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Monday, 1 October 2012

3 day Autumn Group Tour 28-30 September 2012

Friday 28th September 

We were about to start  today with a seawatch off Cley, but the first bird flashed by distracting as we got out of the minibus. A superb female Merlin at full speed cruised past the group!


On the sea several Red-throated Diver, lots of Gannet, skeins of Pink-footed Goose, a few Brent Goose, small flocks of Pintail, Teal & Wigeon passed by, plus lots of Guillemot & Razorbill.


We then headed to Warham to look for the Yellow-browed warbler, but couldn't locate this bird in rather windy conditions, but great views of close up Buzzard & Marsh Harrier. 


We lunched at Titchwell & then had a wonderful early afternoon's birding with a plethora of wildfowl & waders, highlights were eventually good views of Bearded Tit, several Marsh Harrier, Water Rail briefly flew across in front of us, plenty of Ruff, Black & Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Knot, a few Snipe, 2 Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, 5 Spoonbil & a Little Stint. 


Down on the sea, there was 2 close inshore Common Scoter & 3 Eider, with more distant Great crested Grebe & Red-throated Diver.


Days total of 94 species



Saturday 29th September


We again started with an hours seawatching at Cley, we saw many similar species as the previous day, but also had lovely views of 2-3 juv Arctic Tern & lots of Sandwich tern feeding in front of us. Another addition were several distant Kittiwake passing by & several groups of Brent Goose & Pink-feet flew in off the sea. Also noteworthy was a steady passage of House Martins moving west. Also worth mentioning was a Common Porpoise noted several times offshore.


We then had a walk around Holkham, there were 1000+Pink-footed Geese on the marsh, passerine birding proved tricky in the windy conditions but we did see plenty of Goldcrest, 2 Chiff-chaff, Treecreeper, Nuthatch & noticeable were large numbers of Jays.


We had lunch near Holkham & enjoyed good views of several Buzzards floating over the nearby woodland, plus a Sparrowhawk & Kestrel.


We spent the afternoon round Cley where we saw great numbers of Wigeon, Teal, a few Pintail, plus Ruff, Dunlin & Curlew. We managed to see Bearded Tit again, albeit briefly in the gusty wind! Stonechat was added to the list, we finished the day at Salthouse with another Stonechat, plus 2 close fly by Red-throated Diver.


Day 2 running total of 103 species 




Sunday 30th September

An early start at 6.00am & a lovely view of a perched Barn Owl for those on the first pick up point.

We arrived at Snettisham just in time to witness the whirling clouds of around 30,000 Knot, 3000 Bar-tailed Godwit, plus vast numbers of Oystercatcher, Curlew, Golden Plover, Redshank, Grey Plover etc, a Marsh Harrier & Sparrowhawk causing most of the panic. We enjoyed the spectacle for an hour or so & then had our packed breakfasts, before visiting the other hides.

From the hides, we noted 8+ Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, 200 Black-tailed Godwit plus good numbers of Wigeon, Teal & Shoveler.

We stopped off at Hunstanton cliffs, but the Fulmars seemed to have departed for the winter. A few Common Scoter were noted distantly, plus further flocks of Knot leaving there roost sites.

A few stops in the inland farmland eventually produced good views of Grey Partridge & Yellowhammer.

We then headed to Holme, where we had a lovely overview of the Bird Observatory & ringing at the NOA, plus out on the sea we had Arctic Skua, 150 Common Scoter, 4 Great crested Grebe, lots of Gannet, 3 Eider plus in the bushes a Redstart flashed by, before disappearing again a victim of the strong windy conditions!! A steady flow of House Martin was lovely to witness, as was a single overhead Siskin, my first of the autumn.

A good tour considering the SW winds & a lack of any real fall birds.

Final species total for 3 days 110


























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