Friday I took Mum down to see Sarah and Ed at Hoddesdon. It started off sunny, but got very cloudy with a nasty cold northerly wind. Saw a couple of Kites on our journey, but walking Molly over the fields did not produce anything of note.
Saturday morning was spent at Amwell. Again cold and cloudy. An interesting rather pale yellow legged gull is believed to be a Lesser Black Back-it's been seen a few times. Large flock of Sand martins present with a few House martins going through. There were one or two Swallows too which I missed.
Sunday we decided to visit Norfolk-not having been out for quite some time. The Thayers Gull in Lincolnshire would have been a target if there had been a reliable sighting on Saturday.
Titchwell started of cool and dull, and got a bit colder as the morning progressed. Headed to the sea as the tide was very high and dropping. Saw a single flyby Red Necked Grebe and not a lot else. Joined by a Lincoln birder we moved east to scan Brancaster Bay picking up a flock of about a dozen Long Tailed Ducks and three drake Velvet Scoter. Nothing else of note in our hour long sea watch. On the way back we called in to the Parrinder hide. Water levels were still high and there were not many waders. Two Spotted Redshanks were moulting into their black summer plumage.
The wintering Water Pipit was seen on top of the bank before dropping down onto the fresh marsh. Despite a lot of searching we never saw it again. One 1w-2s Little gull was found over the fresh marsh for a few minutes.
Lots of very active Cetti's warblers-we saw four and heard many more but non stayed still for the camera. Two Willow warblers in the fen were my first of the year.
Two Ring Ouzels near Heacham sewage works were worth going for, but by the time we arrived only one was definitely present and rather distant.
We left Norfolk and went to Guyhirn. A scan from the lay by failed to produce any Cranes so we decided to go over the washes to Eldernell. It was getting rather cold, damp and windy. Some birders told us two were about a mile east of the car park so we headed off. Stopped after about half a mile and scanned the distant bank-picked up a total of seven Cranes in one field. A flyover Red Kite was a nice diversion.