September 2017 Tour reports
3rd -10th September 2017 - Andalucia, Spain - read the full TRIP REPORT HERE & IMAGES FROM TOUR HERE
Tueday 19th September - Day One of Three Norfolk Tour
We started the day with a seawatch at Sheringham as the winds were light NW. Over a couple of hours we had a nice mixture of passage seabirds. 6 Red-throated Diver, 3 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, 30 Brent Geese, 4 Great Skua, 100 Wigeon, 100+ Common Scoter, 30 Teal, 1 Shoveler,1 Tufted Duck, Sandwich tern and a steady procession of Gannets.
We then moved along the coast to Kelling, a nice walk down to the Quags was quite productive with 2 Chiff-chaff, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Linnets & Goldfinch on the walk down. Then 3 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 10 Dunlin, Ruff & Redshank on the pool.
Also a nice kettle of 8 Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier in the skies above.
We had lunch at Cley and watched the sea again, though it was a lot quieter out there now. Behind us over the marsh, 20 Golden Plover passed by, plus a few Meadow Pipits were moving along the coast. We then took a walk and had great views of 4-5 Bearded Tits. The pools held plenty of waders - c100 Black-tailed godwit, 20 Ruff, 3 Little Stint, Ringed Plover, Curlew, 2 Snipe, 2 Knot and Grey Plover. Also 2 Pintail amongst a larger group of Wigeon. We also had two more Marsh Harrier, both juveniles hunting.
I guess the real star was mammalian, a superb Otter juggled with a crab and showed really well on and off in one of the drains!
Wednesday 20th September - Day Two of Three Norfolk Tour
Today we took a steady drive over to the east of the county and visited the Hickling & Potter Heigham areas in the Broads.
The first pool we visited held a good array of birds, lots of waders, we then headed around the whole area visting all the other pools, lots of wildfowl too! 20+ Little Grebe, 12 Egyptain Geese, 80 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 20 Gadwall, 30 Shoveler, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk
flushed everything several times, a Water Rail called, 6 Golden Plover, a good total of 14 Little Stint, 20 Dunlin, 8+ Ruff, 6 Snipe, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank & 2 Green Sandpiper. We were constantly hearing & regularly see Bearded Tits and a group of five showed very well and close. Several Cetti's Warblers were heard but remained elusive. I got a call from one of the local birders and we had been a little unlucky narrowly missing a Pectoral Sandpiper that had flown in on the first pool, but then had flown off again just a few minutes later.
After lunch we headed over to search some areas for the Cranes, having had not bumped into them during the morning. We had a short walk and had a nice spell in the sunshine with raptors. Several Marsh Harriers showed well including a nice adult male, then a Hobby, followed by a Peregrine. We continued scanning but had no luck with the Cranes. We were just packing scopes away about to leave, when Margaret, exclaimed "What's these?!", it was of course 3 Common Cranes, just on cue - they delightfully flew past us! A great day with a good selection of wetland birds.
Thursday 21st September Day Three of Three Norfolk Tour
We decided to start the day with some woodland birding, before visiting Titchwell. So we headed to the lovely Sculthorpe Moor NR. We had a nice walk around and added quite a few species we had not yet seen on the previous days. Several Marsh Tits were seen shortly after walking into the woodland, Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper and Nuthatch were all seen. A real highlight was 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Green Woodpecker flew across calling, plus a Willow warbler and Chiff-chaff were present.
We then headed up to Titchwell, we lunched in the picnic area and almost immediately I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler, it showed on and off in the canopy for a minute before flying off towards the fen trail. Out on the main scrape there was a good selection of waders, noteworthy was c70 Ruff, a good count, there was 20 Golden Plover, c100 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Little Stint - one showing very well close to the path. There was lots of Wigeon, Teal and 40+ Shoveler. We then headed off to the beach, where we had a nice selection f shorebirds, an excellent count of c120 Grey Plover, also Sanderling, Bar-tailed Godwit & Turnstone. Out over the sea there was a a few Common Scoter, Gannets and late Sandwich Terns.
A good 3 days with 118 species recorded.