Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter in Norfolk

Had a very busy Good Friday, but with little birding, though I did get my first Lesser Whitethroat.
Decided to do Norfolk on Saturday, and started off quite early to avoid the traffic.
We arrived at Snettisham Coastal Park just after 0700, and went off in search of migrants. Lots of warblers in full song, including a couple of Grasshoppers, one of which posed for us.

Did not encounter a great deal else-a few Wheatear and a Grey Partridge that flew in and settled down until an presumably blind dog walker waddled over and almost trod on it.
 Stopped off briefly at Chosely barns, and had a quick scan of the fields-seems to be all wheat and no peas, so no Dotterel likely......
 Did get a nice pair of Corn Bunting though.

Arrived at Titchwell shortly after 0900, and it seemed pretty quiet thankfully. Got out onto the marsh and the heat started to build rapidly to rather uncomfortable levels. Ran into Ray Tipper who had got a message that the Wood Sandpiper was still showing from Parrinder hide. Tried to find it on the way up but without success. Eventually located it in a small reedy patch on one of the islands. Did not get good images due to the lighting.

 A pair of sleeping Garganey on the island was nice having struggled to find any on the Ouse Washes in recent weeks. Also got to see a pair of Little Terns and a female White Wagtail.
 Sea watching was rather poor due to the haze, but very nice thanks to the breeze. Found a few Scoter, single Eider and some Gannets and then two distant Grebes turned into a pair of breeding plumage Red Necks.
 Was surprised to see a Green Hairstreak settle down behind Penny Clark who was with us, but it soon flew off. Unfortunately it landed on my arm, and I had to stand immobile while Penny and Colin got images. This turned out to be a bit of a mega, as Ray turned up and informed us that he had only seen two in 40 years at Titchwell.
 On the way back we had another look at the Wood Sandpiper, recovered a bit of Colin's tripod and snapped a few waders.

We got a message-16 Dotterel at Chosely-in the field I had scanned earlier. Got there at Noon. Difficult to see well now the heat haze had built up, and they remained distant, but we managed to see at least six.
Also of interest were a large number of Large Red Damselflies in the hedgerow, a long way from water.
 With energy flagging we headed off inland, calling in at the wonderful Beers of the World warehouse and stocked up.
Our last destination was Paxton pits. The visitors centre pond held Great Crested and Common Newts. The Nightingales were very vocal of course but due to the abundant leaf growth, hard to see. Several Turtle Doves were heard along the river and I got to see one flying off.
There were Black Terns further north at Diddington but we were too tired to contemplate the walk.

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