February  2017 Tour reports
 
 
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Norfolk Exclusive group birdwatching Day - Friday 3rd February
We headed down to the Brecks today with an exclusive group of four people. We started off with a look for Willow Tit in an area of woodland that is strictly private access and can only be accessed with permission. The first notable bird of the day was an unlikely one, as 25 Whooper Swans flew overhead, calling as they passed, a nice surprise as we managed to see them through gaps in the canopy. A bit of searching produced Treecreeper, Song Thrush and the commoner tits. Eventually after a little while, we caught the briefest of song, that sounded good for Willow tit, we headed in the direction of the bird, again we heard the song and then more obvious call and song. Suddenly a pair of Willow Tit appeared before us, the song is dianostic, but we were able to take in the sooty long extended cap & slightly more sullied cheeks and underparts. A great start to the day!

We then moved on to look for Goshawk, after 15 minutes we had already seen Red Kite, several Buzzard, then a displaying Sparrowhawk another Buzzard.....then a Goshawk then 2 Goshawks, the first views were distantly but eventually we had good views of probably four, maybe even five Goshawk, with one male showing well overhead. We stopped off for coffee & cake then  next headed to the forest and were treated to a spectacular group of c50 Brambling feeding on beech mast. Also in the same area we had nice views eventually of Siskin, Treecreeper and Marsh Tit.


Final stop of the day produced c20 Hawfinch, plus good views Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Siskin, Long tailed Tit, Coal Tit etc.


Exclusive 3 days guiding - Tuesday 7th  February

We started the day with a search around Kelling Quags, there was no sign of the Snow Buntings, but 2 Grey Partridge showed well, 2 smart drake Pintail were present, several Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Skylark plus a nice flcok of 30 Curlew and 25 Goldfinch. We moved on to Cley where there was lots of duck, Wigeon, several more Pintail, Gadwall, Shoveler, Shelduck and Little Grebe. We then stopped as we eventually got lovely views of a group of 15+ Bearded Tits! We then had lovely views of Knot, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Golden Plover & Shelduck.

We then explored the other side of the reserve and had good views of a first winter Glaucous Gull, we got some pictures and it then flew off west. A smart male Stonechat was showing very well, then a Marsh Harrier flew overhead, we then stopped off to search the sea. Plenty of Red-throated Diver, plus a few Guillemot, Great crested Grebe.

We lunched at the deli and then headed on to Holkham, a Barn Owl was hunting, then a Stoat, a beautiful indvidual full ermine ran across the field, sadly it was only in view for a few seconds. A superb flock of c2000 Lapwing were up and in the skies. Out on the beach, after some searching, we eventually located the flock of Shorelarks - a flock of thirty birds, and they eventually flew in and came down to a few metres!
We enjoyed lovely views as well as group of Oystercatcher, Sanderling and Redshank.

As we arrived back in the parking area a cracking immature Spoonbill landed and we had great views as it fed close by, even allowing approach for some photographs. The day finished with around 10,000 Pink-footed Geese into the roost.

Exclusive 3 days guiding - Wednesday 8th  February
We spent the day in South Norfolk today, and had great views of many commoner woodland species, as well as a singing Woodlark, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk the weather was not really conducive for Goshawks and after a little wait we moved on.
We then watched Marsh Tit, Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tit, Siskin & Treecreeper all showing very well and coming in around the feed station area. There were several flyover Crossbills, but none alighted.
The day finished off very well with stunning views of around 35 Hawfinch.

Exclusive 3 days guiding - Thursday 9th  February
We headed to Titchwell today, there was an excellent mixture of wildfowl and waders, including c1000 Golden Plover, c1500 Golden Plover plus Dunlin, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit and Knot. The beach really stole the show, first the seaduck with c3000 Common Scoter, 20 Velvet Scoter, c20 Goldeneye, 3 Red-throated Diver and c10 Long-tailed Duck. Further along shoreline we eventually located 54 Snow Bunting, after carefully moving forward we had lovely close views.


A 2 day group tour for youngsters - Saturday 11th  February
This weekend was centred around 3 youngsters between 11-14 along with their 2 parents. We started the day in a Tesco supermarket, looking for what else!? Waxwings of course, no sign to start with.... but a little further searching and there they were 5 Waxwings, showing beautifully sitting atop a rose hip bush. We watched the Waxwings for several minutes, they then landed back at Tesco where we had around 20 minutes of continual views, the boys were delighted and parents were pretty chuffed too! We then headed to the shoreline where there was a really good selection of shorebirds. We had nice scope views of Redshank, Dunlin, Sanderling, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Turnstone and Oystercatcher, several hundred of the latter, as well as Brent Geese and Fulmars at their nesting ledges.

We then headed to Thornham, we had very close views of Brent Geese, nice views of 2 Spotted Redshank, plus Curlew, Rock Pipit, Teal, Wigeon, numerous Shelduck and Marsh Harrier.

We then headed to Titchwell, on the walk in we had good views along with others of feeding Woodcock, always great to watch this shy bird feeding on the ground. We lunched and  at the feeders we had nice views of Brambling, Coal & Long-tailed Tits. As we walked to the reserve, we got good views of the now regular 2 Water Rails feeding long the path, in the dyke, also a showy Snipe. We headed out to Patsy's pool, there was a good selection of duck, c25 Pochard, c20 Gadwall several Tufted Duck plus great views of 4+ Marsh Harrier, the pairs starting some aeriel courtship behaviour.

We rounded the day off with an excellent raptor roost, with a perched male Merlin, 2 adult grey male Hen Harriers and 2 ringtails and 5 Marsh Harriers.


A 2 day group tour for youngsters - Sunday 12th  February
We started the day with an early morning visit to Snettisham, despite the biting east wind and drizzle, the birds were a fantastic spectacle. Firstly, an amazing wave of Knot & Bar-tailed Godwit, thousands in a "mexican wave" as they danced across the skies. Then masses sat huddled tightly together in front of the hide, always an incredible sight! Approximately 10,000 Knot, 3000 Bar-tailed Godwit, c2000 Oystercatcher all of these birds plus around 4000 Pink-footed Geese overhead leaving their roost. The pits held good numbers of Teal, Wigeon and around 20 Goldeneye, we also had nice views of Kingfisher and Little Egret.

We lunched again at Titchwell, warmed up over a hot drink then headed down to look at the main reserve and beach. Several hundred Golden Plover and Lapwing,  plus Dunlin, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit and Knot. Good close views of Little Grebe, out on the beach we had really great views today of 20 Velvet Scoter,  riding the waves but very close inshore, plus c20 Long-tailed Duck and  another spread of shorebirds, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Turnstone & Grey Plover.

We headed back to the centre and enjoyed more nice views of Water Rail and the Marsh Harriers, a great couple of days with 3 wonderful enthusiastic youngsters!

Go to January 2017 Monthly Reports

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Lapland Bunting

Lapland Bunting

Shorelarks

Shorelarks

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Waxwing

Waxwing

Knot roost

Knot roost