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East Anglia in May

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Old Saturday 9th April 2011, 18:37   #1
ekopa
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East Anglia in May

Hello!

I will be visiting a friend in Cambridge in May and would like to spend a few days birding. Sea and shorebirds are of a special interest to me. Could you recommend a few places around? I will probably have a car so will be able to go long distances to get to the sea. It'd be also great to know any particularly good spots for general birding in Cambridgeshire or close to it!

Thanks!
Aleksey

Wish list (happy to see even a half of it:))
Fulmar
Manx Shearwater
Storm Petrel
Eider
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-legged Partridge
Kentish Plover
Kittiwake
Little Tern
Roseate Tern
Puffin
Black Guillemot
Common Guillemont
Razorbill
Barn Owl
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Old Tuesday 12th April 2011, 09:56   #2
Sharp Shin
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Hello Aleksey

Cambridge in May wouldn't really be the best location to be near most of the sea birds that you list. FULMAR would be the easiest - head to the cliffs at Hunstanton in north-west Norfolk (and when you're there, head just a little more east to some of the best birding areas in the UK). LITTLE TERN should be found at some/most of the north Norfolk reserve, though Minsmere in Suffolk is a certainty fo these birds (and, again, you should make a point of visiting this reserve). KITTIWAKE can be found nesting on the outflow rigs just off Sizewell (immediately south of Minsmere). For PUFFIN, COMMON GUILLEMOT and RAZORBILL, you'll have to head further north to a seabird colony, such as that at Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire. FOR MANX SHEARWATER it might be best to head to somewhere like South Stack in Anglesey, north Wales and, whilst you're there you could visit Cemlyn Lagoon where, if you are very very lucky, you might find ROSEATE TERN, and visit the Penmon Peninsula where, again if you are lucky, you might find BLACK GUILLEMOT. I don't know how long you are staying, but all of these seabirds are more likely to be seen in June rather than, say, early May. You might have to head even further north to find EIDER and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (which will have largely moved from the south of England by May - though some Eider may linger). For STORM PETREL, you will certainly have to go the Welsh or, preferably, north Scottish coasts to get a chance of finding them out on the sea (and again the later in the summer the better). KENTISH PLOVER is now fairly rare occurence, so no site is reliable. As for the non-seabirds, north Norfolk would be a certainly for BARN OWL (though I'm sure that there are other certain locations in Cambridgeshire). As for RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE, go to any field and you'll trip over them!

I think that about covers your list. Hope that it was helpful. Have a great trip and the best of luck in your birding.

Stewart
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Old Saturday 16th April 2011, 20:05   #3
ekopa
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It's really helpful, Stewart. Thank you very much! Will do my best to visit most of the sites you mentioned!
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Old Friday 22nd April 2011, 14:40   #4
oceancol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekopa View Post
Hello!

I will be visiting a friend in Cambridge in May and would like to spend a few days birding. Sea and shorebirds are of a special interest to me. Could you recommend a few places around? I will probably have a car so will be able to go long distances to get to the sea. It'd be also great to know any particularly good spots for general birding in Cambridgeshire or close to it!

Thanks!
Aleksey

Wish list (happy to see even a half of it:))
Fulmar
Manx Shearwater
Storm Petrel
Eider
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-legged Partridge
Kentish Plover
Kittiwake
Little Tern
Roseate Tern
Puffin
Black Guillemot
Common Guillemont
Razorbill
Barn Owl
While I can't guide you onto the birds you list, I can recommend visiting the RSPB reserve at Fen Drayton, also the Fowlmere reserve. These are both within 10 miles of Cambridge. You also have Grafham Water where the Lagoons have many species also the west end of the reservoir has a wildlife trail. Have a look at the website of the Wild Life trust for Cambridge and Bedford. A bit further out are the Ouse Washes, the WWT Swan reserve at Welney [loads of other species] the RSPB at Lakenheath Fen Mildenhall. All have websites!!

The nearest piece of coastline to Cambridge is around 50 - 60 miles away near to Kings Lynn. Snettisham springs to mind as does the Titchwell reserve a few mile further along the Norfolk coast.

Good luck on your search and make sure you visit the colleges while you are in Cambridge although exams may limit your access to some of the colleges.
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Old Friday 29th April 2011, 12:54   #5
ekopa
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Thank you, oceancol! Looking forward to seeing these places!
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Old Monday 9th April 2012, 16:57   #6
dwatsonbirder
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Hello ekopa,

As others have already mentioned, North Norfolk is probably the best option for a variety of species in May, Ive managed 100 species in a day along the coast without too much effort. Fulmar breeds on the cliffs below Hunstanton lighthouse, whilst an early morning start could reward you with Manx Shearwater offshore, though these are more frequent July onwards. 4 species of tern should be fairly easy anywhere along the coast. The other seabirds are perhaps best looked for further north, as they dont breed quite as far south and are unlikely to be seen, though Gannet is regular (not sure if thats a species you will have seen). Kittiwake can be found at Dunwich on the offshore rig, I believe this is the most southernly colony in the northern hemisphere! If you need information on any other species please feel free to PM me.
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Old Monday 9th April 2012, 18:35   #7
hampers
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Originally Posted by Sharp Shin View Post
Hello Aleksey

Cambridge in May wouldn't really be the best location to be near most of the sea birds that you list. FULMAR would be the easiest - head to the cliffs at Hunstanton in north-west Norfolk (and when you're there, head just a little more east to some of the best birding areas in the UK). LITTLE TERN should be found at some/most of the north Norfolk reserve, though Minsmere in Suffolk is a certainty fo these birds (and, again, you should make a point of visiting this reserve). KITTIWAKE can be found nesting on the outflow rigs just off Sizewell (immediately south of Minsmere). For PUFFIN, COMMON GUILLEMOT and RAZORBILL, you'll have to head further north to a seabird colony, such as that at Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire. FOR MANX SHEARWATER it might be best to head to somewhere like South Stack in Anglesey, north Wales and, whilst you're there you could visit Cemlyn Lagoon where, if you are very very lucky, you might find ROSEATE TERN, and visit the Penmon Peninsula where, again if you are lucky, you might find BLACK GUILLEMOT. I don't know how long you are staying, but all of these seabirds are more likely to be seen in June rather than, say, early May. You might have to head even further north to find EIDER and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (which will have largely moved from the south of England by May - though some Eider may linger). For STORM PETREL, you will certainly have to go the Welsh or, preferably, north Scottish coasts to get a chance of finding them out on the sea (and again the later in the summer the better). KENTISH PLOVER is now fairly rare occurence, so no site is reliable. As for the non-seabirds, north Norfolk would be a certainly for BARN OWL (though I'm sure that there are other certain locations in Cambridgeshire). As for RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE, go to any field and you'll trip over them!

I think that about covers your list. Hope that it was helpful. Have a great trip and the best of luck in your birding.

Stewart
Holyhead harbour, Anglesey usually has black guillimot.
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Old Monday 9th April 2012, 18:59   #8
eagle golden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekopa View Post
Hello!

I will be visiting a friend in Cambridge in May and would like to spend a few days birding. Sea and shorebirds are of a special interest to me. Could you recommend a few places around? I will probably have a car so will be able to go long distances to get to the sea. It'd be also great to know any particularly good spots for general birding in Cambridgeshire or close to it!

Thanks!
Aleksey

Wish list (happy to see even a half of it:))
Fulmar
Manx Shearwater
Storm Petrel
Eider
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-legged Partridge
Kentish Plover
Kittiwake
Little Tern
Roseate Tern
Puffin
Black Guillemot
Common Guillemont
Razorbill
Barn Owl
Kentish plover will not be around unless you are very lucky, but most of the others should be, Snettisham, titchwell, hunstanton cliffs, terns will be at both, barn owls will be around where you are staying, but all around east anglia, can be good at any time, dont forget weeting and lakenheath, for stone curlew, cranes, marsh harriers, we had a week in march and managed 76 species. mac
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