Monday, February 23, 2009

A Sunday in Norfolk

A planned trip to Norfolk put off by a week and a day due to weather.
We planned to work our way from Hunstanton to Titchwell with a visit to Salthouse likely.In the event we changed that slightly to call in on Dersingham Bog for Bob's bogie bird of the year Great-grey Shrike as he and his mate had not found the Pannell Valley bird on Saturday! Obviously this involved a trip around Wolfendon Triangle for the elusive Golden Pheasants which proved elusive!
However Dersingham Bog proved much better and we were soon listening and watching Crossbills and hearing Woodlarks! The Great-grey Shrike was a harder bird to locate! We were joined for a while by the local Warden who was armed with his camera - hoping to get some nice shots of the bird. He hadn't though counted on the hoardes of birders who descended on DB today. Fortunately we were the first there with him! Bob located the prey - as I was busy looking for the Woodlarks.Son both scopes were on the showy bird
and two happy older women were looking in our scopes!Sisters - one local birder was taking her sister to see the GGS - but they lacked a scope - as the bird had been showing very close the other day.

We were informed by the local birder where she saw Woodlarks and that was on the way back to the car - there was a stream of birders (some in groups) flooding the place. We fortunately both saw one or two Woodlarks and beat a hasty retreat!

To Hunstanton to watch Fulmars and there were lots to watch. Bob was keen to find a Velvet Scoter and a small flock of Scoters were happily bobbing about right in front of us altho a little way out - so scopes up and find the 2 Velvets that were present!

The tide looking like it was on its way out decided our next stop- not to Salthouse but Titchwell to the Beah to see what we could find of the usual birds our year lists were lacking. On arrival one bird I saw on the first feeders was a male Brambling and I guessed that Bob would be pleased and stop and watch them. So I ordered the Teas and a bacon Bap for one and awaited his arrival - which wasn't to much later. We knew we had to get to the beach! Spotted 'shank in a field, followed by Black Brant (nonBOU) with Dark bellied Brent Geese and then Avocets - three nice year ticks altho only 2 to count! From the beach we soon picked up Knot(lots) and at last Barwits! Bar-tailed Godwits - not one or two but dozens!

The tide was out a distance and so were any birds!
(titchwell was heaving with people....I really prefer to be here early mornings or late afternoons...still we then heard two or three Cetti's Warblers and at the far Car Park I heard another and finally saw my first of the year!
Birds of Prey - few and far between today, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks and a couple ofMarsh Harriers were the best we could do.
So it was off to Salthouse for my Snow Buntings - such a delightful winter visitor.
As we drove towards the cr park a flock of Snow Buntings wheeled in the air!. Coffee from the friendly guy at the Beach taken to do some sea-watching.
Of the Gluocous gull there was no sign - but then we didn't really want to see an injured bird.

Back to Cley to walk the East Bank - more seawatching...this time stonking views of the Black-throated Diver which had by now drifted to us again! More Red-throats and Seals.We were on our way back to the car and a decision as to what to do next, visit the Cley Visitors Centre? - and we looked at the pager - I saw it flash up -Cattle Egret .....Norfolk.That was it Bob needs Cattle Egret. Study map and off we went.

Today had been very easy birding - each target bird seen and ticked in good timing.
(except the elusive Golden P)
However the cattle egret was to be the bird to prove once again that birding aint that easy! It was not in the field we scanned - a local couple pulled up and said 15 mins ago it was - over there on that bank. Thanks - a brilliant sighting of a Barn Owl then ---off we went to see where the Cattle Egret had gone after 15 mins of driving around and stopping and scanning (found some beautiful Snowdrops) we returned to the same field. Bird has gone to roost we decided!
Another birding couple had been off for a walk in the other direction now returned and no show either.

We stayed for a while longer watching a second Barn Owl doing its hunting circuit which fortunately for us involved flying down the road we were on and over the car!
Fab views and made up for Bob's dip!

A good days birding in great company.

Its always easier here, once the eye is in! So Red-throated Divers by the score and Common Seals kept bobbing up! There was one Black-thraoted Diver. I then watched the Snow Bunting flock for a while and then back to the sea and there were two large divers flying- Great northern Divers!

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