Having not done a great deal so far this holiday, and feeling the need to do something, we decided to head out to Norfolk on Sunday. Not much on the pager, but I thought the overnight rain, and a brief spell of warm southerlies after the constant north westerlies might produce something.
Called in at Chosely Barns on the way. Lots of Chaffinch, Yellowhammer and Pied Wagtails feeding in the fields and around the barns. Saw my first Pink Footed Geese of the winter-just a few birds flew in from the east.. A longer scan produced lots of Curlew and Red Legged Partridge, some Meadow Pipits but no Corn Buntings.
Titchwell was a bit blustery at times but reasonably warm considering the last couple of days. Work on the sea defences is almost over, but the disturbance has resulted in a lot fewer birds. With the tide dropping we went to the sea for about an hour. Lots of duck movements-alll heading west into the wind. Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Tufted Duck a few Pochard, more Wigeon, Common Scoter, some Mergansers, Goldeneye, Wigeon. Did I mention Wigeon? Also a considerable number of waders were coming in, Knot, Dunlin, Snipe, and we even had three Grey Herons. Just about the only birds heading east were small numbers of Gannet. Also saw a male Velvet Scoter sitting on the sea.
Never seen anything quite like it, just a shame there were no divers, Skuas or anything we would normally expect to see, but the wind just did not seem right for them.
Not much on the way back, a female Pintail dropped in and posed, before a loud party of birders sent her off.
Still a few dragonflies around in the sheltered fen area, just Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters.
Spent the early afternoon at Holme. Called in at the Firs and had a chat-apparently they have been waiting a while for large duck movements, but unfortunately there was not much for us to find in the dunes.
Had a walk anyway, and encountered a few Tit flocks, Meadow Pipits and finches. No Woodcock yet, and no thrushes, though the Buckthorn hardly had any berries.
Walked back through the pines and called in at the observatory briefly. Not much happening here either.
Drove back through the Ouse Washes at Welney and Pymore-three small herds of Whooper Swans were found.