Sunday, 23 October 2011

Scarlet Tanager?

Okay we went to North Norfolk not Cornwall, but it was a very close call. Gary and I had a plan to leave at 4am and hover around the M25 awaiting news on the Scarlet Tanager, but decided late in the evening that maybe we had travelled enough in the last week and settled for Blakeney and Salthouse instead, hmmm.......

After a positive lie in Gary picked me up at 8am and we headed to Friary Hills in Blakeney to look for the Cattle Egret. Stuart White informed us the bird was in a tree between Blakeney and Cley. Walking to the end of the Hills, 3 Crossbill flew over but there was no sign of the egret. We then drove around to the sluice at Cley to look from a different angle, only for Gary to spot the bird flying back into a cattle field towards Blakeney once again. I suggested trying the Wiveton Farm Shop/Cafe, as it backs onto Friary Hills. Here we found the Cattle Egret in a cattle field opposite the cafe, in fact we watched the bird while enjoying a cup of tea and slice of cake.

We next stopped at Salthouse for a spot of sea watching. Despite the unfavorable winds a Puffin flew west, and quite a few Guillemot and Razorbill sat on the sea as well as 2+ Red-throated Diver. From her we walked west along the shingle ridge and down the track to the Dun Cow, seeing nothing of note. Even from our favourite 'Birding Pub' we saw very little as we had lunch. We did however see a large thrush arrive with some Redwing. We spent the next hour walking the nearby hedgerows trying to locate the bird, with thoughts of Siberian Thrush from what little we had seen of the bird flying in. We had no luck re-finding the bird, which could have been something special, or just a rough looking Fieldfare or scruffy Blackbird. Walking back along the Iron Road and shingle a few Redpoll and Siskin passed over and a late Swallow headed east.

Stopping at Cley, for once there was plenty to see on Simmond's Scrape. With a good size Golden Plover flock, 5+ Snipe and a pair of Pintail close in, as well as the more common expected waders.

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