Monday, 31 October 2016

A day out to Norfolk...


Dave Francis committed to some ringing again at Pitsford Reservoir this morning, this time working the Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station. He caught 57 birds which included 2 Goldcrests, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Tree Sparrows, a Reed Bunting, a Yellowhammer and three Blackbirds.

Eric Graham spent some time at Thrapston Gravel Pits today and again saw a mobile Great White Egret as well as the usual fare.

Today we had a day out on the North Norfolk coast, starting at Burnham Overy Dunes. Here we connected with an Isabelline Wheatear which has been present for well over a week, plus a couple of Snow Buntings, a Water Pipit, a couple of Marsh Harriers, a Brambling, plenty of common waders and in-coming winter thrushes. Lots of Pink-footed Geese unfortunately brought out wildfowlers who were actively bringing them down as they flew over us. Wonderful to see the geese and their evocative calls, but the thump of guns and bags of dead geese was sickening quite frankly.

A wander around the sands and coastal vegetation at Holkham was good for watching a flock of at least 35 Shore Larks, well at least until the mist/fog came down! A large flock of Linnets and good numbers of Rock and Meadow Pipits were also present but it was probably human disturbance that had caused displacement of the reported Twite and Lapland Buntings of the last few days. We heard a Waxwing and Siskin and watched thrushes coming in off the sea and a hunting Barn Owl, but with the visibility curtailing any more birding we moved on to Titchwell.

The RSPB reserve rarely disappoints and the scrapes and islands were packed with birds including a thousand Golden Plovers, over a hundred Ruff and many godwits and other waders, geese and gulls. Up to four Marsh Harriers quartered the reeds, one making an effort to try and catch the roosting Starlings (which included a white bird). There was a group of four European White-fronted Geese, plenty of vocal Water Rails and the bushes and trees held Chiffchaffs, Siskins and Bramblings. Birds at dusk included three Water Pipits, a Barn Owl and small flocks of Common Scoter on the sea.


Neil M

Male Bearded Tit

Isabelline Wheatear

Snow Bunting

Dark-bellied Brent Geese.

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