Monday, 21 October 2013

Final Patch Visit & North Norfolk

On Thursday 17th I decided to visit Whitlingham for what would be my final visit to the Country Park with it still being my 'local' patch. Sadly it proved to be an anti-climax with a distinct lack of wildfowl and very little bird life in general. Fly over Redwing and Fieldfare were two new patch ticks for the year and close views of a Treecreeper the only highlights. I had planned to walk the woods and Whitlingham Marsh, but the lack of activity lead me to the Flint Barn for a warming cup of tea, followed by a slow walk home.

Friday the 18th was a much better day, Gary collected me at about 6.30am and we headed off to North Norfolk (the night before we had debated driving down to see the Semi-palmated Plover in Hants.). We arrived at Stiffkey more hopeful than expecting, as the winds had not been ideal for much migrant movement. Walking towards the Whirly Gig we soon picked up quite a few Redwing, Fieldfare, Song Thrush and Blackbird, also 2 Ring Ouzel but not the numbers of Thrush seen on Monday. With the thrushes was a large mixed flock of Tits and Finches but nothing out of the ordinary. Near to Garden Drove we found a group of 13 Blackcap but they proved to be the only warblers we found in the area. News of 4 Glossy Ibis seen past Wells had us keeping a look out over the salt marsh and eventually they came past, flying on then over Blakeney Harbour and tracked onward East. Small groups of Redpoll flew over most of the morning, along with a couple of Brambling and Crossbill so with at least some evidence of incoming birds we decided to slip and slide out to the bank of gorse out in the salt marsh. Our rewards for this was 2 Rock Pipit and a Water Pipit mixed in with the numerous Meadow Pipit, and a Peregrine hunting over the marsh. The remains of whom's lunch we found in the form of two well stripped Redwing carcasses.

Just back at the car we got news that the elusive Dusky Warbler at Weybourne had been trapped and would be released in 20 minutes, rather than walk the Campsite Woods we raced (always obeying Speed Limits) to Weybourne and arrived shortly before the bird was released at Denmark House. We got brief views in the hand before the bird whizzed off into the bushes.

A brief stop at Cley Spy in Glandford enabled us to view a rather smart male Black Redstart frequenting the barn roofs, before returning home. Driving back Gary was cursing that we had not gone to Hampshire with the Semi-palmated Plover message reporting the bird 'Showing Well', maybe another day!

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