and then arriving at North creake hoping for Montagus Harrier, it was chucking it down by now so no luck, but I no they are there... I dropped Rach off back at the van and headed once again for Cley, this time stopping in the hides and picking up 2 Temmnicks Stint but really little else..


Day 3

Was spent without the van, no it wasn't broke its just nice to walk from the campsite and so we did a great circular from Kelling Heath to Kelling Village past Kelling Quags to Weybourn and back to the heath. 5 Woodlarks, 2 Stonechat, a Kestrel carrying a live Slow Worm, loads of Sandwich Terns and just a flock of 8 Little Tern was the best I could manage today but then it wasn't about the birds...   

Day 4

Wow what a day today was, making all the right choices. Started by looking at a Stone Curlew site I knew but this time no shows...he... So moved onto a secret location  amazing place with perfect scenery and brilliant wildlife. Started in the Churchyard where 2 Male Firecrest were singing there hearts out competing with each other. Managed a couple of record shots ;-).

Moved onto the River Little Ouse, a cracking river, a walk along here produced a brief Lesser Spotted Woodpecker a couple of Drake Mandarin ducks a flyby Kingfisher and on my way back incredible views of a young Otter only feet away, not bothered by my presence as long as I stood totally still, when I twitched it was away.
Then headed for Weeting Heath where I had my best every views of a UK Stone Curlew and great views of Rabbits chasing off a Stoat.

Then I got wind of a Black Winged Stilt at Wicken Fen so headed for here the heavens opened up when I got there so it was twitch on Black winged Stilt in the bag and then someone pointed out 3 Pectoral Sandpipers. Brilliant but time to get back to dry land ..... On the way home we stopped in at Wolfreton Triangle stopped the van and immediately heard Male Golden Pheasant, waited half an hour called loads of time but not forthcoming on showing itself. Got to Cley quite late for a fly by 1st Summer Little Gull. What a great finish to a perfect day.

Day 5

No proper birding today as we had a walk around Sherringham, and visited the Poppy line. I did have me bins with me and somehow missed a flyby Juv Glaucous Gull. Well it flew west past Kelling Hard but I was checking all the gulls and Terns that went passed Sherringham but didn't pick the Glauc up. Shame...Whilst having breakfast over looking the sea I picked up 3 Kittiwakes, Gannet and a Fulmar.
The Dogs were getting a good walk

Day 6

Well not a bad day, didn't pick up anything decent but pretty much cleared up on Norfolk Specialties. Left the Van at 5am and headed for the heath picking up Green Woodpecker, Woodlark, 2 pairs of Turtle dove what seemed like a small movement of Jays and eventually a Dartford Warbler.

Dartford Warbler honest.
Decided to cover the coast starting at Burnham Market for the Montagu's Harriers but dipped, none to be seen, Red Kite 10 Buzzards, a couple of Marsh harrier and  a couple of Grey Partridge was it here. So moved onto Holme where I managed a cracking Male Ruddy Duck and a Hobby.
At Titchwell my first bird here was Red Crested Pochard, other birds I picked up were Spoonbill, Grey plover , big flock of Bar-tailed Godwit and eventually a Summer plumaged Ruff. Last years Chinease Water Deer was still here and Another Hobby was about it.

Moved back to Burnham Market for the Montagu's Harrier but this time I checked the opposite side of the hill where I picked up an Adult Male and a young male bird almost immediately, good scope views too before they disappeared over the hill. Lastly I stopped off at Cley and the eye field where I had a couple more Blue headed wagtails, a slight bit closer today.

Day 7

Today I was out early again, usual suspects, Dartfords, Turtle Dove and Woodlarks.

Then onto Stiffkey where we walked from there to Warham greens and a bit further... It was DEAD, 1 Flyby Spoonbill and a Greenshank was it, awful really. Then did some touristy things in Wells and that's when the day started to liven up a wee bit. Red Backed Shrike female at Holme.. Excellent. So zoomed off for this had good scope views of the bird, shame it wasn't a male but hay ho.

Then a message from Titchwell possible  Marsh Warbler as it was on our way back I nipped in and heard this bird singing. Really good for Marsh if you ask me, calling like a Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Goldfinch, Linnet and a few other bits, I really wish I had thought about getting some recordings... Got a few views of the bird, it  looked pale and looked well dainty with a soft head but they were only brief. It had sung only in willows the whole afternoon, so bob on to me for Marsh Warbler but if anyone knows differently, please let me no.
After this it was touristy stuff again, I shouldn't have been birding anyway today..

Day 8

Well the birding heres really really slow at the moment, so this gives me more of a chance to relax and take things easy, keeping Rach happy by walking the dogs where SHE wants and doing the tourist things. So todays it was Sherringham up to Beeston bump along the beach, dogs loved it. Then the Crab and Lobster fair. After this it was a pint n a cake back at Kelling Heath and then a walk from here for the rest of the afternoon. Bins in hand of coarse. The Woodlarks were singing from up high and two Turtle Doves showed really well. Muntjac Deer shot across the path and were very noisy, our first and probably last Adder of the trip was sunning itself on the meadow trail.. After tea and a quick snooze back at the van I went out for Nightjars. It had really misted up by now but I still had hope that the Nightjars were in. I waited for a good 40 min, seeing Roe Deer not affected by me at all, Woodlark were still singing and Turtle Dove cooing. Blackbird and Song Thrush sung into the night. Eventually I heard the familiar call of the Nightjar and after a few more min the lovely trilling song. It didn't last long before it fell silent again so I called it a night, buzzed by bats on my return to my nice warm van..oh yeh and the piping Woodcock too.


Day 9

No birding again today, well no proper birding that is, went for a walk with the dogs and my bins and scope, I was due to get up early but last nights mist had stayed with us. So my planned trip up to Blakeney Point turned into a walk around Holt Country Park and then Cromer to Cromer lighthouse. Birding was poor with nothing out of the ordinary. We sat having a coffee and a sandwich whilst I did a 40 min seawatch. Nothing great but 1 Puffin, 2 Red-throated Divers, 10 Guillemots, 3 Razorbills, a few Kittiwake's and a flock of 5 Common Scoter. But the saving Grace was a lovely 1st summer SABINES Gull going West at 15-50 ish, luckily it was picked up going past Kelling a few moments later...
Day 10

Again no real birding till later, a walk around Holkham then some house searching, a few nice properties near Fakenham, just got to get a job, fingers crossed  but ill be looking as soon as I get home. Serious this time. Been saying I'm gonna move here for years.. I hate cumbria boring!!! Anyway on the way home nipped in for a Pec Sandpiper at Cley, Scope views were distant to say the least..On the way back 2 Spoonbill landed on the Cricket Marsh at Cley.

Day 11

No Birding at all today. Horsey Mill 4  Cranes and a nice day out, but I did go on the heath and got the brief song of the Nightjar, it was only just 9pm too and quite light, but after this the rains came and the Nightjar went quite.

Day 12

On leaving the campsite this morning I noticed a Marsh tit on someone feeders, nice start to the day. Today was spent at How Hill on the broads, no birds about so it was just a case of having a walk around the broads. Nice place picking up 3 1st Summer Little Gulls a booming Bittern, Common Tern, Bearded Tit and a few commoner species.

Day 13

Today it was a real wet one so we donned our waterproofs and headed for Blickling Hall. Marsh Tit was on the feeders of a nearby Caravana again as we left the site. We arrive at Blickling and  walked around the grounds and lake picking up a Cape Shelduck with the Greylags and Canadas. Not much else really. After lunch we did a Raptor watch from Swanton Novers but no Honey Buzzard. Finished at Cley for a very showy Wood Sandpiper and not so Showy Pec Sand, whilst watching the waders a Ruddy Shelduck flew onto a pool to the east and landed out of sight...  Home tomorrow NOOOOOOOOO...

 ooo look some birdy pictures.

Cape Shelduck

Wood Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Day 14

Home time noooooo... but visited Lakenheath one last time and its a good job we did. Great views of the Red Footed Falcon again, Bittern and eventually Golden Oriol possibly 2 but the icing on the cake a singing and showing occasionally a Savis Warbler.  oh well home time...
my homes for sale if anyone wants it ;-)




So finished on a respectable and surprising 164 species with not going to see things like Corn Bunting... list here....