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Saturday, September 02, 2017

10 days in Norfolk during peak migration

10 days in Norfolk

I haven't spent this much time in Norfolk during a migration period since my parents were still with us and living in Snettisham. I had intended to spend the early part of the day birding before returning home to take her out. Well the more sought after passerines were very thin on the ground, my best was 1 Pied Flycatcher (Winterton North Dunes), 5 Whinchats (same area), 9 Yellow Wagtails (Happsiburgh cliff top). There were waders but even their numbers were down, the pick of the waders, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and Baird's Sandpiper were often to distant to appreciate. The latter bird had moved on the afternoon that I arrived in Norfolk and may even had fallen victim to the local Hobby who I watched separate a small wader from the flock a then pursue it into the distance. Whether that was the Baird's and did it become part of that evening dinner I can't say.
My highlights were Caspian Tern seen at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad the same location from where I saw my first record of this species in 1987. Montagu's Harrier, a juvenile that flew south along Winterton Dunes, which after a bout of messaging and close inspection of the photos realised that this bird was ringed in Wiltshire. The last goody and a migrant that seems to be expanding its range the Glossy Ibis. It took 3 encounters until I finally had a photo that I was happy with.

Below are a few photos from my time away.

Caspian Tern on Rush Hill Scrape

Montagu's Harrier juvenile Winterton North Dunes

You can just about make out the ring on the birds right leg, this indicates that the bird was one of 6 ringed in Wiltshire. 

This Glossy Ibis has been commuting between Salthouse and Cley NWT Reserve.

This was my 2nd early morning excursion to Cley NWT, I think I woke the ibis from his slumber. 


Third time lucky and what great conditions. I had viewed this pool from further up the road and not seen anything and nearly drove past it. Birders instinct one out.

Adult and juvenile Little Egret

Right place right time as this Spoonbill took off from just beyond the ibis pool.

There were still some family groups of Avocets on the scrapes.

There stroppy parents are still  intent on having the pool to themselves, the female Mallard wasn't going to be pushed scared off easily.

Even the Glossy Ibis scampered away.

The winds weren't ideal for sea-watching so I didn't devote anytime to it. When I did glance at it I did see 1 Long-tailed Skua a few Arctic Skuas(pic below) and 2 Red-throated Divers.

Mixed flocks are always worth checking.

Black-tailed Godwit in with some Ruff at Cley NWT

The Ruff below flew over my garden

Green Sandpiper (above) Common Snipe (below).

No grey under-wings so not an American Golden Plover

Greenshank (above) and Wood Sandpiper (below).

Garganey on Potter Heigham Marshes

While my wife and I sat watching this and a couple of other seals this cheeky Turnstone landed on a rock just in front of us. We could have been the first humans he'd ever seen a magic moment as it wasn't a bird that was used to being fed chips.

Pied Flycatcher Winterton North Dunes

While waiting for the Pied to pop out in front of me this Muntjac walked past without noticing me standing in a ditch.

Reed Warbler and Whinchat

Recently fledged Common Stonechats

Yellow Wagtail juveniles on covered crops

Sedge Warbler (above) and dumpy Reed Warbler (below)

This pair of Hobby's tried to catch this Swift, he was lucky a few minutes later 2 House Martins weren't so lucky 

Below are birds that I enjoyed while sunbathing in my back garden.

I have included Collared Dove, not because it is rare but it is a bird that not many birders have seen in Central London.

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