Sunday, 30 April 2017

Norfolk Day: Sedge warblers and wheatears

Another day trip to North Norfolk on Friday 28th April. I was hoping to find a few more migrants and with a light north easterly blowing I thought there may be a chance of something good.
My first stop was at Burnham Overy Staithe for a walk down the track, on to the sea path and boardwalk and then all over the dunes at Gun Hill. The track from the A149 can be superb for migrants and at 7.45 was full of singing birds. Sedge warblers proliferated, with a background chorus of whitethroat, blackcap, solitary willow warbler, chaffinch, wren and a single reed warbler. Along the path overlooking the harbour where it was high tide gave views of more sedgies, a reed bunting and the first of over 20 wheatear. Dunnocks, as usual, in the brambles by the apple tree along with the customary linnet flock.
On to the dunes where more of the same where noted, including in excess of 20 wheatear, including one particularly confiding male. A whimbrel was flushed from the water's edge where oystercatchers, a curlew and plenty of redshank were also noted.
After wandering here for a few hours I headed back to the car on the main road, having covered close to 5 miles by 10a.m. On the way back I noted a large fly on the sluice gates, a Mesembrina meridiana, a rare fly for Herts but not sure of its status in Norfolk.
Successful larvae hunting by this male chaffinch

1st of many sedge warblers

Sedge warbler

Reed bunting in Alexanders, a plant that is invading the whole of the coast here.

Meadow pipit

Skylark

Dunnock

uick fire shot of a flushed whimbrel

Wheatear

another wheatear

Gunhill looking west towards Burnham Deepdale

Mesembrina meridiana: record sent to County Recorder
A short drive found me at the beach Car park near High Dunes Campsite at Stiffkey. The walk west to the metal gibbert can give up migrants but today just whitethroats, blackcaps, chiffchaffs and another willow warbler. I was surprised to see so many brent geese still feeding on Warham Greens and, in the distance, 2 spoonbill. A kestrel was the first raptor of the day and in an adjacent field, 2 brown hare, whilst a stoat trundled along the path in front of me, causing much alarm with the resident blackbirds and whitethroats.
Brown hares

Brent geese

A distant spoonbill
Time for refreshment, so off to Cley NWT centre for a coffee. Very handily, it rained whilst I was driving and continued to do so as I sat in the centre. Upon finishing the drink, it stopped. A check on the board indicated not too much on the reserve, so off for a walk along the East Bank. More reed and sedge warblers and at Arnold's Marsh, a summer plumaged dunlin and a ruff. A sea watch gave up literally nothing so back through meadow pipits and linnets and off to Kelling Water Meadows.
Grey Heron from the East Bank

Dunlin from the Richie Richardson hide overlooking Arnold's Marsh. Great to see Richie being acknowledged here, a place he loved and could often, if not always, be found wandering the East Bank. Sadly, died far too young in 1977, a great ornithologist, artist and all round good bloke.
Kelling Water Meadows is a good site for passage wood sandpipers, but not today! Very little apart from my first lesser whitethroat of the year, more finches and warblers, avocet, teal, swallows and sand martins. A chiffchaff posed a while for the camera as I chatted to a fellow birder as we headed back up to the road, he for the bus, me off to Kelling Heath.
chiffchaff

Same bird
As I arrived at Kelling Heath car park, I noticed a chap with a moth net.He had set a pheromone lure and was busy netting a male Emperor moth. I then wandered over to the level crossing with more warblers but no dartfords or woodlarks on this occasion, so back to the car, noting 2 calling willow warblers. Time was now running out and I wanted to finish the day at Titchwell as the light is best for photography later in the afternoon.
Just a walk as far as the Freshmarsh where 2 Mediterranean gulls were noted again and a red crested pochard got on to the day and year list. A check for redstarts and turtle doves around the extensive car parks was unsuccessful, so back in the car for the journey home. This took over 3 hours due to a crash on the A14 near Bury St Edmunds, which meant traffic was totally jammed at the Mildenhall roundabout.
In all, a wonderful day in good weather, totalling 77 species of birds. Most pleasing. Plan on returning again, maybe next Friday?
Spot the 2 med gulls

swimming avocet

Red crested pochard

No comments:

This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird

Caley Wood view

Caley Wood view
sunshine through the canopy 29.05.08

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007
Best birds on this walk: black and middle spotted woodpecker and short toed treecreeper

About Me

My photo
A primary school teacher for 30 years, I retired from teaching in July 2009 to set up my own science enhancement and communication company. The Primary Works offers science clubs, workshops and staged science shows nationwide. I have always been interested in bird watching since my early years. Apparently my first tick was after inquiring about a chaffinch and then receiving the Observer book of birds. By the age of 9 I had moved on to Tory Peterson's collins guide and was now involved on YOC birding holidays to Northumbria, Essex coast, Slimbridge and Yorkshire. My twitching rule is that I will willingly travel 1km for each gram the bird weighs. However, I have had many rarities just by being in the right place. I have travelled widely throughout Europe and also visited Australia and Sri Lanka. Further European destinations are planned and a bigger trip to The Crimea was planned for 2014 but now not possible. so 2014: Sri Lanka in January, Poland in April, Madeira in June and The Camargue in July. So far 2015 has been Sri Lanka in Jan, Poland in Feb, Sri Lanka in April and The Camargue coming up in 1st week of September.

Grey heron

Grey heron
Over the allotment 28.09.08

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Ridge footpath 27.08.08

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)
Note the stripes, denoting a bird fledged this year.

common blue

common blue
Ash Valley G.C. 15.08.08

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)
River Ash

azure damselfly

azure damselfly
River Ash 28.07.08

marbled white

marbled white
Discovered at Westland Green 22.07.08

ruddy darter

ruddy darter
Bush Wood 21.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08
growing in hedgerow in Chapel Lane

cinnabar moth caterpillar

cinnabar moth caterpillar
Photographed on ragwort 19.07.08

Bittersweet

Bittersweet
Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer
08.06.08

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly
06.06.08

River Ash

River Ash
looking south from the bridge at Hadham Ford

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
in rape field 29.05.08

Caley Wood sunshine

Caley Wood sunshine
29.05.08

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox
24.05.08

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)
06.05.08 banks of the River Ash

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)
flowers, leaves and fruit edible . Good in salad and pesto

April showers

April showers
Double rainbow 30.04.08

Caley Wood bluebells

Caley Wood bluebells
22.04.08

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel
Chapel Lane (20.04.08)

sunlight 16.04.08

sunlight 16.04.08
looking south west from Bush Wood

snowy buds

snowy buds
06.04.08 in Bush Wood

Looking north west

Looking north west
05.04.08 evening shower approaching

Back Garden

Back Garden
Easter Sunday (23.03.08)

Brick Kiln Hill

Brick Kiln Hill
Looking east (23.03.08)

No play today

No play today
The 2nd hole at Ash Valley golf course

Teasel head

Teasel head
Bush Wood (21.03.08)

Reflections

Reflections
daffodils at Bush Wood pond (21.03.08)

Swollen River Ash

Swollen River Ash
The river at the bottom of Winding Hill 16.03.08

Daybreak over the chapel

Daybreak over the chapel
Thursday 13th March

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)
growing in Bush Wood

January snowdrops

January snowdrops
Banks of River Ash, north of Much Hadham

Good Moon

Good Moon
From garden 24.01.08

Village Green

Village Green
Looking east towards Acremore Street

Looking south before Hadham Ford

Looking south before Hadham Ford
rare January blue sky

Useful sites

The following are some useful websites that may interest readers of this blog.
Firstly, Bishop's Stortford Natural History Society http://bsnhs.webplus.net/

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. http://hairybirders.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.hertsbirdclub.org.uk/ The official herts bird club website. Frequently updated, listing bird sightings around the county. Offers links to many other websites. Both of these sites also offer links to yahoo discussion groups.
http://www.birdforum.net/ An international site. You can enter as a guest but become a member( free) to post comments, bird sightings and just about anything to do with wild birds. Good news updates, classified section for binoculars, cameras etc.
http://www.guidedbirdwatching.com/ A new site set up where you can contact people worldwide who will help you find good birds in their country. UK section being set up presently.
http://www.britainsbirder.co.uk/
Fellow birders blog. Strtford resident, Graeme Smith regulary birds the area south of Stortford as well as around Spellbrook and the River Stort from Spellbrook to Twyford Locks. Some superb bird photography: Graeme uses a digital camera attached to his powerful telescope to get detailled images of the birds he sees. Well worth a browse.
Two local sites that may be of interest can be found at
http://www.thehadhams.com/ www.thepelhams.net/content/section/12/139/

South Easterly walk

South Easterly walk
black, normal, red extended walk

South Westerly route.

South Westerly route.
Black usual, red extended

North Easterly walk

North Easterly walk
black short, walk. Red, extended

North West Patch

North West Patch
black route regular. Red route the extended wander