After last weekends dire trip, it was great to have a good day out on Saturday. Decided to ignore the delights of Manchester and it's Pied Billed Grebe (seen loads-they were year listing padders in the 90's) and the American Robin at Exminster, and hit the Norfolk coast.
Drove through Ringstead and on to Chosely in the hope of picking up some thrushes. Quite a lot of Fieldfare on the hawthorns-all on Colin's side of the car and too flighty for his camera, and we found flocks of Red Legged Partridge too-again on his side. Not much at Chosely Barns so we carried on to Titchwell.
Had a chat with Ray Tipper in the car park about the new (unopened) Parrinder hide-shows well from the barns and the Pallas's warbler, which had been around for some time.
Spent some time in the car park and woods, but in the event, no Pallas's and not much else either so carried on to the marsh. Water levels were a bit high-plenty of Pintail and Teal, and a few Avocets lingering. Suddenly I noticed a Bonxie flying around the fresh marsh and this had the effect of putting everything up. It eventually dropped onto the water before moving on to one of the islands, and after a while went up again which is when I discovered I had not got the camera set up for flight shots.
Too low a shutter speed and having the shutter set to focus lock is not a good idea when things are close and moving fast. Neither is the 1.7 converter.
One of the benefits of the brute scattering everything was a small flock of Dunlin flew off with two Little Stints among them. Rather late birds for this location.
On the brackish marsh we soon found the flock of Twite which have been a bit of an attraction. Getting hard to find at the traditional coastal spots these days. Only three were close enough for the camera. A lot of Skylark, a few Meadow Pipits and two Scandinavian Rock Pipits were with them.
The sea seemed quiet, in part due to the off shore breeze. Took a long time for the Common Scoter flocks to show themselves. Had a few Eider, Goldeneye and Mergansers among them. Single very distant Slavonian Grebe and an adult Little Gull. Few waders on the beach apart from the Sanderling.
On the way back the Bonxie was still around-Ray said that in the many years he had been at the reserve, he had never seen one on the fresh marsh. Got back to the visitor centre and did not take long to find a flock of Goldfinch, Siskin and Redpolls. One or two pale birds, but nothing that could be called Mealy. A single Brambling was associating with the Chaffinches.
Spent the early afternoon at Burnham Overy, parked by the main road. Lots of Barn Owls floating around, always nice to see. Several Buzzards, including an interesting pale bird, but I never saw a Rough Legged though others apparently did. One very distant bird on the ground was where one of the Rough Legs had been seen to land but it was too far to make anything out. Several Marsh Harriers too. The apparent Northern Hen Harrier (Marsh Hawk) had been seen earlier but presumably had flown through.
Lots of Pink Feet and a few Barnacles among the more usual wild fowl.