It was to be one of those days that you have looked forward to, arranged a day to coincide with a high tide, received positive vibes from the previous day that was glorious and the forecast is for coastal mist clearing to sunshine. The alarm is set for 0300 and i'm on the road at 0345 - Norfolk here I come! Of course, something had to go wrong and today it was FOG! I hate FOG with a vengeance, especially when it spoils my day! But, I was not going to waste it and I continued to Norfolk, arriving at Wolferton as dawn was breaking. A quick look for Golden Pheasant drew a blank but Tawny Owl was a year tick. It was obvious that the day was going to be a challenge as I arrived at Snettisham at 0600 to walk the beach to the wader watch point. However, visibility was appalling and it was a strange and eerie feeling trying to identify the calls of waders shrouded in the fog.
Knot, Avocet, Oystercatcher
Knot, Avocet, Oystercatcher
This birder was only a few yards away!
Knot and Dunlin
It was pointless waiting for the high tide and quite obvious that the "Wader Spectacular" would test the trade descriptions act! I opted to go to the hides, which soon became very crowded - yes there were at least another hundred birding "nutters"! From here the obligatory Dabchick caught my attention.
Eventually, with the cold begining to bite and a numb bum, I headed back to the car. A flock of at least eight Snow Bunting flew along the shore but were soon lost to sight. Wader year ticks included Dunlin, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Knot, Curlew and Black Tailed Godwit. Towards the car park, I spotted a hunting Barn Owl and on the fishing lakes Egyptian Goose.
Leaving Snettisham Beach, I headed for Dersingham Bog in the hope of Crossbill but again drew a blank and no Golden Pheasant either.
My final stop was at Roydon Common where the only birds of note were a pair of Stonechat's.
It was obvious that the weather was not going to improve very much so at 1400 I headed for home. Of course, on the journey home, the weather brightened to sunshine, but seeing Red kite at Oundle cheered me!
Todays Sightings (year ticks in red):
Dabchick; Cormorant; Little Egret; Canada Goose; Egyptian Goose; Greylag Goose; Shelduck; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Goldeneye; Red Kite; Buzzard; Kestrel; Pheasant; Red Legged Partridge; Coot; Moorhen; Avocet; Ringed Plover: Dunlin; Turnstone; Knot; Black Tailed Godwit; Curlew; Oystercatcher; Redshank; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; Herring Gull; LBB Gull; Wood Pigeon; Stock Dove; Collared Dove; Tawny Owl: Barn Owl; Meadow Pipit; Pied Wagtail; Skylark; Dunnock; Wren; Robin; Stonechat; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Long Tailed Tit; Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Starling; Magpie; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Rook; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Linnet; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting; Snow Bunting.