Whilst it is always good to see rarer birds, the idea of today was to show the ladies where else they could go birding, so not too bad when we failed to connect with the resident dartford warblers. However, a brief view of a woodlark (year lister#1) made up for this, with chaffinches, goldinches, greenfinches all showing well and warblers: chiffchaff, willow, garden, blackcap and whitethroat all heard, if only fleetingly seen.
|dunnock at Kelling Heath|
|Greenfinches at the level crossing, Kelling Heath.|
From here, we headed to Kelling Quaggs where a lesser whitethroat was heard and seen very briefly. More whitethroats and blackcaps plus shelduck flyover, egyptian geese, avocets and a distant hobby (year lister #2) making the day list. Highlight was a rufous morph female cuckoo that flew over the water meadows and over the horizon. Great flight views of this unusual bird. As was the case all day, finches continued to show well whilst warblers remained skulking in the vegetation.
|Goldfinch at Kelling Quaggs|
A long jam through Cley meant I took the route through Wiverton and we stopped at Wiverton Heath, where a nightingale was singing from deep inside gorse and elder vegetation. Lovely to hear and another year lister for me.
On to Salthouse beach for a quick look but only a rock pipit on a fence post of note so up to Cley Visitors' Centre for a coffee. A cetti's warbler called from the hedge, but scanning the reserve showed very few birds present so after coffee we were on our way to Warham Greens, where I also pointed out access to Stiffkey Fen. Very little to be seen so we turned back before getting to the gibbert roundabout. A spoonbill briefly seen made the list and plenty of brent geese remained.
We popped into Morston where the major bird for the ladies was seen well for a good amount of time, both on the ground and inflight; a greenshank. Very pleasing to see and a year lister for me.
A rest was now required so we took time out at Blakeney Harbour where we noted a drop in temperature and an increase in breeze speed. We then arrived for lunch at Cookies for a sea food salad, all good as usual before a wander over to the public hide at Cley. Common sandpiper, little ringed plover, black tailed godwit and distant dunlin were added before a final destination for a brief and windy sea watch at West Runton. 2 gannets and a common gull added here. What happened to the breeding fulmar that used to be a fixture along these cliffs?
So, after being out for over 9 hours it was back to Sheringham and a well earned rest for the ladies. Returning home I stopped off at several woods but only added great spotted woodpecker to the list for the day. I was back in the village by 7.30, ready for a meeting at 8pm, so a long but most enjoyable day.
The weather, whilst remaining dry throughout, was never sunny, so not many photos taken.
|Avocets from public hide at Cley|
|drake gadwall at Cley|
|shelduck at Cley|
|View from the public hide: black tailed godwit, avocet, mute swan, shelduck et al.|
Year listers: 4, nightingale, greenshank, hobby and wood lark
gannet, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, spoonbill, mute swan, greylag goose, brent goose, shelduck, mallard (10 sp) gadwall, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck, marsh harrier, kestrel, hobby, grey partridge, pheasant, moorhen (20 sp) coot, oystercatcher, avocet, little ringed plover, lapwing, dunlin, common sandpiper, redshank, greenshank, black tailed godwit (30 sp) black headed gull,common gull, herring gull, little tern, wood pigeon, collared dove, cuckoo, swift, green woodpecker (heard) skylark,(40 sp) woodlark, sand martin, swallow, house martin, rock pipit, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin (50 sp) nightingale, blackbird, garden warbler (heard), blackcap, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, sedge warbler (heard) willow warbler (heard) chiffchaff (heard) great tit (60 sp) blue tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, rook, carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, chaffinch, linnet,(70 sp) goldfinch, greenfinch, bullfinch, reed bunting, yellowhammer. egyptian goose, cetti's warbler
A total of 77 species which is not too bad considering the weather and the fact no migrants were reported from the North Norfolk coast all day.