Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Tuesday 4 June - a day in Norfolk!

Been a bluethroat at Cley for a few days and its a bird I have wanted to see for a long time and never had the opportunity. Do I go, or, not is the question. Its a long way for one bird - yes. Quick call to a birding pal, is he interested and another yes. So its an 04:00 rise and on the road by 04:35.
Arrived at Cley to see a huddle of birders along the East bank, looks promising! Of course when we walked out after parking, where a cetti's warbler was singing away, we find its not been seen today - typical!! So we gave it a good go, over 1 1/2 hours stood there scanning the bushes. Having said that it was by no means quiet with reed and sedge warblers singing away, a reed bunting singing and constant dive bombing by countless swifts. This was spectacular and more than compensated for not seeing the bird. Plenty of marsh harrier activity with 3 up in the air at times and good close flybys. On the other side looking towards Arnold's Marsh were greylag and egyptian geese, shelduck and a good variety of waders. So what do we do for the day, decided on Titchwell and then a text from  friend saying pectoral sandpiper at Frampton Marsh (we had already planned to call in on way back). Initially we had thought about going to Lakenheath for the savi's warbler but decided against it when no reports on RBA (was reported in the evening).
Quick visit down the Beach Road for sandwich and common tern, quite windy and relatively cool. Onto Titchwell after a coffee and cake at Stiffkey Post Office, to be recommended for both!
Titchwell was just stunning, by far the best visit for 18 months. Started with a pair of garganey and supporting cast on the recently opened pools. Then we walked out through the reserve to my least favourite hide anywhere, the Parrinder. But the birds from here were wonderful, grey plover in full breeding plumage, turnstone similar. Ringed and little ringed plover together giving an  excellent comparison. Again the reserve was alive with swifts and we had a family group of bearded tits.
Onto Frampton where our list kept growing, no sign of the pec sand though! One of those days with the rarities. Frampton has matured superbly since my first visit in its early days and is really becoming a birding mecca.
By this stage we were shattered so it was homeward bound.
We missed the target rarities but all in all a superb days birding and a total of 71 species with no effort at all. If we had done a bit more searching we could easily have got over the hundred.

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