Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Norfolk 14 - 15 January 2012

As the weekend was forecast wind speeds that would make ringing not especially viable we decided to take a run up to Norfolk to visit family and do a bit of bird watching, but as it turned out the wind even for that was not that pleasant. Saturday started off with light/medium rain, with moderate cold wind, that made using a scope unpleasant. Sunday was brighter, but the wind was stronger and seemed to get a bit stronger by mid morning making birding a even more unpleasant. Birds in strong winds either whizz by quickly and tend not to give particularly good views. It seemed most of the birders around where either being guided by someone or out on a bird club outing, as any one local with sense was giving birding over the weekend a miss, as there would be better days to get out.

Saturday started off looking for Great Grey Shrikes at Fakenham and Egmere without success. If I had not been so intent looking into the field at Egmere I would have noticed the Barn Owl roosting in the hedge a few feet from me, which I could have probably picked up, but we had no rings of that size ion us in any event. We then made our way to Titchwell to find the fresh marsh looking like a small lake with water level particularly high. Titchwell was relatively quite, with the sea on an ebbing tide. The only birds of note were a Spoonbill and in the Goldfinch and Redpoll flock a single Common and Coue's Arctic Redpolls. A Water Rail was showing in a ditch next to the main track. On the way back to Fakenham we stopped off at Burnham Overy and had views of the Lapland Bunting flock of about 70 odd birds, and finally back at Fakenham poor, but close views of the Great Grey Shrike which was in the hedge next to the old road and was only seen in flushed flight views.

Titchwell beach

 Water Rail

Meadow trail

Goldfinch in an Alder

Sunday we made a trip to Cley, which probably held more than we saw, with most small birds keeping low or out of sight, and most of the waders on grassy/muddy field over looked by Avocet hide at the back of Whitwell scrape, where most of the Dunlin, Golden Plover and Ruff were taking refuge, along with distance and not very thrilling views of the Western Sandpiper. By early afternoon we decided two days of birding in strong winds was enough and headed south home.

 Avocet and Dawke's Hide

View from from Teal hide looking over Pats Pool

Three male Teal

Arnolds Marshes from East bank