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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Exclusive Tour 9th & 10th April

Tuesday 9th April Exclusive 2 Day tour

We started the day  within a mile of the accommodation! A lovely 
Barn Owl sat perhed, patiently awaiting it's prey, also nearby a smart male Yellowhammer was singing. Another couple of quick stops en-route to the coast first to enjoy 2-3 Grey Partridge, plus several beautiful Brown Hares.
We stopped off firstly at Hunstanton & took in the Fulmar colony along the cliffs, also on the beach nice views of Brent Geese, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Turnstone, Oystercatcher & 4 species of the regular gulls.

We reached Holme and took a walk out towards the grazing marshes, we had fantastic views of several
displaying Marsh Harrier. We also from here saw Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, several Snipe & Curlew. Plus more wonderful views of Hares this time boxing! A Chiff- Chaff was calling along the hedgerow, plus 2 Goldcrest.

We stopped off several times at hides & pools on the way up towards the Observatory, we missed out on a pair of Garganey, but did have lovely views 
Little Grebe, Gadwall, Wigeon Teal, Snipe, displaying Lapwing & a smart male Wheatear.

Into the dunes & on to the shoreline, there was a nice group of
 Skylark. The shallow pools yielded a nice mixture of shorebirds, Avocet, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew & Redshank & c50 Brent Geese flew on to the grazing marsh.

We then lunched up to the Observatory where clients were given an overview of the Obs & the ringing. We also enjoyed the warm sun, sheltered from the harsh wind. 
Tufted Duck, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard & Brents all on view as we ate!

We then headed on to Titchwell & had a good slection of wildlfowl & 1000's of gulls. Highlights were
 female Long-tailed Duck, c30 Snipe, 3 Mediteranean Gull, Black & Bar-tailed Godwit,  breeding plumage Spotted Redshank, a Litttle Ringed Plover was a new arrival today & great views of a close up Water Rail.

We finished the day over tea & cake with a nice list of 85 species.


Wednesday 10th April Exclusive 2 Day tour

As one of the clients aptly put it we start the day with a lovely breakfast & a 
Barn Owl!! This was a different bird from yesterday but gave just as lovely views both perched & hunting!

We then stopped off just before reaching the coast, we had yet another lovely 
Barn Owl mainly sitting perched, maybe a sign of the difficulties this species has had in the last few weeks finding enough food. We also had nice close views of a pair of Marsh Harriers, also Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Redshank, Curlew & Lapwing.
We then visited Burnham Overy, nice selection of shorebirds & around 200 Brents, plus around c60 Golden Plover several acquiring breeding plumage, plus 2-3 Snipe, more Marsh Harriers . We heard Bearded Tit briefly & had lots more wildfowl.
We headed for Cley, but were son pulling off the road for two superb Red Kites just soaring low over the fields, these were also joined by 2 sky dancing Marsh Harriers!
We lunched at Cley & then visited the hides & the East Bank, highlights were 3 Ruff, c30 Black-tailed Godwit,with several "icelandica" birds acquiring rich red breeding plumage! Lots of Harrier & Avocet activity including some interesting behaviour caught on video. Other noteworthy birds were brief Bearded Tits, 3 Sandwich Terns, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls & Sand Martin. Arnolds marsh held c60 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Black & Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew & Turnstone.
We finished the day with lovely views of a Cettis warbler, unusually showing very well & possibly due to a predator below, it was constantly alarm calling throughout.

Just under 100 species in the 2 days, so not bad considering the late spring & lack of summer migrants!! Probably most notable for the wonderful views of
 Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier & Brown Hares!

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