Monday, 15 September 2014

A (Half) Marathon Migrant Hunt

I had planned on catching an early train and sea watching at Sheringham and exploring the local area, but waking up to rain I stayed in bed awhile and caught a later train to Cromer. The sea mist was only just burning off so an earlier start would probably have been a waste of time. Although it's not Sheringham I still thought I give sea watching a bash, and did between 8.15am and 9.15am. Gannet made up most of the count with Cormorant going backward and forwards. Here's the full count;

Gannet e79 w16, Manx Shearwater e3, Cormorant e37 w31, Dunlin w2, Great Skua e1, Shoveler e1, Fulmer w2, Sandwich Tern e12, Common Scoter e16 w7, Arctic Skua w1, Teal w4, Kittiwake w2, Wigeon w12.

From the promenade I walked east towards the doctor's steps, seeing 2 Wheatear and a Yellow-legged Gull on the beach. I then had a look around Warren Woods and the area near the lighthouse. Another Wheatear and a few Chiffchaff were all I could muster before walking across the golf course towards Overstrand. The clifftop bushes and cliff slumps look idea for migrants but 2 Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, and a Garden Warbler seemed like a small haul. On the golf cause itself another 5 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat flitted about.

In Overstrand my first hindrines passed over in the form of 2 House Martin and 1 Swallow. A Wheatear was near the car park and another two were on the promenade. Also along the promenade a gentleman rebuilding the beach huts made me aware of a Purple Sandpiper.

Moving onto Sidestrand I found a Yellow-browed Warbler in some sycamores on Tower Road, my best find of the day. Behind the school I found my second Whinchat of the day, before coming across a group of 77 Cormorant resting on the beach. Before reaching Trimingham and the 'clifftop wood' a Tree Pipit flew over, 5 Grey Partridge strangely flew over the cliffs and 2 more Wheatear were in the fields.

Trimming ws my last coastal area before turning inland towards home. The clifftop wood only held a single Chiffchaff and a few tits, near the Pilgrim Shelter I encountered 2 Goldcrest and 5 House Martin flew through. By the sand pit 6 Swallow few around and I saw my 13th Wheatear of the day.

Skirting the edge of Gimingham I saw 2 Buzzard and my final Wheatear of the day. Walking the footpaths via Trunch, Bradfield and Lyngate 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler and a small group of Skylark where probably summer residents rather than migrants. And that concluded my sea watch and migrant hunt, 7.5 hours, 60 species and 22km (half a marathon) later.

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