Saturday, 15 August 2015

Day Out in Norfolk

After the troubles yesterday I was glad to get out today with Colin. With the first hints of autumnal drift migrants appearing on the east coast we decided to go up to Norfolk and see what happens.
A fairly uneventful drive saw us get to Titchwell at 0930, and surprisingly a fairly empty car park. Plenty of Chiffs and Blackcaps calling as we unpacked and walked through the wood to the centre. Had a chat with the guys working there but there was no real news on what was about-Ray was out but had not reported back. One thing we were promised was Spotted Redshank, impossible to miss they said-and bet us we would not fail. They refused to pay up when we got back.
The large pool on the Thornham side has been drained for months now, despite the vast expanse of mud there were no waders on it. However the fresh marsh was full of them. Plenty of Avocets of course, some Black Tailed Godwits, Lapwing, Golden Plover and Redshank, hoards of Ruff and Dunlin (all sizes and bill lengths), a few Ringed Plover and Snipe and brief views of a Common Sandpiper. A few Swifts and Swallows went through, and there seemed to be a lot of Wagtails flying around-mainly Pied but two adult and two juvenile Yellow Wagtails was  nice to see.
Lots more waders on the beach, Bar Tailed Godwits, Curlew, Sanderling etc as well as a sleeping Common Scoter. The sea was a bit quiet despite the north westerly breeze and clear air. Gannets feeding well offshore, a few Sandwich and Common Terns, and not for the first time a Marsh harrier (juvenile) about half a mile out heading west. Not sure why they fly offshore and this one came unstuck off Holme when it was attacked by an Arctic Skua.
On the way back we stopped off at Parrinder Hide for a bit to scan the fresh marsh from a different angle. A sleeping Spoonbill is not unexpected at this time of year. Eventually I picked up a Wood Sandpiper. Hard to see as it remained close to the bank and out of view of most of the hide.
Pleased to see large numbers of Wall Browns on the way back now it had really warmed up. Used to be a regular garden visitor before they became extinct in Herts, now very much a coastal species for me.

After lunch we went to Burnham Overy where the Icterine Warbler was still being reported. Unfortunately Whinchat and Pied Flycatcher had apparently gone. It was a long walk out to the boardwalk in the hot sun, enlivened by more Wall Browns, and a  few Common Blues and Gatekeepers. Fennel seemed to be abundant on the banks but the blue of Larkspur was a surprise-I don't remember seeing it here before.
The Icterine put on a good show now and again, sometimes going missing for a bit. Not much else in the bushes, just a few Linnets and a juvenile Whitethroat. There were a few Grayling in the dunes here as well.

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