Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Blogger, brace yourself!

Because three of Leicestershire's premier bloggers, and myself, went to Norfolk today!
Things didn't go to plan as I arrived at the Llama's house (on the other side of Leicester to where I live) bang on time but quickly realised I'd left not only my scope but also my bins at home, what a dick! Thankfully John saved the day as he had a spare pair of binoculars and so I piled into the back seat with Mr Dave Gray and off we went to Norfolk!
First stop (not counting the pit-stop at a Scottish burger merchant) was a top secret job where yours truly ticked his first ever Montagu's Harrier (a ringtail) with minimal difficulty before we moved onto a Corn Bunting site (im not supressing this, I just can't remember its name!) where we saw a Hen Harrier and another possible Montagu's along with a few Wheatear in a ploughed field.


Hen Harrier (five primaries as opposed to 4 in a Monty's)

Yellowhammer

After this promising start to the day (raptors were EVERYWHERE) we moved onto Titchwell, hearing a Cetti's Warbler as soon as we stepped out of the visitors centre and then finding this obliging fellow just a short way down the path.

First photo I took of the bird, the rest were useless!

The Lagoons were a tad quiet today with only a couple of loafing Little Gulls standing out from the crowd and so we quickly moved onto the beach for an attempted seawatch that was quickly abandoned on the grounds that there was very little on/moving over the sea and so we focused on the mass of waders on the shoreline instead:

Avocet - this was actually taken on the saltmarsh whilst John was attempting to molest a butterfly

How many species present??

Turnstones look immense at this time of year!

After this we moved back down the coast to the Snettisham reserve where two Turtle Dove were perched on a fence right next to the entrance, giving wonderful, albeit short, views. Snettisham didn't produce many new birds for the daylist in the end but what it did give was a wonderful view of literally thousands upon thousands of waders spread across the mudflats. Plenty of Brent Geese were lingering still too, not only here but at Titchwell earlier also.

Snettisham mudlfats being all atmospheric and moody

The final port of call today was the Nene washes on the way back, suggested by John, and what a good suggestion it turned out to be! Booming Bittern, drumming Snipe, 3 Short-eared Owl and best of all, 2 (think Andy, John and Dave saw three) Crane were rewards for the detour! The Cranes also sneaked onto my life list in the process, spiffing!


Nene washes being a tad damper than anticipated. Hope the Corncrake brought their aqualungs!

So by my count between the four of us we saw/heard 102 bird species today, two of which were lifers, not bad at all!

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