Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Norfolk (Day 4)


After the lengthy drive to Hickling on day 3 we decided to bird fairly local on day 4 and this started with another brief walk at Salthouse Beach. Once again we were battling against strong winds but still no rain however there was still no evidence of the Bunting flock that I spotted earlier in the week. 
Ruddy Turnstones feeding at Salthouse.
Next stop was Cley NWT with it's new enviromentally friendly visitor centre where you can enjoy fabulous views across the marshes while sipping a cup of tea and sampling the coffee and walnut cake! That would come later as we headed along the boardwalk, through the reedbed, to the main hide complex overlooking the scrapes and pools.
 
One of the hides was occupied by a group of photographers with some very impressive equipment and all hoping to catch a decent image of a Green-winged Teal. Unfortunatley most of the Teal were hidden over on the North Scrape and only appeared in the sky when a Marsh Harrier passed over one one of its morning forays. Never mind we contented ourselves with reasonable views of Avocet, Curlew, Dunlin, Gadwall, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Redshank, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Northern Pintail, Mallard, Shoveller, Teal, Wigeon, Pied Wagtail, Mute Swan, Brent Geese, Egyptian Geese, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Pheasant,  Moorhen, Coot, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Kestrel, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull and Great Black-backed Gull.  We also got a brief look at a Snow Goose before it flew off westwards towards Blakeney.

While my friends where scanning over the reedbed for anything new I watched and got this pic of a Coot drifting through the murky waters in a nearby ditch.
Poor digiscoped view of sleeping Shelducks and below another image of a Little Egret that I took from the same hide exactly a year ago. Scanning the far shingle ridge we also located a single Swallow (this must be one of my latest UK sightings).
After some retail shopping and light refreshments in the new Cley centre we drove along the coast to Holkham Gap with the intention of watching the 'dusk' geese flight but as it was a little early the decision was taken to check out the beach for Shore Larks. 
Well the Larks where not located but I did watch a flock of 20 plus Linnets and Goldfinches plus a few Meadow Pipits feeding as I made my way out towards the sand dune overlooking the sea. Scoped views from atop the dune included Red-breasted Mergansers, Great Crested Grebe,  Cormorant, Red-throated Diver plus the usual mix of gulls and waders along the tide-line. We spent far too long searching for the other winter migrant visitors that we missed close views of the evening geese movement, but below is a shot I took of the 000's of shapes as they dropped into the marsh beyond the tree line.
By the time we got back to the cars the Pink-footed Geese were all on the ground.
I will return to this event in a future post....be very patient.  FAB.

15 comments:

  1. You had a good day today . looking forward to the geese. when we get wind, I mean the weather.
    the birds just disappear they must go in the reeds, I know the sparrows some anyway shelter on my roof canopy. or the balcony out of the wind.

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  2. Hi Frank,
    Nice tour again and nice sightings. i know now where the pink-footed geese are as well as the very few shelduck that we usually have here!!! You got them ;-)
    Strangely, I happened to see quite a lot of turnstone this week end, so some are still around together with common teals and eider ducks!
    The thousands shape pictures is very impressive!

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  3. The evening goose flight is such and amazing sight Frank. Its difficult to explain to someone, you have to witness it first hand.

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  4. These posts bring back happy memories for me Frank! Norfolk is such great birding! Real quality!

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  5. Very nice photos, scenery looks gorgeous! Can't wait for the next instalment!

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  6. Great birds. The Shelducks are pretty. Cool capture of the Pink footed Geese.

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  7. I'm glad to see that you have a good variety of species when you go out.

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  8. Loving this series of posts, Frank.

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  9. Chris. It's just too cold where you are, that's why we look after them during the winter. You can have them back next Spring.

    Tony nile life. I'm delighted to see you also have House Sparrows.

    Roy. Indeed you do. Watch out for a future post.

    Jenny. Glad to oblige. It's a special place for me for many reasons.

    Sharon. Thanks, next installment soon.

    Eileen. More pics of Pink-foots still to come.

    Steve B. As always it's location, location and the time of year. There were still a few species I didn't catch up with this time but there's always next time.

    Wilma. That's very kind of you. Hope the follow up keep you watching.

    Thanks everyone. The wet weather has set in good and proper here so catching up with indoor chores. FAB

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  10. I am enjoying all your scenic shots. Its a very interesting area. The most interesting for me were the Ruddy Turnstones and the environment that they choose up your way. So very different from seeing them on the sandbanks and waters edge.

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  11. Hi Mick. Turnstones are shorebirds over here but also often seen feeding around small pools and marshes etc.

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  12. Norfolk looks great - I am hoping to get to East Anglia (Suffolk and Norfolk) next year for a good look around.

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  13. Emma. I'm sure you will enjoy it. Lots of history and plenty to keep a wildlife watcher occupied during any season.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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