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Norfolk birding

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Old Friday 12th September 2008, 21:27   #4626
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That is an interesting theory - I have seen skuas over Snettisham RSPB before, heading towards Kings Lynn, but was unfortunately too young to be interested in taking note of behaviour, etc. Perhaps these were birds that had hit the bottom of the cul de sac?
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Old Friday 12th September 2008, 21:40   #4627
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Originally Posted by gareth_blockley View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'm still not sure whether to come over or not. Though i am tempted by a morning of seawatching following by passerine hunting!

Gareth
Hi Gareth

If you are coming just for the day, Sunday will be better than Saturday, but if you are coming for the whole weekend, it could well be worth it - who knows what will turn up I have predicted to a friend there will be a greenish warbler in the NWT Forestry area at Holme at precisely 3pm tomorrow (Sat)!!!!! Have a good weekend whatever you decide to do.

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Old Friday 12th September 2008, 21:56   #4628
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Met office website for Norfolk:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/...t_weather.html

Rain clearing this evening. Mainly dry on Saturday.
This Evening and Tonight:

Rain or showers, locally heavy, will die out this evening, then tonight will be mostly dry with broken cloud. Some patchy mist or fog will form towards morning. Minimum temperature 12 C.

Saturday:

Patchy mist or fog clearing, then most places will be dry and warm with sunny intervals. However, eastern areas may remain rather cloudy, perhaps with a few spots of rain. Maximum temperature 20 C.



Mist/fog in morning and then the sun coming out!!!!! sounds good to me for a MEGA day - here's hoping it DOESN'T remain cloudy in eastern areas!
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Old Friday 12th September 2008, 21:59   #4629
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think we might all be having kittens this weekend

http://www.freewebs.com/punkbirder/rareometer.htm
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Old Friday 12th September 2008, 22:01   #4630
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think we might all be having kittens this weekend

http://www.freewebs.com/punkbirder/rareometer.htm
I saw that yesterday, REALLY made me laugh
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Old Saturday 13th September 2008, 08:12   #4631
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Early Warning

Rather than my day excursions to the north coast I have decided to tow my caravan to Little Snoring and spend a few days birding. This of course will mean everything will disappear so be warned

Hope to arrive lunchtime Tuesday and once set up visit Hempton Marsh and Sculthorpe. Wednesday at Cley, Thursday a booked walk at Titchwell then freelance locally, Friday a booked walk at Snettisham and then freelance at Holme. Hopefully, at some point a visit to Holkham (RBA texts activated).

Would be nice to meet with anyone in the area and hopefully add a few lifers and year ticks as my birding this year has been limited.

Hope the weather improves
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Old Saturday 13th September 2008, 14:07   #4632
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HB or not HB!

Nice early morning walk up to Blakeney Point - started walking up very early (still lots of fog at the start) and had the following

1 Honey Buzzard - pale bird - in off sea at 0920 and low over Plantation- headed inland

1 Short eared owl

1 Garden Warbler
1 Les Whitethroat
1 juv Whinchat
4-5 Wheatear
lots of Swallows and h martins through

What to me looked like a pale bellied brent goose with a 'normal' bird was on the beach - could this be possible at this time of year (pale b brent that is)!?

Past at sea - 4 great skua, 2 arctic skua, 3 little gulls lots of close gannets

A bit gutted that Barred W was seen in the lupins. I sat by those for about 30 mins - in fact that is where the only warblers i saw were!...as always birds seem to come in throughout the day at the point

And finally an Osprey flew inland as i was reaching the coastguards/Cley car park. (my 2nd this month)

Surely the number of HB's moving through will equal or beat the last 'passage invasion' in the UK...was that in 2000?
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Old Saturday 13th September 2008, 17:14   #4633
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Unhappy Titchwell September 13th

Today's highlights

Spoonbill - 3 on fresh marsh until late morning before flying off
Curlew sandpiper - 8 juvs on fresh marsh
Little stint - 4 juvs on fresh marsh
Golden plover - 200 on fresh marsh
Mandarin - drake on fresh marsh
Pintail - 41 on fresh marsh
Greenshank - 9 on fresh marsh
Redstart - female in bushes along main path
Hobby - 1 over saltmarsh
Peregrine - 1 in/off sea
Spotted flycatcher - 1 in carpark
Pomarine skua - 5 west
Manx shearwater - 1 east
Black tern - 9 offshore
Honey buzzard - 4 birds seen from the reserve during the day but unfortunatly I didn't manage to catch up with any
Grey heron - 9 on fresh marsh, 9 west offshore!!
Whinchat - 1 on fresh marsh
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Old Saturday 13th September 2008, 18:22   #4634
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An interesting day of visible migration today, with the obvious highlight being a Honey Buzzard east along the inland ridge at c.3:30pm, being hassled by two Carrion Crows. I first saw it at reasonable range before it began drifting away towards Titchwell RSPB. Fortunatelty it doubled back briefly and I managed to get through to C.H.M. (Norfolkbirder) who was in the Forestry and he ran up just in time to see it. Earlier a distant Buzzard sp. flew south at 1:45pm. Waders were well represented with a Wood Sandpiper east, 15+ Greenshanks, 10 Golden Plovers and 21 Snipe west. A small scattering of migrant passerines included a respectable total of 5 Redstarts (1 male), as well as 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 female Whinchat, 1 female Wheatear and 2 Garden Warblers, as well as small influx of c. 40 Goldcrests and a scattering of commoner warblers, including 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler and 4 Lesser Whitethroats. Other viz-mig totals included 30 Wigeon, 60+ Curlews, 3 Brent Geese, 40 Swallows, 1 Siskin w, 1 Yellow Wagtail w, 5 Reed Buntings w and 60 Meadow Pipits. Many of the migrant passerines seemed to arrive in the afternoon, coinciding with the change in wind-direction to ENE - hopefully a sign of things to come tommorow.
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Old Saturday 13th September 2008, 19:17   #4635
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Nice early

What to me looked like a pale bellied brent goose with a 'normal' bird was on the beach - could this be possible at this time of year (pale b brent that is)!?

Surely the number of HB's moving through will equal or beat the last 'passage invasion' in the UK...was that in 2000?

There was a pb Brent at Sheringham earlier this week so possibly even the same bird

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...G=Search&meta=

interesting reading especially the first two links, seems that yesterdays rain may have played an important factor in bringing them over, looks like the numbers are going to increase over the next couple of days but with more being seen at inland sites.
In between making the teas managed to see one being hassled by corvids + an osprey then on the patch this evening 5+ Whinchat and two very dark Wheatear - they looked like they had come from a very long way east

check out the origin of these winds -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/e...ope/wind.shtml

good luck tomorrow everyone.

Last edited by Songkhran : Saturday 13th September 2008 at 19:40.
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Old Saturday 13th September 2008, 19:24   #4636
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Where can I have a go at bat flushers? Actually, only joking, but still interesting that RBA requested that the parti-coloured bat seen at Kelling was not disturbed and it obviously was! When will we learn! Not looking good for the next skulking rare!
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Old Saturday 13th September 2008, 23:35   #4637
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Arrived Holme 7.15pm. Foggy leaving King's Lynn, but the sun broke through by the time I got to Holme. Quick scan in bushes opposite public toilets, not alot there. Then drove down and had a quick look in Redwell Marsh Hide where I saw a party of long tailed tits along the path, 2 goldfinches and a robin. From the hide were 22 egyptian geese, 1 snipe, 1 little egret. Tons of cobwebs glistening with dew this morning with big fat spiders in the middle!

Parked half way down the Firs road and walked along back path overlooking paddocks to meet up with Chris M. and Andy W. 7 snipe flew over, 3 stonechats in bushes along with a few reed bunting. We walked along the dune ridge towards Gore Point and had 20 common scooter, 2 whimbrel, 1 curlew on shore. We crossed Gore Point and joined Connor in the NWT Forestry who had already beaten us to it with a couple of redstart and a whinchat! In here we saw several hedgesparrows, 40 goldfinches went west, 17 linnets, 2 male black caps (at least), 5 lesser whitethroats, 2 chiffchaffs, another 23 goldfinches, 1 female wheatear, 1 turtle dove (I saw) Andy and Chris had 2, 1 hobby, marsh harrier. We all split up, Connor headed for obs, Chris and Andy went off to one part of the forestry and I went back to head for car for jam sandwich. I didn't get very far when I saw a VERY interesting warbler shoot across from a bramble into a very small privet bush that was only a couple of feet wide. I pissheed it several times and out popped a VERY stripy, very striking head with bold supercilium and my immediate instinct was OMG an Aquatic warbler!!!!! I didn't see the main body at all only this striking head and odd behaviour. It sunk down into the bush just as quick and made a single 'chuckkk', long pause, 'chuckkk' long pause etc etc, I felt incredibly excited that I might have actually found my own MEGA and VERY frustratingly could not get hold of either Chris or Andy on the phone Got hold of Connor though and he came back back with another local birder and eventually Chris and Andy joined us too. I did not see or hear the bird again after everyone turned up!!!! Then suddenly it appeared for a second or two but not long enough to 100% ID it. We moved to the other side of bush and it VERY, VERY disappointingly turned out to be a BL**DY juv. Sedge Warbler, I was so cross! and VERY disappointed I apogised to everyone but as Chris and another man said, its better to check it out etc etc. I was cursing for a while after this Walked back to car and had lunch then we drove down to NOA carpark. We scanned the marsh and skies by the side of observatory for a long time trying to pick up all these Honey Buzzards that have been flashing up on the pager all day long. We had a buzzard sp. but were not lucky with HB's! Marsh harrier, kestrels though and a redstart. We then took our cars back up to the 5-bar gate and had another look in the forestry were we saw a lovely male redstart and a spotted flycatcher close in proximity to each other! Andy and I went back up to pines behind The Firs and on route Connor and Chris phoned us to let us know about a honey buzzard going through, but Andy and I could not pick up on it In the pines lots of goldcrests were zipping about and I suddenly spotted 2 treecreepers on a pine tree! Walked back through reserve and along road where we found another chiffchaff in sallow bush and back to 5-gate to where cars were parked. Connor and Chris had already left and now Andy left to go home.

I continued birding and went to look in Redwell marsh reserve where I had a Green Sandpiper directly in front of hide! and 3 wood sandpipers mid distance.

I then went to Holme Marsh Reserve NWT which was in a TERRIBLE state. I have not been there for a while and apparently there are horses grazing in there. The path that used to be there for walking to the 3 hides is now several yards wide BUT with horse sh*t, piles of it all the way along, it was a right mess to say the least. On route I saw several blue tits, a chiffchaff, 9 linnets and a party of long tailed tits and 1 snipe. And Hide 1 was a complete waste of time as the reeds in front of the hide completely covered all the water. I walked directly to hide 3 and saw nothing apart from a few mallard and cows!!! Walked back to car and then followed public footpath out to Holme marsh as far as the 5-bar gate marked private no entrance. I stood by this gate and within seconds I was watching a barn owl AND my first short eared owl of the year carrying a vole!!!!!!!!!! I had a real BLONDE moment and had all my camera gear in my backpack and the SEO then turned and followed the ditch and came straight for me!!! It was the closest ever, most stunning views I have ever had with a SEO and I didn't have the camera out!!!!! Nice bird ended a good day with excellent company too

Best Wishes Penny

Last edited by Penny Clarke : Sunday 14th September 2008 at 10:14.
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 10:13   #4638
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Blimey!!!!!! HONEY BUZZARDS ON PASSAGE AGAIN TODAY, RBA pager going continuously with Honey Buzzards messages, seen this morning at Holme, Heach, 5 at Hunstanton, Thornham, Northrepps, Salthouse, Norwich, Weybourne, Attleborough.

Also red backed shrike at Heacham, right of sewage works.

But get my skates on and get out there

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 11:02   #4639
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Originally Posted by Penny Clarke View Post
Blimey!!!!!! HONEY BUZZARDS ON PASSAGE AGAIN TODAY, RBA pager going continuously with Honey Buzzards messages, seen this morning at Holme, Heach, 5 at Hunstanton, Thornham, Northrepps, Salthouse, Norwich, Weybourne, Attleborough.

Also red backed shrike at Heacham, right of sewage works.

But get my skates on and get out there

Best Wishes Penny
Would be interested to now if these incoming Honey Buzzards follow any kind of pattern when traveling across land? (this question could include other raptor species also) are they likely to stick to any particular topography type (heavily wooded areas/river valleys etc) or do they just wing it in a random fashion!!!

My best watchpoint is 11 miles away in the Waverney..looks like I'd better pack some sarnies and get the bike out!!!!

Good mig hunting folks!!

Matt
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 13:04   #4640
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Would be interested to now if these incoming Honey Buzzards follow any kind of pattern when traveling across land? (this question could include other raptor species also) are they likely to stick to any particular topography type (heavily wooded areas/river valleys etc) or do they just wing it in a random fashion!!!

My best watchpoint is 11 miles away in the Waverney..looks like I'd better pack some sarnies and get the bike out!!!!

Good mig hunting folks!!

Matt
Although would have liked to see some HB's today learnt alot about how they migrate and how sneaky they are. Went to Incleborough (huge panoramic views), pagers going off of reports of birds on all sides - Northrepps, Salthouse, and Aylmerton, couldn't understand why not seeing any and called my mate in Aylmerton, then headed up there but passage had ended by the point.
Have however worked out some reasons why i missed them, apparently the birds today at Aylmerton flew quite low South out of the woods, heading in SE and SW directions (not viewable from Incleborough) - presumably yesterdays birds having roosted. Would guess that all of todays birds were birds that arrived yesterday either here or further North - with birds moving down through the Wash a new feature of today, spent some time looking for birds coming in off the sea - which i hindsight was wrong. Only site that seems slightly unusual are the 9+ at Burnham Overy (hard cheese chumpbirders - but i can hardly talk )but presumably these were birds 'cutting the corner'.

I think these birds are generally moving south, roosting in wooded areas?, using staging posts (Abberton res in 2000) and in a few days should start filtering out through Beachy Head, Portland (see links) but I would say theres nothing random about these birds

Got to be philosophical rather than blame luck, and i'll be prepared next time
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 14:22   #4641
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Where can I have a go at bat flushers? Actually, only joking, but still interesting that RBA requested that the parti-coloured bat seen at Kelling was not disturbed and it obviously was! When will we learn! Not looking good for the next skulking rare!
It surprised me that the news of any roosting bat, especially one that is a migrant and obviously needs to rest during the day, was put out during the day. If the local bat group or someone had orginised a veiwing at night then news shouldn't have been put ou til late afternon.

Anyway. Unfortunately I didn't make it to Norfolk this weekend, had stuff to do yesturday and failed to get up this morning at a worthwhile hour! Unfortunately i could have got three lifers today, but then theres always another day, even another year. Thanks again to Pomskua for offering to share his wisdom in seawatching. Hopefully I'll make it over another day, even though i may have to wait till next year for some species!

Gareth
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 15:33   #4642
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Thanks for the information on the pale b brent.. I have looked at my 'phone photos' of the bird, and it definately was one!..the bird i saw then flew west with its dark bellied partner and could well be the same one seen at/past Sherringham.

Spent a while today 'skywatching' in the garden in the hope of adding HB to the garden list but none seen!...The bird i saw coming in off the sea at Blakeney yesterday was very low (compared to the Osprey i saw same day)... Would be interesting to know if the birds seen inland were flying high up or not. All the ones i have seen migrating in Italy tend to follow the coast quite strictly and don't tend to cut corners, but i suppose that is known migration routes for them rather than the birds over here which are off track? Will have a look at those links you have posted
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 17:06   #4643
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Titchwell September 14th

Today's highlights

Bittern - 1 over main path into reedbed @ 10am
Hobby - 2 east during day
Honey buzzard - 2 south over reserve @ 13:30
Red necked phalarope - juv on fresh marsh
Pectoral sandpiper - 1 on fresh marsh although distant and elusive
Little stint - 12 on fresh marsh
Curlew sandpiper - 20 on fresh marsh
Firecrest - 2 along path to Fen Hide
Little gull - 20 offshore
Spotted flycatcher - 2 at Thornham Point
Whinchat - 1 at Thornham Point
Redstart - 1 at Thornham Point
Red necked grebe - 1 offshore

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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 17:36   #4644
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Question Origin of Honey Buzzards

Bearing in mind the HBs were arriving in numbers by mid-morning on Saturday all over the east coast....where were they at Friday dusk and Saturday at dawn?

Spent three and a half hours today with Norfolkbirder on the Choseley north slope (down towards Ttchwell) with an excellent panoramic view especially north, south and west and did not see a single HB!

Did see 6 migrating herons heading west.

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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 17:39   #4645
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Just got in after a good 5 hours in the field.
Started at Happisburgh, as is the norm now. Walked to cart gap via Doggerts Lane, as recommended by a couple of guys on the forum (cheers). A quiet start, just a Wheatear and Whinchat. Couple of Sandwich Terns on the groynes. Real potential here though, lots of clifftop scrub and gardens for tired migrants.
Headed to Winterton, called in at Waxham. Bit of bush whacking again came to very little, still hadnt seen another birder!
Things finally picked up at Winterton. At least 4 Whinchat, a lovely Lesser Whitethroat and Female Redstart. 3+ Wheatear here, and a number of GBB Gull moving through were noted. I flushed a Hobby on the way back to the car and had a distant view of a Buzzard sp. The Silohuette looked good for Honey but couldnt be sure. Driving through Potter Heigham on the way home, another buzzard sp. Rather than cause an accident I continued driving.
So, the day that almost was I guess. I spoke to a couple of birders at Winterton, and they had much the same experience. Someone had a Pied Fly, but nothing else. Things just didnt materialise like I had hoped today, despite the excitement bought about by the onset of easterlies. Where were all the birds? Did anyone else make it out east today? I see Holme had a couple of good birds.
Cheers,
Jim.
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 17:48   #4646
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Well a half-decent day today at Holme. Missed the release of the Thrush Nightingale (by 10-15 mins!) unfortunately, having decided to have lay in (was very depressed by this actually it has to be said - coudln't talk to anyone for the next hour without looking solemn and/or snapping! Sorry guys!) I had the grand total of zero Honey Buzzards as well (1 Buzzard sp, 1 Common Buzzard best I could do), but did have resonable numbers of common migrants, with 5 Pied Flycatchers, 7 Redstarts (2 males), 3 Whinchats and 1 Wheatear - also had singles of Song Thrush and Willow Warbler in of the sea. Overall a rather depressing and dissapointing day really, but then they are a necessary evil I suppose. Redstart pics on the blog.
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 18:27   #4647
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Thanks for the information on the pale b brent.. I have looked at my 'phone photos' of the bird, and it definately was one!..the bird i saw then flew west with its dark bellied partner and could well be the same one seen at/past Sherringham.

Spent a while today 'skywatching' in the garden in the hope of adding HB to the garden list but none seen!...The bird i saw coming in off the sea at Blakeney yesterday was very low (compared to the Osprey i saw same day)... Would be interesting to know if the birds seen inland were flying high up or not. All the ones i have seen migrating in Italy tend to follow the coast quite strictly and don't tend to cut corners, but i suppose that is known migration routes for them rather than the birds over here which are off track? Will have a look at those links you have posted
Sacha
Had two HBs yesterday over Attleborough (not unsurprisingly a garden tick!) and both were just blogging along about 200ft up. The first bird was being hassled by a crow and just kept heading south whereas the second one was circling slowly and drifting south but didn't seem to be gaining height before lost to view. An osprey over the garden this morning at 9.30 was about the same height but heading pretty purposefully south. In fact the only raptor I've seen over the weekend that was 'doing what raptors should do' was a lone common buzzard heading very high south west.
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 19:22   #4648
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Just got in after a good 5 hours in the field.
Started at Happisburgh, as is the norm now. Walked to cart gap via Doggerts Lane, as recommended by a couple of guys on the forum (cheers). A quiet start, just a Wheatear and Whinchat. Couple of Sandwich Terns on the groynes. Real potential here though, lots of clifftop scrub and gardens for tired migrants.
Headed to Winterton, called in at Waxham. Bit of bush whacking again came to very little, still hadnt seen another birder!
Things finally picked up at Winterton. At least 4 Whinchat, a lovely Lesser Whitethroat and Female Redstart. 3+ Wheatear here, and a number of GBB Gull moving through were noted. I flushed a Hobby on the way back to the car and had a distant view of a Buzzard sp. The Silohuette looked good for Honey but couldnt be sure. Driving through Potter Heigham on the way home, another buzzard sp. Rather than cause an accident I continued driving.
So, the day that almost was I guess. I spoke to a couple of birders at Winterton, and they had much the same experience. Someone had a Pied Fly, but nothing else. Things just didnt materialise like I had hoped today, despite the excitement bought about by the onset of easterlies. Where were all the birds? Did anyone else make it out east today? I see Holme had a couple of good birds.
Cheers,
Jim.
I did a similar but opposite walk to you, getting dropped off at Winterton and then walking North to Sea Palling. Only bird of note at Winterton South Dunes was a female Redstart, picked up another couple on the North Dunes plus a Pied Flycatcher. Also 11 wheatears, 20+ stonechat, 1 yellow wagtail at Horsey Gap, Hobby and a nice male Redstart between Waxham and Sea Palling. Not a bad haul, but nothing out of the ordinary, and no sign of any Honey Buzzards!

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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 20:56   #4649
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Popped into Titchwell to see the Red-necked Phalarope, spinning around like a headless...phalarope! Paul you must think I am completely mad, the way I waltzed in and out. Then spent the rest of the afternoon hoping in vein that the Thrush Nightingale might reappear (or be retrapped). Met up with Connor for a good chat and nice to meet you again, Ben.
Interesting how Spurn handled the PGW they trapped. News out quickly and released 1/2hour later at an accessable site. If only...
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Old Sunday 14th September 2008, 21:25   #4650
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Just got in after a good 5 hours in the field.
Started at Happisburgh, as is the norm now. Walked to cart gap via Doggerts Lane, as recommended by a couple of guys on the forum (cheers). A quiet start, just a Wheatear and Whinchat. Couple of Sandwich Terns on the groynes. Real potential here though, lots of clifftop scrub and gardens for tired migrants.
Headed to Winterton, called in at Waxham. Bit of bush whacking again came to very little, still hadnt seen another birder!
Things finally picked up at Winterton. At least 4 Whinchat, a lovely Lesser Whitethroat and Female Redstart. 3+ Wheatear here, and a number of GBB Gull moving through were noted. I flushed a Hobby on the way back to the car and had a distant view of a Buzzard sp. The Silohuette looked good for Honey but couldnt be sure. Driving through Potter Heigham on the way home, another buzzard sp. Rather than cause an accident I continued driving.
So, the day that almost was I guess. I spoke to a couple of birders at Winterton, and they had much the same experience. Someone had a Pied Fly, but nothing else. Things just didnt materialise like I had hoped today, despite the excitement bought about by the onset of easterlies. Where were all the birds? Did anyone else make it out east today? I see Holme had a couple of good birds.
Cheers,
Jim.
I was along the same stretch this morning Jim, did we pass like ships I wonder? Missed your Whinchat, still need one for the year! My tally was 3 Wheatear, singles of Whitethroat and Reed Warbler and a Yellow Wag over to the west. There didn't seem to be too much hiding; any 'pishing' this weekend only attracted the odd Chiffchaff amongst Tits, Wrens, Dunnocks and Robins although the Reed Warbler was found in this way. Also had a pale looking plover over that wasn't calling and didn't stop; Goldie? Dotterel? Who knows. I tried calling it down to no avail but it's gone now At home there were the usual Chiffchaffs in the garden, 2 Jays (not had them here for a while) and a Redstart which appeared late morning. Was at Potter Heigham this afternoon where 3+ Chiffchaffs were busy in the hedges of our hosts garden and a Hobby was hawking dragonflies over towards Hickling NNR. No big Bops today, though I was fortunate enough to get 2 Honey Buzzards over yesterday (both twisting their tails, no wonder Pernis is next to Milvus) at 10:50 and an Osprey passed through at c.14:45; excellent garden ticks . Other sightings yesterday were a Grey Heron in off, 4 Chiffchaffs and a Yellow Wag.
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Last edited by Happisbirder : Sunday 14th September 2008 at 21:29.
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