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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Five days in Norfolk that started slowly and finished with a bang

Five days in Norfolk with friends from 9th May

Every may for many years a group of us go to Norfolk for a long weekend. The cast varies from time to time but whoever turns up knows that it will be time well spent. We may not always jam into a rarity but you never know. This year bird numbers were down, low numbers of terns, waders, hirundines and passerines. I bumped into Mark Golly on Friday morning, we discussed the current trends of once regular migrants that are now becoming scarcer. He did say that rain was due on Saturday afternoon and that with there was a chance of the wind veering NE for a while. If that happened there could be a chance of something good turning up i.e Wryneck or Bluethroat. Well Saturday came and the morning was sunny and hot with hardly any wind. We started over at Titchwell RSPB enjoying great views of Med Gulls following a plough. There wasn't enough to keep us there in the afternoon so we headed to Cley, by the time we had reached there rain was falling. We didn't want get soaked and I certainly didn't want my car full of damp cloths and soggy people. I suggested going to the coastal watchpoint at Happisburgh, thinking it might have a Wheatear or Yellow Wagtail to add to the list of birds for the day. We parked the car park by the bowling green and set off on the short walk to the World War 2 watch point, not remains but enough to shelter you from the wind or rain if you should encounter those conditions. We didn't but we also failed to encounter any birds, a wasted walk I thought. We had just got back to the paddock, a Swallow twittering on the phone line was something to look at. Mark then said Yellow Wag on the telegraph pole. We all stopped, I raised my bins and boom, the sight every birder would love to see sat there atop the pole. "Black-headed Wagtail" I called out, the bird seemed content, we didn't want to flush it but we also needed the evidence that we had seen it. We started taking photos, inching closer slowly, we wanted the bird to decide what to do and not move as a result of our actions. Within a minute the bird made the first move by dropping down into the paddock. This was very handy as we had a hedge and a raised bank to shield us. We tried to get decent images the light wasn't on our side but we got some in the end. I then alerted RBA and Mark put the news out on twitter. We enjoyed the bird for some time before I said that I need to charge my phone which had died the moment I had sent the news out. We had just got back to the car when the first birder arrived. It was good to know that the news had been disseminated.

Black-headed Wagtail and other birds seen  recently


   Mark(right) and me taking photos. The photo below is me lying on stinging nettles with the horses
   wondering what the F is going on.

1 comment:

James Campbell said...

Hi Tony - I love your photographs, and your reports, but would it be asking too much to have the pictures captioned? Or at least to have a list of the birds shown at the end of the report, so that we can scroll back through and put the species names to each photo?
Hope the rain today helps with the numbers in the Park.
Which is your "park garden"?
Thanks again for the great posts.
- Jim