B i r d w a t c h i n g i n N o r f o l k
A u gu s t 2 0 1 1
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Bird watching & Wildlife holidays
Wildlife photography workshops
Norfolk UK & Europe
1st - 17th August
We took a break for a 3 weeks! One week in Wales watching Kites, Peregrines, etc followed by a one week trip to Fuerteventura where I was able to knock off McQueens Bustard & Fuertaventura Chat, 2 Western Paleartic birds that were missing from my list - I will publish some short notes on the trip with a link shortly.
If anyone requires any gen then drop me an email.
23rd August - Three Day Wader Tour
We started the tour in drizzzle, at Holme the pools produced good views of 5 Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Redshank etc.
Moving on to the shoreline, there was a good selection of shorebirds, Sanderling, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Curlew were present in small numbers along the shoreline. Plus we had a late Swift overhead. Offshore a quick look produced Gannet, Guillemot, Sandwich Tern & Common Tern
At Titchwell, we heard a Cetti's singing, plus several Chiff-chaff, out on the scrape there was an excellent selection of waders, plus good numbers:- 140+ Dunlin, 60+ Ruff, 40 Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 3 Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Little Ringed Plover & 1 Wood Sandpiper was heard only.
Marsh Harriers were noted regularly, plus 3+ Bearded Tit gave good views fedding along the muddy edges of the reedbed. We finished the day with a respectable total of 77 species recorded.
24th August - Day Two Three Day Wader Tour
A really great day with lots & lots of waders! Plus a bonus scarce drift migrant.
We started the day in North Norfolk at one of the smaller wetland sites, there was a reasonable selection of waders, although this was rather upstaged by the numbers & quality at Cley later in the day! As we arrived we treated to a Barn Owl & then Marsh Harriers were just taking to the air & 3 juveniles were quite entertaining as they practiced their acrobatics. Out on the pools there was a single SPOONBILL, plus Snipe, Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 20 Ruff, Redshank, 30 Black-tailed Godwit & 100+ Teal.
Also amongst the ducks were the first returning Pintail, 3 in eclipse.
A steady flow of overhead hirundines were noticeable, with good no's of House Martin evident, again a single late Swift was noted. Alarm calls overhead drew our attention to a HOBBY hunting a Dunlin, which despite some impressive twists & turns failed to connect with it's prey.
The sun came out & on the walk back to the car we noted several Chiff-chaff, Whitethroat plus a nice selection of butterflies.
We spent the afternoon at Cley & were treated to a superb selection of quality, quantity & great views of waders. But prior to lunch we took a brief diversion up to the coastal car park where nearby we were treated to good scope views of a beautiful adult male RED-BACKED SHRIKE.
In the afternoon Cley was superb, with 7 SPOONBILL scoped at close range, wonderful close up scope views of 21 CURLEW SANDPIPER, 2 LITTLE STINT, c10 Spotted Redshank, c10 Greenshank,
40+Ruff, 20 Knot, Turnstone, c40 Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Commn Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, c350 Black-tailed Godwit, c50 Curlew, 300+ Teal & 2 Yellow Wagtails. All watched in lovely late afternoon sunlight. We eventually retired to the pub for our evening meal around 6PM having had a wonderful day.
25th August - Day Three Wader Tour
A great day that will be remembered for finding ourselves a juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE at Holme.
We decided to start the day with a bit of woodland birding as we had done extremely well of waders
on the first 2 days of the tour. A visit to an inland woodland site afforded food views of Marsh Tit & Treecreeper. Plus added several commoner species that were missing from our tour list.
In the afternoon with heavy showers prevailing we decided to visit the NOA’s Holme bird observatory, where the group could learn more about ringing and migration.
Just as we arrived at the site, the rain had eased off, as we drove down the track I noted a bird perched on the landward side of the track, it flitted across the track, perched on another bush - at which point I realised it was a juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE. It then disappeared from view & frustratingly despite searching I could not relocate it. I phoned the news to the NOA & Holme NWT, fortunately around an hour later the bird was seen again in the dunes, it then showed on & off albeit often briefly until early evening.
Up at the Observatory Sophe Barker the Obs warden gave a really nice overview of ringing & migration to the group. This followed by some scanning of the skies for 30 mins in which time we noted, 2 Hobby, 2 Swift, 2 Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 5 Whimbrel & an overhead passage of hirundines. We took a quick peep at the nearby Swallow’s nest & young. We finished the day in a hide at Holme where we noted Cetti’s Warbler & had fantastic scope views of a perched Kingfisher.
26th August - Cley
A day off I decided to have a wander around Cley. I was well chuffed when on arrival, I was informed that a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was present, the bird was soon located on Pats pool, a fresh juvenile.
Around the reserve the good numbers of waders noted a couple of days ago were still present:-
21 Curlew Sandpiper, 6+ Little Stint, 530 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ruff, 4+ Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, c40 Ringed Plover, 2 LRP, 7 SPOONBILL plus Common & Green Sandpiper. Also 6 Yellow Wags & 1 Wheatear.
A quick look around Salthouse revealed just 2 Stonechat & Whitethroat. A wander around Walsey Hills was most noteable for birds in the air - 2 Hobby’s chasing a Swift (4 of these!) & 100 House Martin overhead, rather than any migrants on the ground.
27th August - East Hills, Wells
A walk out from Warham was also more noteable for aerial activity then passerines - 500 Golden Plover, 7 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 7 Whimbrel west with 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Marsh harrier, 2 Hobby, 1 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 large fem Peregrine.
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Contact: Chris Mills
Tel: 01362 683520 or 07876 357677
Lilac Cottage, Foxley Road, Themelthorpe,
Norfolk NR20 5PU