Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Norfolk,Gods County

When it comes to Birding,Norfolk is my favourite county and the North Norfolk Coast is where the shit happens.There may be good reserves all around the UK,with fabulous birding but Norfolk takes the piss to be honest.
I arrived Tuesday Morning in the pouring rain,firstly i headed off to Fakenham,which is about 10 miles inland for a bogey bird of mine,the Great Grey Shrike,i have seen them before,just not as often as everyone else,whenever i turn up they are usually asleep and the same appeared to be happening with this bird for a good hour until it flew from a tree towards me,giving me good views for around 2 minutes before dissapearing again,usually i would hang around but as it was chucking it down and i was soaked i decided to jump in the car and head to Titchwell for the Couses Arctic Redpoll that had been frequenting the reserve and mainly the feeder area,it obliged within 15 minutes,by now the weather although still crap,was slightly better to i headed to the Fen hide for my lunch,i had a Spoonbill fly way out towards Holkham and then went to see if any Bitterns were about,nothing,apart from a solitary Water rail!
After lunch i headed to Gun hill near Burnham Overy where we had Lapland Buntings,2 Rough Legged Buzzards,Grey Partridge,Ringtail Harrier,thousands of pink foots,in fact most types of geese,linnets,skylarks,Barn Owls,marsh harriers,common buzzards,the list could go on,birds everywhere.I cut it short about 4pm,just as the geese were starting to come into the area after a days feeding on Norfolk lush surrounds,i didn't have anywhere to stay so thought it best to try to find somewhere.I decided on Wells because of its location and the fact it has a choice of Restaurants/Pubs which i fancied giving a try.I found a lovely B&B at the Merchant House,owned by a lovely couple and managed to get a Double room with a four poster bed for 2 nights all to myself,best couple of nights sleep i've had in a long time.
I popped into the Golden Fleece in Wells,only a couple of minutes walk,if that from the B&B and had a few good beers with the locals before heading across the road for a Curry,traditional Norfolk grub obviously.
I woke up 45 minutes late for breakfast the next morning,top brekkie as well,i arrived at Cley after a 35 minute drive,mainly due to them shutting the roads into Cley village and not telling you where the diversion started or ended but just after 10am i arrived,walked to Pats Pool to get the Western Sandpiper which was 10 yards from the hide,probably the easiest tick i have ever had,looks like a Dunlin,hopped around a lot due to having a sparrowhawk attacking it apparantly.Also on the scrape were 5 Common sandpipers,Dunlin,both godwits,Redshank,green Sandpiper,Spotted redshank,oystercatchers and lots of the usual Wildfowl.I decided to head for the beach for a couple of hours seawatching and while pulling into the car park i bumped into Dave Mcgarry who was up that way,visiting his daughter.We had a few meadow pipits on the way up with the brent geese,A Barn Owl flew over us giving cracking views.I started seawatching with Velvet scoter being my best bird,16 eiders flew east,at least 8 red throat divers and a black throat,13 common scoters,guillemot,fulmar,kittewakes.We had a sparrowhawk putting everything up including thousands of golden and grey plovers.With no sign of any buntings we headed off to Salthouse and within minutes we had 14 snow buntings,on the sea were a few scoters and divers then we went our seperate ways with Dave going for the Great Grey Shrike at Fakenham and me heading back to Wells,i actually went further,back to Burnham Overy where we had c60 Lapland Buntings,at least 4 Rough Legged Buzzard,2 Common Buzzards,4 Barn Owl,Short Eared Owl,Ross goose,Hen Harrier,thousands of geese,mainly pink foot but hade some Beans as well as Brent,white fronts and barneys.The fields out the back had Skylarks,Grey & Red Legged Partridge as well as Hares.Totally shattered i headed back to the hotel Via the Chinese takeaway where i got some Rice,Deep fried squid,ribs etc and woolfed it all down with a can or two of Coke while sitting in the motor overlooking Wells Quay,then went back to my room and chilled out for the night,happy days,dont get much better than that.
Woke up this morning bright and early,woolfed down the brekkie before checking out and heading off to Titchwell,i was going to go Holkham but couldn't be bothered with the extortionate car parking there so decided on Titchwell,i arrived just after the rain stopped and went straight to the Sea for some seawatching,the Sun was now starting to come out and a Barn Owl was quartering across the marsh (crap pictures below).On the Sea were at least 6 Long Tailed Ducks,good views after a while of 3 drakes going West.Also seen were red & black throat divers,Goldeneye,Red necked Grebe,common scoters,kittewakes,fulmars and an Iceland Gull.I headed off for a quick trip down to Thornham where i had 8 snow buntings,linnets,Hen Harrier and a Marsh Harrier.I decided it was time for home and drove back down the A10 towards home,not much on the way home,had a couple of buzzards,lots of Linnets and a Ringtail hen harrier near Ely,all in all a good few days away and back up there for the day,sunday,love it!!!!!!!!!!

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