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Old Thursday 22nd June 2017, 17:27   #1
ClarkWGriswold
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RFI Norfolk - July 21st - 23rd

Not the best time of year but I'm planning my first brief trip to Norfolk in a few weeks. I'm still in shock that the OH has agreed

We're staying in Sutton and was thinking of an early morning at Weeting Heath and then Lekenheath Fen - are the Orioles still around? After that we have very little planned. Only having 2 full days will be a bit of a bind so we want to pack in as much as possible.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. As ever, my bogey bird remains English Partridge, so any good sites for them again, would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Rich
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Old Thursday 22nd June 2017, 17:28   #2
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I forgot to add that I've just bought Best Birdwatching Sites - Norfolk and am working my way through that.

Rich
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Old Thursday 22nd June 2017, 17:34   #3
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Would one of the mods adjust the thread title please? It's been a long day in work
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Old Friday 23rd June 2017, 08:11   #4
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Hi Rich,

It's a long drive from Sutton down to the Brecks and your time could probably be better spent. As you are so close to the Broads, I would spend one day exploring Hickling Broad, and the nearby Potter Heigham Marshes (Black-winged Stilts have just bred there). Ranworth NWT and Cockshoot Broads if you have the time

For your second day, you want to explore the North Norfolk coast. Get to Titchwell as early as you can and work your way back along the coast. The fields around Chosely Barns (5 minutes from Titchwell) often hold Grey Partridges. Then, as time allows, either try Lady Anne's Drive for breeding Spoonbills etc, or Cley NWT.

You will miss out Stone Curlew but get an idea of what Norfolk is all about. I might be able to arrange a meet at Titchwell if that appeals.

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Old Friday 23rd June 2017, 12:18   #5
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Hi Rich,

It's a long drive from Sutton down to the Brecks and your time could probably be better spent. As you are so close to the Broads, I would spend one day exploring Hickling Broad, and the nearby Potter Heigham Marshes (Black-winged Stilts have just bred there). Ranworth NWT and Cockshoot Broads if you have the time

For your second day, you want to explore the North Norfolk coast. Get to Titchwell as early as you can and work your way back along the coast. The fields around Chosely Barns (5 minutes from Titchwell) often hold Grey Partridges. Then, as time allows, either try Lady Anne's Drive for breeding Spoonbills etc, or Cley NWT.

You will miss out Stone Curlew but get an idea of what Norfolk is all about. I might be able to arrange a meet at Titchwell if that appeals.

Cheers

Gordon Hamlett - Author of the Best Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish Highlands
As the OP is possibly driving past the Brecks to get to Sutton think his suggestion of Lakenheath/Weeting could be quite a good idea. Add in Mayday Farm or Santon Downham and that would be a full day's birding. Whilst I agree about all the sites you mention being good the drive from Sutton to Titchwell is also fairly long and time could possibly be better spent more local to Sutton (at many of the places you mention). Titchwell, very good as it is, is not going to provide a whole lot different to staying local to Sutton and doing the broads and nearby coast. Personally if I was staying near the broads I would concentrate on that area and leave North Norfolk coast until I was staying in the area.

Just MHO

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Old Friday 23rd June 2017, 18:08   #6
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Cheers both. Stone Curlew is one of those iconic birds that I'd love to see. Don't laugh but Woodlark would be a lifer for me as well.

I just noticed Cromer isn't far either so might need a detour there. I can get around the Highlands and Islands with my eyes closed (thanks in no small part to a certain book) but Norfolk is a different kettle of fish entirely.

Unfortunately I'll be coming straight from work (Carmarthen) on the Thursday Nick so won't be arriving until late. Perhaps trying for them Sunday morning (early) on the way back might be a better option? According to the Norfolk book the Orioles breed at a certain site. Is it worth trying for them? Or is the information a little out of date?

Was thinking of the Black-winged Stilts but will need to Google map where they are in relation to Sutton. Got no qualms with getting up before dawn - I've dipped on Caper often enough

Cley and Titchwell were on my radar. I'll also look further into those sites you mentioned Nick. I'll DM you my mobile number Gordon. Would be great to meet up.

Thanks again both. That's exactly the information I was looking for.

Rich
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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 06:33   #7
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Hi Rich,

Golden orioles haven't been at Lakenheath for a few years now but there are cranes, bitterns, hobbies, bearded tits etc etc - an excellent reserve. And Weeting is just five minutes round the corner. Two days will not be long enough...

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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 11:38   #8
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Hi Rich,

Golden orioles haven't been at Lakenheath for a few years now but there are cranes, bitterns, hobbies, bearded tits etc etc - an excellent reserve. And Weeting is just five minutes round the corner. Two days will not be long enough...

Gordon
Any more than 2 days may have ended in divorce . I totally agree with you btw

Rich
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 19:06   #9
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Might just have to stop off for the Bee-eaters on the way home
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Old Monday 3rd July 2017, 11:44   #10
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Rich

If you do North Norfolk coast (Titchwell et al) a reliable site for grey partridge is Burnham overy staithe. I have often seen them in the filed to the right just after the 90deg LH bend in the embankment.

Good luck..PS do the bee eaters they are well worth a visit (fortunately only half an hour from me so OH didn't object to a short break in the holiday packing routine.
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Old Monday 3rd July 2017, 21:05   #11
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Rich

If you do North Norfolk coast (Titchwell et al) a reliable site for grey partridge is Burnham overy staithe. I have often seen them in the filed to the right just after the 90deg LH bend in the embankment.

Good luck..PS do the bee eaters they are well worth a visit (fortunately only half an hour from me so OH didn't object to a short break in the holiday packing routine.
Cheers Paul and good luck up in Scotland

Rich
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 18:55   #12
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Thx for the advice all. Just got back so will do a little write up after I've caught up on some sleep

Just to say though that it was a successful trip. Fantastic catching up with another BF member and your wife Gordon An extremely memorable trip to Titchwell made infinitely better by great company. And those Ruff!!!!!

Anyway. Cheers again all.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 19:18   #13
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So I got to bed at 02:30 and the alarm went off at 05:15. And the air bed had gone flat. I'm getting too old for this lark.

Heading off to Weeting Heath we quickly picked up Woodlarks and great views of 3 Stone Curlews. Next off it was off to Flitcham Abbey Farm for the Little Owls. Stopped off at various lay-bys on the way and saw several hares, Roe Deer, Red-Legged Partridges and quite a few Kestrels. At Abbey Farm we dipped on Little Owls but later found out I was in good company there. Kev picked up a Stoat from the hide. Whilst Kev and Paul were answering a call of nature I checked out another field and there they were. My all-time bogey bird. Approx. 10 Grey Partridges with Red-legs, Pheasants and rabbits. Quickly called Kev and got him on to them. Decided to end the morning on a high but did have a lovely Crab roll from the Crab Hut in Brancaster Harbour??

At Sutton (where we we were staying) we also had a decent beef and ham roll from the local butchers. Suitably filled we headed off for the afternoon. At Hickling Broad we were 10 mins late for a Bittern but had some nice views of various Warblers and Common Terns. One of the locals was very helpful and pointed us in the direction of Potter Heigham so off we went.

Egyptian Geese were on the broad and at the scrapes there were plenty of Terns and Avocets. Soon enough our target birds were picked up - Black-winged Stilts. Lovely birds.

We then called it a day and went back and finished off a few beers we'd picked up at The Real Ale Shop at Branthill Farm. Some lovely IPA's and Darks

Rich
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 19:38   #14
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Having arranged to meet fellow BFer Gordon at Titchwell for 08:00 we set off. Unfortunately I had to stop to check my tyre pressures as the warning light had come on. Now, according to the Satnav we had to make up 22 minutes on a journey that should take 1hr 23 mins We made up 23 minutes

Saw Stoat and Hare on the way. Met Gordon and his wife (Chris) in the car park. Had an amazing morning at Titchwell. Gordon and Chris were great company. Enjoyed discussing various Scottish birding locations as well

Around the reserve were Blackcap, Chiffchaffs, Bullfinch etc. and Gordon quickly picked up some flyby Spoonbills. A few Marsh Harrier were showing as well. At Fresh Marsh? we were treated to spectacular views of 17 Beardies. The stars of the show for me though were the Ruff. The variation in colour was amazing along with getting such close views. LRP's were also in front of the hide along with a couple of Spotted Redshanks that Gordon picked out and then Chris got us all on to a Little Gull Also good to see was a young Hobby hunting unsuccessfully over the pond. After all this we were treated to great views of the Pectoral Sandpiper that had been around a few days.

Next we had a quick walk down to the beach followed by a visit to the new hide. Med Gulls gave better views here along with further Marsh Harriers and LRP's. We also picked out a cracking little Curlew Sandpiper.

Walked back to the car park with Gordon and Chris and said our farewells. A brilliant morning G. Both of us can't thank yourself, and Chris enough. I think you were right btw. This won't be our last trip to Norfolk

Rich
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 19:54   #15
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Next we headed to Cley stopping off at Cookies for a selection of seafood first. Not bad G but I maintain it's a way off Scottish seafood.

At Cley we headed straight for the main hides. Again there were good numbers of Ruff, Avocet and Black-Tailed Godwit here along with a couple of Common Sandpiper. Then there was some real excitement when a White Stork flew over! Holy molyor words to that effect were said. Later found it originally was a wild bird that was ringed in Poland but was injured on power lines and was transported to Norfolk for treatment. And therefore not tickable . Almost didn't matter though as it was a wonderful sight.

Forgot to mention that Kev totally fluked a Turtle Dove on a telegraph pole on the drive over and we picked up a couple of Yellowhammers here and there.

Outside the hide was a YLG and we later picked up Caspian Gull which were lifers for both of us. Had a walk along the raised paths before heading back to the hides. Had a couple of Beardies in the reed beds and a couple more Harsh Marriers.

In the hide we were amazed at the skill levels of the birders. Waders and Gulls in flight were no problem. A water spout was a sight I hadn't seen before which was a little weird. Further flocks of Greenshank arrived along with a superb looking Whimbrel.

Time to call it a day for a couple of well earned beers

Rich
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 20:05   #16
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Stopped off on "the way home" for some cracking views of the Bee-eaters in Notts.

Really enjoyed our trip to Norfolk though 2 days was predictably not long enough. Brilliant to catch up with Gordon and Chris. Chuffed to finally see Grey Partridge

The vast majority of birders were helpful and friendly. Something I wasn't quite expecting. Unfortunately my view of birders on the dry side of the bridge appears to have been tainted somewhat, by too many trips to Slimbridge. I may need to change this view - a little

Norfolk itself was full of quaint little villages, and some really decent beers were available.

Thanks again for the advice all.

Rich
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Old Friday 28th July 2017, 11:30   #17
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Glad you enjoyed your trip. North Norfolk is probably our trip of choice as it is only a couple of hours drive from Leicester. Personally cant wait for autumn as anything can turn up there on passage (last years great knot at Titchwell was a real stunner!)

Pleased you had time on the return for the Bee eaters. They surely are cracking birds (and a lifer for me). Hopefully the numbers will be swelling soon!!

Not had time to write up my Scotland adventures yet but will post something soon.
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Old Friday 28th July 2017, 17:06   #18
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Glad you enjoyed your trip. North Norfolk is probably our trip of choice as it is only a couple of hours drive from Leicester. Personally cant wait for autumn as anything can turn up there on passage (last years great knot at Titchwell was a real stunner!)

Pleased you had time on the return for the Bee eaters. They surely are cracking birds (and a lifer for me). Hopefully the numbers will be swelling soon!!

Not had time to write up my Scotland adventures yet but will post something soon.
A great trip Paul. Wish it was closer though. Looking forward to reading your Scottish write up. I've blagged another trip to Nethy at the end of September but this genuinely will be more of a family holiday. My baby sister is 30 and she wanted to go to Scotland to celebrate. Obviously I didn't need to be asked twice

Rich
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Old Sunday 30th July 2017, 16:26   #19
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Hi Rich,

Here's what you would have seen if you had come up this weekend instead of last...

Cley (yesterday afternoon)

Dog otter right in front of hide,
Short-eared owl in-off
Green, common, wood and curlew sandpipers,
Greenshank
hobby
Med gull
Yellow-legged gull - didn't stay late enough for Caspians to come in

Titchwell,

Sunday morning

Bittern
7 spoonbills
fox
Gannets
Fulmar
18 species of wader including grey plover, sanderling, turnstone, blackwit, barwit, knot, common sand, LRP, snipe, curlew, whimbrel, spotshank and your favourite ruff
Beardies

When did you say you were coming again?

Cheers,

Gordon
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Old Sunday 30th July 2017, 17:33   #20
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Hi Rich,

Here's what you would have seen if you had come up this weekend instead of last...

Cley (yesterday afternoon)

Dog otter right in front of hide,
Short-eared owl in-off
Green, common, wood and curlew sandpipers,
Greenshank
hobby
Med gull
Yellow-legged gull - didn't stay late enough for Caspians to come in

Titchwell,

Sunday morning

Bittern
7 spoonbills
fox
Gannets
Fulmar
18 species of wader including grey plover, sanderling, turnstone, blackwit, barwit, knot, common sand, LRP, snipe, curlew, whimbrel, spotshank and your favourite ruff
Beardies

When did you say you were coming again?

Cheers,

Gordon
You're so lucky to have those places on your doorstep Gordon. Goldcliff yesterday gave me an almighty reality check

Rich
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Old Thursday 17th August 2017, 19:57   #21
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An interesting read, Rich. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Norfolk. You crammed lots in and got some great birds and some great advice in this thread. The Potter Heigham Marshes have really only come on to the radar this year and have produced some great birds. Steve and I recently saw the Bairds Sandpiper there.
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Old Friday 18th August 2017, 18:40   #22
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An interesting read, Rich. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Norfolk. You crammed lots in and got some great birds and some great advice in this thread. The Potter Heigham Marshes have really only come on to the radar this year and have produced some great birds. Steve and I recently saw the Bairds Sandpiper there.
Cheers Carol. Congratulations on the Bairds.

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip but quite tiring fitting all that in to a short space of time. The closeness of the birds, particularly at Titchwell, was a great experience.

Rich
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