Sunday, 17 October 2010

Norfolk weekend 9 & 10 October 2010

A return to a birding weekend in Norfolk staying B&B at Stiffkey Friday/Saturday night, on a weekend of easterlies potentially proved interesting. Saturday morning we decided to walk across the fields and work through the campsite woods, unfortunately not turning anything up of 'rarity' interest. The exceptionally high tide covering the salt marsh pushed a lot of birds close to the shore which are usually distant and it was obvious that there was a good passage of Robins and Thrushes in progress, a theme for the weekend. After returning to collect the car we decided to head towards Holme via Titchwell. Titchwell though shown as open had a slightly high volume of water in the fresh marsh and virtually none in the brackish, with the scrape in front of the 'bittern' hide overgrown. So this was slightly disappointing combined with the sea not holding much apart from a large flock of Common Scoter. We did manage a Water Pipit though on the brackish marsh. News of an Olive-backed Pipit took us back to Stiffkey anda rather slippery and muddy trudge across the marsh to the strip of grass covered mound that runs parallel to the shore. Good close views. The first we have had for some time and well worth the risk of a mud bath. Not everyone kept going and some turned back but run all the way LGRE! We then decided to head to Kelling for the Barred Warbler and due to the fact that the mobile signal can be erratic along the coast, we did not get to hear of the Radde's at Warham Green until later. Sadly we did not manage to see the Barred either, but there were many Goldcrests and a few finches coming in with Brambling and Siskin and the lane at dusk was full of Thrushes unidentifiable in the failing light other than via calls .

Sunday took us initially to Warham Greens, sadly no Radde's but plenty of visible migration going on. We then decided to give Holkam (Wells Wood) a go and discovered the hike in car parking costs since out last visit. The area around the toilet block was full of Goldcrests and after some patient searching we managed to find a Yellow-browed, which is always a delight. A late Reed Warbler got Denise going whilst partly hidden until to showed fully and later flight views of as normal, a very flighty Ring Ouzel amongst a mixed flock of over 500 Thrushes on brambles and rose hips by the fields, which brought a though if only we had nets! We no specific news of anything too outstanding, we decided the Wilson's Phalarope at Welney was a good excuse to head south at 2pm. We arrived having not been for some years to be met by a grand barn designed visitor centre. We easily managed to see the Wilson's followed by the Pec, and manage to catch one of the Short-eared Owls as it briefly flew around for short while.

A change to do some birding, always with the feeling of some good potential as the following week proved in Norfolk and along the east coast.