|Painted Lady near Kelling Water meadows.|
Last Tuesday (13th July) Wendy and I set off for a couple of nights staying at the Kings Arms, Blakeney, returning Thursday afternoon. A relatively early night as the following morning I was booked to pick up American birder Moez from his accommodation in Sheringham, so I was heading back up the M11 at 5.30am ready for a meet at 7.30.
|Superb Yellowhammer at Blakeney Esker|
I arrived a few minutes late courtesy of some farm traffic and we set off for Sheringham Esplanade for a sea watch: gulls, terns and gannets got on to the day list before we headed towards Kelling Heath, hopefully for Dartford warbler. This, after a good search was neither seen nor heard but several warblers made the list as I pointed out several tree and plant species. Once back at the car park, time for a good wander down to Kelling Water Meadow and Kelling Quags where more warbler species were noted along with several finch species. A quick check on the sea before returning to Kelling Tea Rooms where the car was.
We popped into Weybourne beach car park and down Salthouse Beach Road but nothing of note so we moved along, stopping for coffee at Cley NWT Visitors' Centre and then another sea watch from Cley beach. Nothing to add and a check on the Eye field gave up one sedge warbler so time for a longer walk.
Parked at Stiffkey campsite car park and headed east to Stiffkey Fen. This was a lovely walk with linnets everywhere. Spoonbills and Shelduck flew east whilst at Stiffkey Fen Black tailed godwits, gulls and wildfowl. I hadn't carried my scope due to the increasing heat, meaning Moez (from the Arizona desert) was taking off layers of clothing as he had felt the cold earlier when it was only 18C.
Time for a change of habitat so parking in an incredibly busy Lady Anne's Drive we walked to the lake in Holkham Woods. Goldcrests and coal tits along with a good array of the more common butterflies and a few dragonflies.
From here, a drive into Holkham Hall estate to view the deer herd before popping on to the car park at Brancaster Staithe for oystercatchers and then up to Choseley Barns, which are now not a patch on what they used to be so off for another wander at Holme NWT. As we drove over the narrow bridge before the car park 2 turtle doves upon wires. A 2nd record for Moez and the first of the year for me, indeed, first since 2019. Once parked we wandered towards the Visitors' Centre before dropping down on to the track and working our way back to the car park by the golf course. Stonechats everywhere.
Our final stop was Blakeney Esker where many years ago I recorded 3 nightingale. It was now gone 7pm but no nightingales. A splendid yellowhammer, a pair of bullfinches and several Purple hairstreak butterflies. A good conclusion to a super day.
|Purple hairstreak at Blakeney Esker|
Dropped Moez back in Sheringham, turned around, headed home, stopping for a meal on the way and, due to endless A14 and A11 roadworks meaning reduced speed, I eventually got home at 11.10pm. Covered over 300 miles in the car and walked 14 miles in total.
A brilliant day out. Glass of red wine and bed for a good night's sleep.
A selection of photos below with, unfortunately, heat haze being an issue and meaning birds that were a little more distant were not photographable. One or two pleasing ones in what became quite harsh light in the afternoon.
Moez had spent the previous day at both Cley NWT Reserve and then Titchwell RSPB Reserve, hence the reason we headed elsewhere. His combined list for the 2 days should make for a good list for North Norfolk in mid July.
- Little egret
- Grey heron (over road at Egham on way home)
- Mute swan
- Greylag goose
- Egyptian goose
- Red kite
- Marsh harrier
- Common buzzard
- Red legged partridge
- Golden plover
- Black tailed godwit
- Black headed gull
- Herring gull
- Lesser black backed gull
- Common gull
- Sandwich tern
- Common tern
- Stock dove
- Wood pigeon
- Turtle dove
- Collared dove
- Barn owl (over road near Castle Acre on way home)
- Great spotted woodpecker
- Sand martin
- House martin
- Meadow pipit
- Pied wagtail
- Song thrush
- Sedge warbler
- Cetti's warbler
- Reed warbler
- Great tit
- Blue tit
- Coal tit
- Carrion crow
- House sparrow
- Reed bunting
Fine male yellowhammer having a doze.
- Painted Lady
- Small tortoiseshell
- Small white
- Red admiral
- Speckled Wood
- Meadow brown
- Purple haistreak
- Small skipper
- Large skipper
|Common buzzard Kelling Heath|
|Female linnet, Kelling Water Meadows|
|Male Linnet, Kelling Water Meadows|
|Reed bunting, male, Kelling Quags|
|Painted lady, Kelling Water Meadows|
|Comma, Kelling Water Meadows|
|Small tortoiseshell, Kelling Water Meadows|
|Common tern, Stiffkey Fen|
|Oystercatcher, Warham Greens|
|Non breeding plumage Black Headed gull, Stiffkey Greens|
|Black headed gull, breeding plumage, Stiffkey Greens|
|Stonechat, Stiffkey Greens|
|Male linnet, Stiffkey campsite|
|Distant and heat hazed wing tagged Marsh harrier|
|Red admiral, Holkham Pines|
|Turtle dove, one of a pair, Holme, just before car park|
|Stonechat, Holme dunes|
|Common buzzard being mobbed by Black headed gull, Holme NWT|
|Buzzard has had enough|
|Female House sparrow, Holme NWT|
|Male goldfinch, Holme NWT|
|Another Common buzzard overhead.|