We started with a sea-watch at Cley, & although the sea was relatively quiet, we scored well with 2 Red-necked Grebe, a Pomarine Skua that brought down a Kittiwake, small groups of Guillemot, Razorbill & Common Scoter, plus several close inshore fishing Gannet & 3+ Red-throated Diver. Brent Goose, Wigeon & Teal all past overhead in small no's.
A walk down the East Bank, to Arnolds Marsh produced brief views of Bearded Tit & Reed Bunting, plus Marsh Harrier. The pools were full of birds - 100+ Dunlin, 50+Black-tailed Godwit, 40+ Redshank, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Knot, Curlew & a single Spotted Redshank. Also Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Great black-backed, Common & Black headed Gull.
After a slightly late lunch, we visited the hides, we heard more Bearded Tit, plus a squealing Water Rail, more Black-tailed Godwit, 4+ Avocet, plus lots more wildfowl. The highlights were a Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Fieldfare & some very smart drake Pintail that had just about acquired breeding plumage.
79 species recorded, tour total 95 species
Saturday 20th October - Day One
We started the day at at Snettisham, although the tide was lower, i was fairly confident there would still be a spectacular number of shorebirds.
En-route started to look suspiciously foggy! But as we arrived it was misty rather than full fog, but visibility was much reduced - not ideal I thought! However, this resulted in a spectacular passage of low flying Chaffinch & Starling, which I guess would have been much higher in clearer conditions.
It was amazing - waves & waves of Chaffinch, then waves & waves of Starling, of course a few Brambling, Linnet, Greenfinch & Siskin were amongst these birds, but it was the volume of birds that was impressive & just above our heads, over 3 hours we must have witnessed 1000+ Chaffinch, 5000+ Starling - as the overhead passage slowed. The mist cleared to reveal c70,000 Knot, c3000 Bar-tailed Godwit & 1500 Oystercatcher, 2000 Golden Plover, plus Grey Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank, 100's of Shelduck, Pintail, Wigeon & Teal.Plus a few skeins of Pink-footed Geese passed overhead.
As per yesterday the birds were nervous & when disturbed by the marauding Sparrowhawk & Marsh Harrier, they were sent swirling high a truly amazing spectacle. Overhead a few Skylark, Meadow & Rock Pipit were noted
In the afternoon we visited Holme & the sea produced nice views of a Red-throated Diver, c500 Common Scoter & 12+ Great Crested, plus Marsh Harrier & Buzzard. Around the observatory a Crossbill, Siskin & Brambling flew over & we also found in the bushes & pools Chiff-chaff, Goldcrest, heard a Cetti's Warbler, Spotted Redshank, Shoveler & finally after a lot of searching a phone call from Robert Smith - great views of a roosting Tawny Owl!
75 Species recorded