Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Norfolk again...via Staines!

Ed and I decided to go and see the brown shrike at Staines moor. So on Saturday morning we left his house at 6am and arrived there at 7am right in the heathrow flight path!! Cetti’s warbler was heard on the way but the target did not show initially. However we didn’t have to wait too long as the bird popped out on the side of a gorse bush – what a great bird!!

terrible record shot (must get digiscoping equip!):

We stayed and watched the bird for about an hour then set of to West Runton in Norfolk for the short toed lark. We were really lucky again as a group of people were already on it and we enjoyed brief but good views. Here is a record shot although I can appreciate it could be ANY bird..

From here we went to Salthouse to see the snow goose and try to take some wader shots. Saw the goose and took a few pics but not really much here of note yet…

After Salthouse we went to Holme to search for yellow browed warbs which is a total bogey for both me and Ed. Yet again we failed but did pick up some crossbill passing over then landing in a tree nearby:

Depressed we went to Tichwell hoping to do some wader photography. On the way to the beach we enjoyed terrible views of shore lark and grey phal but both good birds.

Once we had made it to the beach we were trying to photograph waders around the stoney area and I noticed a wader sulking down on the rocks and instantly saw it was a purple sandpiper. Great stuff!! It was quite flighty so we left it and took some more turnstone photos.

Also present were turnstone, curlew, knot and oycs:

When on the way back we noticed the purple sand feeding on the shore line so crawled through the wet sand completely covering everything (including my camera) in sand…but it was worth it as the bird was much more friendly an even ran past Ed’s head within a few feet at one point!! They do seem to be very confiding birds...

with a turnstone lurking in the background:

Testing the water me it was rather chilly..

it was a little shy to start with, hiding behind a rock:

Feeding in a puddle:

I like the foreground blur in this, shows how low I was with the camera actually in the wet sand :-s..

this one is full frame with a 300mm lense, lovely little bird:

That evening we enjoyed the mega starling roost - a great sight:

The next day, after our body temperatures had returned to normal after the coldest night in a caravan EVER, we headed to Cley to do a sea watch. On the way we saw a barn owl, always lovely to see. There weren’t very many people there so we feared for the worst but within about 20mins I picked up a single little awk. Great stuff again. But the most exciting thing was a merlin coming in off, it’s always exciting seeing birds come in off the sea but when it’s a special bird like that it’s really great!!

There were also loads of skylarks, mipits and starling passing on the sea really low to the water – lovely to watch.

Other birds from the seawatch included red throated and great norther diver, guillimot, common scoter but no shearwaters or skuas.

After this we had another day in search of rarities but weren’t really expecting more after picking up a few good lifers. Still we enjoyed nice views of a suspected blue headed wagtail and a little stint:

little stint comparison with dunlin:

On the way we stopped off in a few places hoping for some raptors but to no avail. We did pick up corn bunting and yellowhammer for the list though and found a 'clan' of pied wags enjoying the insects around the barns:

Was a great weekend and we managed to rack up 114 species!!

Some arty shots to finish off with…


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