Sunday, 24 January 2010

Norfolk Trip - Day Four

We packed the car, and after breakfast headed out into the fog for the final stint of our four day trip.

First stop was Sheringham, to try again for the Purple Sandpiper for the trip list. Almost immediately after poking our heads over the sea wall, we could see the Purp feeding on rocks just below the Crown Inn. Excellent! Despite lots of large larids loafing about there was no sign of the Glonk.

We started heading south, with Whitlingham CP being our next destination near Norwich. We were here mid morning and scored with the trio we were hoping for - what an impressive place this is! The Red-necked Grebe was fishing towards the western corner of the Great Broad, and in the eastern section the redhead Smew was loafing about with large numbers of other wildfowl. The star performer though was the Great Northern Diver! It spent a good five minutes close in right in front of us resting and preening. Stunning views!

What a show off!

This is how close he was, I know he looks miles away in the pici...but he really wasn't!

After this we headed south to Chedgrave Marshes, our final destination of the holiday. We parked up in Waveney Forest and walked north east...which was a very stupid thing to do as we had to go north west! Still, Bun remains the biggest plank as he KNEW we were heading the wrong way but decided to stay schtum!!!

We eventually found a raised part on the edge of the forest, luckily the fog had cleared and visibility was ever-improving. Raptors were VERY impressive! Several Kestrels were hunting, a Peregrine came bolting through, a Barn Owl sat in the entrance to an old tin barn, up to four Marsh Harriers included one sat on a close bush for half an hour and two ringtail Hen Harriers were awesome. One of the Hen Harriers repeatedly hunted over a bit of reedbed adjacent to the edge of the forest we were standing in, unbelievable views! As we were under the cover of the trees I guess it just couldn't see us! The final raptor was the reason we were there...

After probably an hour of scanning there was no sign of the Rough-legged Buzzard we were after, but after some alarming Gulls, it suddenly appeared sat on a wooden fence, back on. After a short while, it flew a short distance and landed on another post. Unfortunately for us, the fog came in again at this point, quick and thick! It took off and flew away from us, before landing on much more distant post. This, along with the thickening fog, encouraged us to up and leave as we knew we wouldn't be getting any better views.

Also here, we saw up to six Bearded Tits (hearing several more) and it was great to see two Chinese Water Deer. With the fog in at 14:15 we left here and started the journey back to Seaton at 14:15, that was via a stop at this garage...

Bun's very own Service Station.... in fact the whole village was called Hales! There is also a place nearby called Bungay.... enough said!!

We also stopped at Fleet Services for some KFC, and were home for 20:15.

Well what a BRILLIANT trip we had, with the final species tally being 129 (and we didn't see Bittern, Greenshank, Brambling, any auks).

My bird of the trip, well, has to be the cracking pair of
Shorelark, but the male Hen Harrier at Wareham Greens and the Titchwell Mealy were certainly mega highlights too. The vast flocks of Pinkies really float my boat as much as anything though, just awesome! What an amazing place....

3 comments:

  1. You forgot to mention another Town nearby that was called Twaite, i rest my case, cheers Bun

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  2. You forgot to mention another Town nearby that was called Twaite, i rest my case- cheers Bun

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  3. wonderful posts - we've just read these and over at Karen's blog whilst snuggled up for bedtime reading. Boy is determined to find all the birds you saw- trouble is mummy won't have a clue if they were under her nose! (but we did see a Bittern again on Jan 16th!). t.x

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