Wednesday, 26 September 2012


A bit late with the weekend update-modem packed up on Saturday and only been up and running for a day, so lots of catching up to do.
Anyway, the weather system looked promising for an east coast trip, with a low swinging up from the channel and north. Easterly migrants were a good possibility and maybe a bit of sea watching as well. With the new trails open at Titchwell, and not having visited for many months, I fancied starting there and then going on to Holme.
 Called in at Chosely on the way, but not much happening. A few flocks of Pink Feet were coming in from the wash, and some Golden Plover were on the ploughed fields by the barns.
Arrived at Titchwell just after 0900, and it felt good, a decent easterly breeze overcast and Robins ticking in the car park. Headed off down the Fen Trail and on to the new section. The new pool held an assortment of duck from the two blinds, including a female Red Crested Pochard. Nothing in the hedgerow as we made our way to the woods. Chiffchaffs, tits and finches plus Song Thrush and Blackbirds seen. Hoped for a Yellow Browed (one was later found nearby at Gypsy Lane) or maybe Barred Warbler.
The view across the fresh marsh from the south east corner was novel to say the least. A large flock of Bearded Tits was the highlight, and I picked up Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. Still a lot of Avocets, and the Bar and Black Tailed Godwit flock hid a good number of Knot.
 Made our way back and then up the main path to the sea. Several flocks of Pink Feet flew west, and two Spoonbills initially in Thornham Channel flew in to join four or five on the Fresh Marsh. Unfortunately, despite the increasing wind (which had shifted slightly to a south easterly) the sea was a bit quiet. A close in drake Common Scoter (my first this year!) and two Eiders were good, as were three flyby Red Throated Divers. Lots of Gannets of course, a few Wigeon and more Scoter, plus a lone Sandwich Tern.
 On the way back a Greenshank flew in,  joining a Redshank, Avocet and Little Egret.

 Had a bit of lunch and went to Holme. Stopped off by the gate where a Barred Warbler had been present for a few weeks, but the wind kept it out of view. Went to the paddocks where a few crests and tits were milling around. One or two Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in the hawthorns, and what appeared to be a Yellow Browed Warbler flew through with them.
 We moved down to the Firs and on to the coastal path in the pines. I noted several birds in a clearing covered in brambles. One turned out to be a female Pied Flycatcher but a second browner bird proved harder to see. Eventually with one or two others we were able to pin down the first winter Red Breasted Flycatcher that had been present for a couple of days in the observatory area but had gone missing. Gradually the crowd built up, including some American birders and we all got pretty good but distant views as it flitted around in the pines.

Called in at the observatory and gave Sophie the news that it was still around, which pleased a few visitors ready to depart.
 Did not fancy a trudge along the sea wall at Burnham Norton for a Booted Warbler, feeling a bit too tired so we called it a day.

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