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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Exclusive One day Birding Tour 23rd October


Tuesday 23rd October

An exclusive tour for a group of three birders from Ely. Oh, boy what an amazing day!! The day unfurled as expected with dense mist & fog, plus a repeat of what I had been told about yesterday (sadly, Monday was a day of admin & I was tied to the mac finishing the less exciting side of work as a guide!).

In the 4 years as a guide I have never shown a group so few species in an entire day, & certainly not involving so many birds, not waders or wildfowl but literally thousands of passerines!! 

The day started for me with a Redstart at Hunstanton cliffs, but this had moved on by the time my group had arrived. However, a group of Redwing & Fieldfare, plus Song Thrush & many Blackbirds & Goldcrest were an insight to the rest of the day. 

We moved on to Holme & we started birding along the entrance track, it was immediately obvious there was a significant fall of thrushes, they were everywhere. Plus the trees held good numbers of Goldcrest, amongst these were also several Chiff-chaff. But Robins were the outright winner in the numbers stakes, everywhere you looked, every bush, every grassy area, every lawn Robins abounded. Over 300 were ringed at the Observatory alone, interestingly 2 Robins were retraps, one from Sweden & one from Norway. A Goldcrest was also carrying a Norwegian ring. Undoubtedly, the origin of the masses of birds carpeting the dunes & bushes

We walked up through the dunes & glimpsed a couple of Ring Ouzel, we eventually arrived at the Observatory & had the privelege of seeing 5 Ring Ouzel being ringed, along with Goldcrest & Robins of course. As we walked up the East Bank, several more Ring Ouzel, plus 12 Brambling were seen well & then 2 lovely Black Redstart around the Firs buildings, plus we found a 3rd Black Redstart near the bunkers along the footpath. In the afternoon more thrushes arrived from overhead, plunging into the vegetation & by late afternoon there were many more Fieldfare & they seemed to overtaken the Redwing in numbers.

We finished the day with some waders & ducks, but undoubtedly the lasting memory from today will be the thousands of  Robins & Thrushes - beyond anything I have previously witnessed. 

Days like this are rare & unique, a truly spiritual experience, stirring the deepest of emotions. 

No guiding tomorrow - but I will be hoping to enjoy the experience all of over again - with maybe something rare amongst the masses!

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