Thursday, 2 June 2011

Norfolk - Day 3 - Another Golden day!

Please note: As always change the video quality from 360 to 720HD quality using the Youtube player bar.

Day 3 started as normal nice and early and we tried a different site to see if we would obtain better and closer views of the Montagu’s Harrier but sadly we failed to do so. However we weren’t too disappointed and we headed to Titchwell RSPB. No sooner had we arrived we saw a Bittern fly up and fly a little way before going down into the reedbed and then getting mobbed by gulls. We then headed to the brand new and very modern looking hide that has just been built at Titchwell. From here there wasn’t much at first and then a Curlew Sandpiper appeared and showed really well. They are superb waders Curlew Sandpipers; I am looking forward to seeing one this year in Durham. Brilliant birds!

(Curlew Sandpiper - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Curlew Sandpiper - Andrew Kinghorn)

From here we headed to Great Ryburgh Raptor Viewpoint where we had great views of several Common Buzzard and Hobby. We had a very distant view of a Honey Buzzard. We didn’t get any colour on it but the shape and jizz of the bird pointed toward Honey Buzzard. They are superb birds to see and I still haven’t managed a brilliant view of one of these stunning raptors. After here our next stop was Welney WWT. After paying about £5.50 to get in we headed for the area where the Bluethroat has been frequenting. It was windy and I wasn’t hopeful and we sadly didn’t see the Bluethroat. We entered one of the hides when we were alerted a pair of Red-necked Phalaropes had just turned up whilst we were on site. I went into the hide a bit sceptical but I need not have been sceptical as the pair was present. We enjoyed brilliant views through the scope and I took a few photos and videos of the Phalaropes before going outside to look for the Bluethroat. After waiting for the best part of an hour it didn’t show however we had a flyover Hobby and a walk later produced Whooper Swans and a single drake Garganey. The Whooper Swans obviously over summering on the reserve.

 (Red-necked Phalarope - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Red-necked Phalarope - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Red-necked Phalarope - Andrew Kinghorn)

Out next stop was Sculthorpe Moor NR and our target species was Golden Pheasant. We headed straight for the hide that sites on the edge of the woodland and overlooks some meadows. From here we had excellent views of 2 Barn Owls, presumably a pair. They gave excellent views. The feeders from hide gave us good views of Marsh Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, excellent views of Red-legged Partridge, and my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year. We had to wait for about an hour before the target bird came crashing through the undergrowth and appeared under the feeders; Golden Pheasant! A stunning male bird! I am aware of the controversy of these birds as to why they are on the reserve and their origins are a bit more than dubious. I will however discuss this is a future blog post so stay tuned for that! Either way I can’t count it on my BOU list but it’s gone on my own personal life list.  
(Golden Pheasant - Andrew Kinghorn)

From here we headed for some tea in Wells-next-the-Sea and then we went out looking for Nightjars on Salthouse heath. We were successful and managed brief views of a Nightjar that was churring and then flew up and did a semi circle around us. What a great way to end another brilliant days birding in Norfolk

Year Ticks and Life Ticks in bold
219 - Curlew Sandpiper - Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk
220 - Honey Buzzard - Great Ryburgh, Norfolk
221 - Spotted Flycatcher - Sculthorpe Moor, Norfolk
222 - Golden Pheasant - Sculthorpe Moor, Norfolk
223 - Nightjar - Salthouse Heath, Norfolk
Stay tuned for Day 4 of my Norfolk trip report!

Stay tuned for Day 4; our last day in Norfolk. However a bit of a twist to the end of my great weekends birding. Stay tuned to find out the story.

Until next time, Foghorn out!

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