22nd-25th May 2019 – Norfolk 3 Day Group Spring Birdwatching Tour

22nd May Day One – Snettisham, Holme and Titchwell

We started the day with a high tide at Snettisham where there was a spectacular number of Grey Plover, well over 1000 and mainly in full summer plumage! Also lots of Dunlin, Knot, Oystercatcher, Redshank , Sanderling, Bar-tailed Godwit, with smaller numbers of Ringed Plover and Curlew.

As we scanned the flocks in beautiful light, a Spoonbill flew in and started feeding in the shallows. Plus Marsh Harrier and Buzzard were also hunting over the saltmarsh.

We then headed over to the Snettisham CP, we were greeted by the wonderful sight and sound of a Turtle Dove. We enjoyed this and then moved along the bank taking in a great selection of birds, Sedge and Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Bunting and Bullfinch. We heard Grasshopper warbler but it was distant and we didn’t get views of this one.

We next headed and had lunch at Holme where we repeatedly interrupted by flyover Cuckoos! We had a quick walk along the reserve and a Grasshopper warbler was reeling and showed very briefly. More great views of Marsh harriers.

We then headed to Titchwell, where we had a nice selection of wildfowl, some late Brent Geese, Teal. There was also Bearded tits albeit, it was a trifle breezy and we had to settle for flight views.

It had been a great day with 97 species recorded.

23rd May Day Two – Holkham, Cley and Evening Nightjars & Owls

We headed out this morning and fortunately the local Little Owl was sat on top of the roof of it’s favoured building. We reached Holkham and looked across the marsh from a vantage point. There was good scope views of Spoonbills, plus 2 Great White Egrets, a nice flock of 20 Black-tailed Godwit and several Red Kite and Marsh harriers.

We then headed to Cley and headed out to the main three hides, from Daukes there was a lovely spread of late passage waders with 45 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ruff, several Dunlin, plus the real star birds 4 Temminck’s Stints and a single Little Stint.

We then headed for lunch, whilst scanning I picked up a 2nd cal year Little Gull high in the sky hawking insects. We then headed to look on the sea, and were pleased to find a nice flock of c200 Common Scoter sitting high on the waves. We also had several Common and Sandwich Terns plus 4 Little Terns.

We then walked out on East Bank, where we improved our views of Bearded Tit from the previous day, with a male perched. The scrape held Curlew, a Tundra Plover, and regular Ringed Plover.

We then had a couple of hours break before the evening meal. After the evening meal we headed out for Owls & Nightjars. Barn owls were elusive but we had one hunting briefly before disappearing. My local Little Owl appeared on cue, a different bird to the one in the morning. We then headed for Nightjars which again performed really well, 2 males and a female Nightjar with nice scope views of the male perched churring. The evening was rounded off with flight views and calling Tawny Owls.

Day Three – Brecks and Lakenheath

We started the day with great views of 2 Stone Curlew. We then headed off to the forest where over the next couple of hours we did pretty well, we had good views of Treecreeper, a showy singing Firecrest gave us great views. Out on the next clearing there were 2 singing Tree Pipits, very obliging at close range. There was also nice views of Yellowhammer and Mistle Thrush. Plus we also located a Woodlark which have been tricky to see late mornings in the last 2 weeks.

We then spent a lunch scanning for raptors, conditions were good with bright and windy conditions Red Kite and Buzzard appeared, then a Sparrowhawk, and finally a male Goshawk!

We spent the final afternoon at Lakenheath, where we were treated to excellent views of Hobby. Nice views of Cuckoo, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and there was brief views of a Bittern in flight.

Good 3 days with 127 species recorded.