13th – 17th Norfolk Birding Winter Tour- Day Two of Five

14th January 2020

We started the day just north of the accommodation, where 2 farmland fields with lovely organic cover crop of Sorghum was attracting a pile of birds. The field was literally leaping with birds, over an hour, we had 200 Linnet, 60+ Chaffinch, c25 Brambling, 30+ Yellowhammer, 30+ Reed Bunting, plus Song Thrush, Bullfinch, Fieldfare, Redwing and unsurprisingly a Sparrowhawk. A delight to see in these modern days!

We then headed up the coast to Wells-next-the sea and were soon getting nice views of the wintering Rough-legged Buzzard. It was nicely perched and then took to the air given us some great flight views as well! Nearby there was several hundred Lapwing, plus some Golden Plover. Several Marsh harriers passed by and Common Buzzard.

© Shirley Bain – Rough-legged Buzzard
© Shirley Bain – Rough-legged Buzzard

We then headed out on to the Holkham, the freshmarsh was again alive with wildfowl, plus a scattering of waders. Wigeon here, must be the best in the last decade, with thousands across the wet areas and some lovely tame birds close by the road. Nearby also a nice covey of 11 Grey Partridge

We were soon out on the saltmarsh and enjoying 50+ Snow Buntings, but no sign of the Shorelarks. Out on the sea there was c2000 Common Scoter, also 3 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Great Crested Grebe and 15+ Red-breasted Merganser and a Fulmar also sped by east.

© Shirley Bain – Snow Buntings

I did a full lap again of the Saltmarsh but couldn’t find any Shorelark, at least 30 Skylark, 40 Linnets and several Rock Pipits. We had lunch in The Lookout and then headed out to the West side of the saltmarsh, but still no Shorelark!!

It was better look from Jordan hide, where we were greeted by 100+ Russian White-fronted Geese, a plethora of Teal and Wigeon, plus Gadwall, Shoveler, Pintail, 5+ Marsh harriers, 4 Red Kite, several Buzzards, Kestrel and 4 Great White Egrets & c1500 Lapwing in the skies!

© Shirley Bain – Russian White-fronted goose
© Shirley Bain – Russian White-fronted geese

On the walk back 2000+ Pink-footed geese dropped in and we enjoyed a small flock of Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tit with a Treecreeper. The ‘promised’ weather had now arrived with 40mph gusting winds we headed back for tea and cakes!

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