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Pallid Harrier, Divers with Egg & Chips and 28 Cranes!!!!

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Old Thursday 28th September 2006, 22:10   #1
Penny Clarke
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Pallid Harrier, Divers with Egg & Chips and 28 Cranes!!!!

Arrived at Winterton to see Pallid Harrier at about 10am (later than I intended!) and parked in a layby on Collis Road (see Pallid Harrier thread for instructions how to get there) and walked up to where other birders were standing looking towards bonfire. I only had to wait about half an hour before I and several other people had distant but excellent views, what a beautiful bird. It was hidden from view for quite a while after that. A man across the other side on the top road had obviously then spotted it and several people where I was standing got in their cars to view it from the other side. I decided to stay where I was, which paid off a bit later! It favoured a particular tree for a very long time, until 2 or 3 crows pestered it to move. The Harrier then turned on one of the crows! It spent several times hidden out of view, but patience paid off as later on it moved a little closer to sit in a field and hopped several times, (like a magpie!) and gave everybody stupendous views of its head, it really was stunning, definately worth going too see. I will never foget it, I am tempted to go again, being as I still have the rest of my week's holiday!

I finally tore myself away at 1pmish and went on to Winterton Beach Cafe to look at the sea. I had sandwiches with me but fell for egg and chips sitting outside, while viewing, very close to shore: 2 black throated divers! 7 red throated divers! (showing off all their colours in the sunshine), 1 guillimot, and 1 razor bill. Another couple had also seen the 2 black throated divers and more red throated divers than I had! Can't remember how many they said now it think it was about 12/13! One of those stupid jet ski's had put all the divers up off the sea and they flew off west. I confess I have never actually been here and explored, only ever gone as far as Horsey Mill. The furthest I usually get is Cley, Salthouse. After pigging out on my low fat lunch I then ventured into the dune area towards the bushes/trees. I was absolutely amazed by the scene before me, an absolutely stunning place, goodness some birds must get missed here!!! Its VAST!!!!!! The immediate thought that ran through my head when I saw that massive valley of bushes and trees amongst the dunes was, that I wanted to sell up and move here! Didn't see hardly anything mind you, wrong winds, wrong time of day etc etc when I was walking through, only saw a few blackbirds eating berries, 2 garden tiger caterpillars, several small coppers, red admiral. I walked quite a way and then turned up to the dunes and walked back to cafe carpark along the cliffs and counted at least 25 swallows swirling round catching flies! (3pm) Back at the carpark, pied wagtails were bobbing about. A couple I had met earlier (viewing Pallid Harrier) were also in the carpark, they were on holiday in Hunstanton and were very excited when I told them I had heard somebody earlier saying the cranes at Waxham Barnes were in view, so I think they then went to see them! I hope they saw them. This was my next stop! On route to cranes, the car just veered off again (all by itself) to have another look at the harrier!! Did see it again but only briefly at 4.15pm and left it sitting in the bonfire heap! I hope it doesn't stay for bonfire night!!! A great spotted woodpecker landed on the telegraph pole behind us all. Left here and carried on to Waxham, just before, near a metal gate (left hand side of road) were 2 cars and scopes!!!! As I pulled in I couldn't believe my eyes, loads of cranes, feeding in the far side of field - 28 of them!!!! Took some distant shots. An extremely nice man asked me if I would like to borrow his 500mm lens - cool!!!!! I only have a 300mm lens and 1.4 x Kenko Converter making my lens 750mm for that shot!!! Won't be bril though as light was crap now at 5pm. Just after Waxham Barns I saw another 5 swallows. Stopped at Salthouse beach carpark to eat my lunchtime sandwiches and swil some tea down before a mini dusky walk along the top of the shingle and back. Heard and saw 6 sandwich terns. 9 Pied Wagtails on approach road and ended the day with at least 50+ Pink Feet going in the direction of Holkham!!! Drove home, got back 8.30ish.
Now VERY VERY happy and sleepy
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Old Thursday 28th September 2006, 22:30   #2
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Salthouse

Did you not see any Little Stints at Salthouse Penny. Have been loads there all week.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2006, 22:47   #3
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Did you not see any Little Stints at Salthouse Penny. Have been loads there all week.
No, it was almost dark, when I got to Salthouse, I was lucky to see anything!!!! I saw 4 at Titchwell on Sat 23rd though.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2006, 23:02   #4
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Never mind Penny I have had up to sixteen birds and when I met Nigel Blake on Tuesday afternoon he had had something like double that amount.
A great place to see them this year. See gallery.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2006, 23:06   #5
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Originally Posted by major wildlife
Never mind Penny I have had up to sixteen birds and when I met Nigel Blake on Tuesday afternoon he had had something like double that amount.
A great place to see them this year. See gallery.
Major
I'll have a proper look in daylight next time I pass that way!! Yes have already had a quick scan of your website, you have some AMAZING pictures
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Old Thursday 28th September 2006, 23:13   #6
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Thanks for that Penny.

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Old Friday 29th September 2006, 21:11   #7
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Thanks,Penny,a very interesting read,glad you had such a great day.
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Old Friday 29th September 2006, 22:43   #8
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Thanks,Penny,a very interesting read,glad you had such a great day.
Thanks Christine - yes definately the best day of my holiday so far - what will the weekend bring??!!!! Hope you have a good birding weekend too.

Best Wishes Penny
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