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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

17th October Norfolk 3 Day Tour

Wednesday 17th October

An early start for the hi-tide at Snettisham. The view from the hide was spectacular with a carpet of birds laid out in front of us  c12 -15,000 Knot, c1000 Bar-tailed Godwit,c250 Dunlin plus c1500 Oystercatcher, Curlew, Golden Plover, Redshank plus many Wigeon , Teal & a few Pintail 
The Knot gave a spectacular swirl in front of us heading out for the Wash before returning & settling again in front of us - superb views combined with the fantastic sounds of whirling wings.

We headed out to the edge of the saltmarsh & watched as the masses flew past out on to the mud, plus 3-4 Marsh Harrier & a Sparrowhawk set birds into a panic on more than one ocassion. 

We enjoyed the spectacle or so & then had our packed breakfasts, 
before visiting the other hides. Also noteable was an overhead passage of Rock Pipit c15, c50 Meadow Pipit, & c50 Skylark all moving south.

We then headed to Wells - a quick stop produced Peregrine, Marsh Harrier & Buzzard. We had lunch on the quayside, a Guillemot was diviing in the harbour area. We then headed into the woods to look for Yellow-browed Warbler, but were soon distracted after a call to alert us the an Egyptian Vulture, had been seen flying in off the sea at Cley & was flying west. Up on the seawall we were very fortunate to see the Egyptian Vulture almost straightaway, it was steadily heading west from the Stiffkey area, it was being mobbed by crows. The "barn door" wing shape & plodding flight were unmistakable, although the bird was distant. It eventually disappeared from view after a couple of minutes & was lost to view. Sadly later we were to discover that the bird had been seen in Cornwall & Wales the previous week & was unfortunately an escape - doh!!

We decided to finish the day off with a bit more raptor watching & had nice views of numerous Buzzard, 1 Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 Marsh Harrier c70 .
Lapwing, c100 Starling & 12 Tree Sparrow.

After dropping half the group off we did have lovely close views of a quartering Barn owl just west of Hindolveston.

Day 3 82 species. Final tour total of 112 species.

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