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Saturday, 13 April 2013

13th April Migration underway!

Exclusive group morning at Cley, plenty of Marsh Harrier action, sev Buzzard. Highlights Yellow Wag Cley & flava wag over, 2 Wheatear, plus lots of Sandwich tern, 1 Commonn Tern. Swallow, Sand Martin, Meadow pipits & Linnets moving west along coast & still plenty of Brent Geese c200.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Exclusive Tour 9th & 10th April

Tuesday 9th April Exclusive 2 Day tour

We started the day  within a mile of the accommodation! A lovely 
Barn Owl sat perhed, patiently awaiting it's prey, also nearby a smart male Yellowhammer was singing. Another couple of quick stops en-route to the coast first to enjoy 2-3 Grey Partridge, plus several beautiful Brown Hares.
We stopped off firstly at Hunstanton & took in the Fulmar colony along the cliffs, also on the beach nice views of Brent Geese, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Turnstone, Oystercatcher & 4 species of the regular gulls.

We reached Holme and took a walk out towards the grazing marshes, we had fantastic views of several
displaying Marsh Harrier. We also from here saw Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, several Snipe & Curlew. Plus more wonderful views of Hares this time boxing! A Chiff- Chaff was calling along the hedgerow, plus 2 Goldcrest.

We stopped off several times at hides & pools on the way up towards the Observatory, we missed out on a pair of Garganey, but did have lovely views 
Little Grebe, Gadwall, Wigeon Teal, Snipe, displaying Lapwing & a smart male Wheatear.

Into the dunes & on to the shoreline, there was a nice group of
 Skylark. The shallow pools yielded a nice mixture of shorebirds, Avocet, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew & Redshank & c50 Brent Geese flew on to the grazing marsh.

We then lunched up to the Observatory where clients were given an overview of the Obs & the ringing. We also enjoyed the warm sun, sheltered from the harsh wind. 
Tufted Duck, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard & Brents all on view as we ate!

We then headed on to Titchwell & had a good slection of wildlfowl & 1000's of gulls. Highlights were
 female Long-tailed Duck, c30 Snipe, 3 Mediteranean Gull, Black & Bar-tailed Godwit,  breeding plumage Spotted Redshank, a Litttle Ringed Plover was a new arrival today & great views of a close up Water Rail.

We finished the day over tea & cake with a nice list of 85 species.


Wednesday 10th April Exclusive 2 Day tour

As one of the clients aptly put it we start the day with a lovely breakfast & a 
Barn Owl!! This was a different bird from yesterday but gave just as lovely views both perched & hunting!

We then stopped off just before reaching the coast, we had yet another lovely 
Barn Owl mainly sitting perched, maybe a sign of the difficulties this species has had in the last few weeks finding enough food. We also had nice close views of a pair of Marsh Harriers, also Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Redshank, Curlew & Lapwing.
We then visited Burnham Overy, nice selection of shorebirds & around 200 Brents, plus around c60 Golden Plover several acquiring breeding plumage, plus 2-3 Snipe, more Marsh Harriers . We heard Bearded Tit briefly & had lots more wildfowl.
We headed for Cley, but were son pulling off the road for two superb Red Kites just soaring low over the fields, these were also joined by 2 sky dancing Marsh Harriers!
We lunched at Cley & then visited the hides & the East Bank, highlights were 3 Ruff, c30 Black-tailed Godwit,with several "icelandica" birds acquiring rich red breeding plumage! Lots of Harrier & Avocet activity including some interesting behaviour caught on video. Other noteworthy birds were brief Bearded Tits, 3 Sandwich Terns, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls & Sand Martin. Arnolds marsh held c60 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Black & Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew & Turnstone.
We finished the day with lovely views of a Cettis warbler, unusually showing very well & possibly due to a predator below, it was constantly alarm calling throughout.

Just under 100 species in the 2 days, so not bad considering the late spring & lack of summer migrants!! Probably most notable for the wonderful views of
 Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier & Brown Hares!

Monday, 8 April 2013

8th April Visible migration Hunstanton - at last!

8th April 2013 Hunstanton Cliffs

Well after the longest period I ever remember of East or North Easterly winds we eventually saw a swing to the SW this morning, albeit by the afternoon the wind was back in the NE!!

Just enough time this morning for some visible migration at Hunstanton Cliffs though.


Hunstanton Cliffs 620 - 820am Chris Mills, Gary Hibberd

Birds south - 
354 Woodpigeon, 
15 Rook, 
6 Skylark, 
26 Starling, 
1 Blackbird, 
2 Tree Sparrow 
29 Pied Wagtail, 
65 Meadow Pipit, 
31 Chaffinch, 
1 Brambling, 
21 Greenfinch, 
277 Goldfinch, 
54 Siskin, 
62 Linnet, 
1 redpoll sp., 
2 Yellowhammer, 
12 Reed Bunting. 

1 Pied Wagtail - North. 

Plenty of birds to keep your interest. But difficult conditions with birds high & variable in direction, with light 2 SW breeze, no cloud. Goldfinch count good.

I then headed on to Holme, where a fem Black Redstart was present, plus up to 7 Marsh Harriers in the air, with 3prs performing aerial acrobatics!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

27th March 2013

27th March 2013

A couple of hours before office duties along the North Promenade, had me running back for the camera! The Little Gulls were performing well on the high tide, too good an opportunity!

Secured 1-2 images but will head back & hopefully improve on todays efforts.

At least 10 Little Gulls & still good no's of others - images below & also  pictures showing why they are all still hanging around, the treasures of the shoreline!







Large areas of the beach look like this!!

Monday 25th March - Exclusive Birding day

25th March 2013 

Today was an exclusive days birding for a group of 3 persons.  The weather still unseasonally very cold, we spent much of the morning hopping from one location to another with short sorties to look for birds. We started the day with a visit to a harbour area & there was good views of Bar & Black-tailed Godwit including 1 "limosa & 7 Icelandica"  Curlew, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Brent Geese & other wildfowl also a smart pair of Red-breasted Merganser flew by. We then headed off to search some nearby farmland & were rewarded with lovely close up views of Brown Hare, 20+ Yellowhammer, c20 Corn Bunting, c30 Linnet plus 4-5 Brambling amongst the flock. 

We then searched the lanes nearby & soon we were having excellent views of 2 Marsh Harriers hunting & witnessed one catching a rat! We searched a another harbour area & had more close up views of shorebirds, before heading on to Titchwell, where we lunched.

After lunch we headed out on to the reserve, we were treated to some good views of several smart Brambling, shortly followed by real close up views of Water Rail. Out on the lagoons, it was as cold as any day this winter, an arctic cutting wind - we headed for the refuge of the hides! A real feature in the last week has been the massive numbers of gulls & this was evident here as well, with several thousand on the lagoon. We picked out Pintail, some superb drakes close to the hide, then the Long-tailed Duck flew in, shortly followed by a really smart drake Garganey! Probably wishing it had left it's migration a week or two later!! Ruff, Snipe, Curlew,  Dunlin, Bar & Black-tailed Godwit & Spotted redshank were all scoped & lovely views too. The Marsh harriers were up briefly - then it was time to work through the gulls - lots of 'em!

There was at least 1500 Gulls, mainly Black-headed & Commons, plus Herring, Great & Lesser black-backs amongst the masses we picked out a minimum of 5 Mediterranean Gulls & 1 Yellow-legged Gull!

The day was nicely rounded off on the drive back with 3 hunting Barn Owls!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

24th March 2013 Gulls - lots of 'em

A quick walk from the house along the seafront to the lighthouse & back - 3000+ gulls along shore at Hunstanton, 
many Commons, no Meds obvious but 3+ Kittiwake, plus c70 Turnstone

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

20th March 2013 Otters!!

We currently have Otters showing extremely well & over the last few days Josh Jaggard has been capturing some wonderful images. Josh recently completed a degree in wildlife photography & has been joining me on tours & workshops. He has great enthusiasm & good in the field wildlife skills.

He has been watching these Otters for several months & now has a real understanding of their haunts & habits, this with careful fieldcraft has enabled him to capture some lovely images.

Couple of images from this week below - 




Josh will be running trips over the next few weeks if you are interested then drop him us an email on joshjaggard@norfolkbirding.com