Friday, 3 September 2021

Busy Times in North Norfolk

 Arising at 5am and picking up Rick at 5.30 in Stortford we arrived for the obligatory coffee in Wells Next The Sea at 7.30am and then headed off to North Point Pools just east of the town.

Chat with a local birder. Few waders were present and a flyover Spoonbill was a good start to the day. Light was a major issue for photos and remained poor throughout the day. Forever changing shutter speed and/or ISO settings. Many photos didn't make it and after downloading 300+, I ended up with 40 that were OK. 

Dunlin: North Point Pools


Spoonbill over North Point Pools


Off to Walsey Hills and Snipe's Marsh. A Spotted flycatcher here and although a Pied Flycatcher had been seen, we didn't connect with it. Coal tit and Marsh tit here, along with Little grebe and plenty of Greenfinches. Chatted with Steve before he went off to volunteer at the Visitors' Centre. Very helpfully, he gave us a list of what had been reported locally that morning.

juvenile Little Grebe: Snipe's Marsh

Cormorant: Snipe's Marsh


We then headed east to Kelling Heath where we saw next to nothing, a few chiffchaffs called but little else so down for a wander along to Kelling Water Meadows and The Quags. A juvenile kittiwake here that I tried to turn into a Sabine's gull but no stonechats or whinchats present. A quick check on the sea from the shingle ridge proved we were right not to spend time at Cley Beach doing a sea watch. Very little movement so wandered back to the car, checking the water meadows again where 2 Black tailed godwit came in. 3 Common buzzards overhead.

Chaffinch, Kelling Water Meadows track

Reed bunting: Kelling Water Meadows track

Black tailed godwit coming into Kelling Water Meadows.

Black tailed godwit: Kelling Water Meadows

Red Admiral: Kelling track


The lack of migrants in bushes or on the ground meant we gave Gramborough Hill at Salthouse a miss and headed for a coffee at Cley Visitors' Centre. Very good Bakewell Tart, too!

Parked and wandered along the East Bank to Arnold's Marsh. Snipe, dunlin, a ruff, avocets and loads of curlew and Sandwich terns present but no Bearded reedlings. 


Snipe: The Serpentine from East Bank


Back to the car and off west. Bought lunch in Blakeney, parked at Stiffkey Greens by the campsite, enjoyed the sandwiches and then took the footpath west to the Gibbert roundabout. Very little here. A warbler scratched and clicked but remained unseen. Suspect Lesser whitethroat, but one of several possibles for the day. Little egrets on the marsh at Warham Greens before returning to the car.

We headed west, stopping to check Brancaster harbour but a high tide meant no mud, therefore no waders and arrived at Titchwell around 3.30pm. Once past the rather brusque meet and greet chaps who asked if we were members and then demanded to see our membership cards. I enjoyed another coffee and yet another bakewell. Sugar and caffeine being the order of the day.

Plenty of birds from the island hide before a trek all the way to the beach. Here, waders in their 1000's and we spent the next couple of hours photographing these. Great fun and plenty of decent shots of the everyday waders that frequent this brilliant beach. We had a few minutes of sun before heading back. Over Thornham Marsh I got a very brief (2 seconds) distant glimpse of a very large grey bird that I immediately thought Common crane. Showed dark and light grey on the wing. Not seen again as it went down behind a large reedbed, but in reality, couldn't have been anything else really.



Curlew: Titchwell

Teal: Titchwell



Avocet feeding from the Island Hide, Titchwell

Juvenile Turnstone out of its depth: Titchwell

Redshank: Titchwell

Pintail; Titchwell


Pint of Wherry at the Gin Trap Inn at Ringstead and home by 9.45pm Brilliant day.

Species List:

  1. Little grebe
  2. Great crested grebe
  3. Cormorant
  4. Little egret
  5. Great egret
  6. Spoonbill (North Point Pools)
  7. Mute swan
  8. Greylag goose
  9. Canada goose
  10. Shelduck
  11. Mallard
  12. Gadwall
  13. Pintail (Titchwell)
  14. Shoveller
  15. Wigeon
  16. Teal
  17. Tufted duck
  18. Marsh harrier
  19. Common buzzard
  20. Kestrel
  21. Red legged partridge
  22. Pheasant
  23. Moorhen
  24. Coot
  25. Common crane (probable) (Thornham Marsh)
  26. Oystercatcher
  27. Avocet
  28. Ringed plover
  29. Grey plover
  30. Lapwing
  31. Knot
  32. Sanderling
  33. Turnstone
  34. Dunlin
  35. Curlew sandpiper (Titchwell)
  36. Green sandpiper (North Point Pools)
  37. Redshank
  38. Spotted redshank
  39. Greenshank (Arnold's Marsh)
  40. Black tailed godwit
  41. Bar tailed godwit
  42. Curlew
  43. Snipe
  44. Ruff
  45. Black headed gull
  46. Common gull
  47. Herring gull
  48. Lesser black backed gull
  49. Great black backed gull
  50. Kittiwake (Kelling Quags)
  51. Sandwich tern
  52. Common tern
  53. Wood pigeon
  54. Sand martin
  55. House martin
  56. Swallow
  57. Meadow pipit
  58. Pied wagtail
  59. Wren
  60. Robin
  61. Garden warbler (Heard)
  62. Lesser whitethroat (probable)
  63. Whitethroat
  64. Blackcap
  65. Sedge warbler
  66. Reed warbler (heard)
  67. Cetti's warbler (heard)
  68. Chiffchaff (heard)
  69. Spotted flycatcher (Walsey Hills)
  70. Great tit
  71. Blue tit
  72. Marsh tit (heard)
  73. Coal tit (heard)
  74. Magpie
  75. Jackdaw
  76. Carrion crow
  77. Starling
  78. Chaffinch
  79. Linnet
  80. Goldfinch
  81. Greenfinch
  82. Reed bunting
Footnote. Many Pied flycatchers were reported from all over North Norfolk. we just kept missing them! 11 were reported from Holkham Pines which we didn't visit. Photos below all from Titchwell beach. 

Juvenile/1st year Turnstone

Sanderling

Probing Sanderling

Sanderling has its eye on something

Knot

Smart plumaged Knot

Sanderling with moule.....

.....but no mariniere!


Knot flyby

Adult Herring gull

2nd winter Herring gull

More Knot

Westbound Oystercatcher

 Turnstone, adult with just a few flecks of orange breeding plumage feathers remaining.

Adult turnstone moulting from breeding plumage

Knot

Looking west

Bar tailed godwit

Looking North East.


1 comment:

Rick said...

Some great shots hee Jono. Not a bad bird count after such a slow start. A great day thx.

This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird. September 2009

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. In 2016 I spent time at Portland Bird Obs and two trips to Aviero, Portugal. 2017 found me back in Sri Lanka in Feb/March, then July and back for New Year's Eve celebrations in December. Also returned to The Camargue in May for a 4 day trip. Few plans for 2018, but nothing yet booked apart from a trip to the IOW.

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