Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Saturday, 10 April 2010

North Norfolk 6th - 10th April 2010

I bet no one has missed me over the last week! A family holiday saw us tow the caravan to Searles at Hunstanton for a few days, giving me the opportunity to get a bit of birding in, in my favourite birding area.

Tuesday 6th April

Not quite Norfolk, but pleasing to see five Red Kites between Thrapston and Oundle, perhaps setting the mood for what may be ahead. Once set up on site, a walk along the Hunstanton promenade produced two Yellow Legged Gulls, Curlew, Sand Martin and Fulmar, along with the common seashore gulls and waders.

Fulmar

Fulmar

Fulmar


Wednesday 7th April

Unfortunately, all this week, the tides have been low during the quieter early mornings, meaning distant scoping of the sea before the crowds come out. Best this morning were Great Crested Grebe (100+), Red Breasted Merganser (2m 5f), Common Scoter (500+), together with Bar Tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Redshank, Turnstone, Ringed Plover and Brent Geese.

As the morning had started fine and bright, I decided to walk from Hunstanton to Holme in the hope of some good spring migrants. As the tide was out, I walked below the cliffs getting better views of the Fulmar nest sites. Also on the shoreline were a number of Knot and Bar Tailed Godwits.



Turnstone



Turnstone

Turnstone

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Fulmar

Fulmar

At Old Hunstanton, my attention was drawn to a very mobile female Black Redstart which gave me a good run around! It was also time for the weather to change and the brightness gave way to persistant light rain. Only other birds of note were a pair of Stonechat. It was my intention to visit the NOA hide at Redwell Marsh, but I had left my key in the caravan so stuck out the rain and headed back. Arrived back at the caravan rather knackered!


Record Shots of Black Redstart

Black Redstart

Black Redstart

Thursday 8th April

Titchwell was on the menu for today with most of the expected species showing reasonably well. Several events were taking place on the reserve so it was rather busy! Bearded Tit's "pinged" through the reeds but not close enough for any pics, three Marsh Harriers graced the skies above the Fen Hide, waders included Bar and Black Tailed Godwits, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Avocet, Grey Plover, Ruff and Dunlin.



Avocet

Avocet

Marsh Harrier

Chiffchaff

Wren

An afternoon visit to Wells next the Sea allowed me to aimlessly take pictures of Herring Gulls while eating fish and chips on the harbourside. Other gulls of note were a couple of Yellow Legged on the mud flats. Wells also produced the only Little Egret's seen this week.




Herring Gull

Herring Gull


A brief stop was made at Choseley Barns but spraying work in the fields limited the birds seen. Only one Corn Bunting, two Yellowhammer and ten Red Legged Partridge were seen.

Friday 9th April

Another trip to Titchwell, which was quieter than yesterday and certainly more productive. My first Sedge Warbler of the year was singing out as a group of very obliging Bearded Tit's displayed on the reed tops. A good hour on the beach scanning the sea produced a raft of Common Scoter (1000+) which took to flight, revealing at least six Velvet Scoter (life tick). Nearby, a group of Pintail ,Common Eider ,Shoveler and Great Crested Grebes. Walking back towards the visitor centre, the new sea defences held several Pied, White and Yellow Wagtails. Below the bank was a summer plumaged Water Pipit, the best I have seen! Two Red Crested Pochard were flushed from the main pools and gave good views on the wildfowl marsh.




Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Egyptian Geese

Brent Geese

Brent Goose

Marsh Harrier

Robin

Another visit to Choseley Barns produced five Corn Bunting, nine flyover Golden Plover and seven Red Legged Partridge.




Corn Bunting



(More Images on my website - see link opposite)






Sightings:

Great Crested Grebe; Dabchick; Cormorant; Little Egret; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Egyptian Goose; Grelag Goose; Brent Goose; Shelduck; Wigeon; Mallard; Gadwall; Shoveler; Pintail; Teal; Red Crested Pochard; Tufted Duck; Red Breasted Merganser; Common Scoter; Velver Scoter; Eider; Marsh Harrier; (Red Kite); Sparrowhawk; Buzzard; Kestrel; Pheasant; Red Legged Partridge; Water Rail; Coot; Moorhen; Avocet; Oystercatcher; Ringed Plover; Sanderling; Dunlin; Turnstone; Knot; Redshank; Spotted Redshank; Ruff; Bar Tailed Godwit; Black Tailed Godwit; Golden Plover; Lapwing; Grey Plover; Curlew; Black Headed Gull; Fulmar; Common Gull; Yellow Legged Gull; Herring Gull; GBB Gull; LBB Gull; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Skylark; Sand Martin; Swallow; Water Pipit; Meadow Pipit; Yellow Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; White Wagtail; Dunnock; Wren; Robin; Black Redstart; Stonechat; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Sedge Warbler; Cettis Warbler; Chiffchaff; Willow Warbler; Blackcap; Bearded Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Graet Tit; Starling; Jay; Magpie; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Rook; House Sparrow; Tree Sparrow; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Bullfinch; Linnet; Corn Bunting; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting.

4 comments:

col wise said...

well done on the lifer Kev - Love the bearded tits, this is a target species for me this year, trouble is Max has set the standard for the photos of these and yours have enforced it. I am getting out to the coast quite a bit just lately and missing so many birds by not having a scope, so decided I need one, so plenty of creeping round Jo for the next few weeks
oh btw love the marsh harrier shot

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers, Col. I think luck played a big part in getting my pics this week - right time and right place etc! Trouble is with most coastal birds is distance and the need to heavily crop images (ie the Marsh Harrier). Good luck with the search for a scope.

Max Silverman said...

Excellent stuff Kevin.Well done.It took me years before I got decent shots of the Beardies and luck paid a big part.

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers, Max. I agree, luck is everything plus getting to a location before everyone else. Problem with going away is comming back and finding time to catch up with what everyone else has been doing!