I met up with Viv & Bernard at Hickling Broad for an exclusive days guided birdwatching in the Norfolk Broads.

We started the day with a wander out on to the raised flood wall, the pools are now a little drier but a couple of hours along here provided us with 60+ Lapwing, 4 Ringed Plover and 6 Whimbrel flew over calling. Then a group of 7 Dunlin flew over, reaching the remaining pools there were 3 Green Sandpiper , Common Redshank plus a Spoonbill. Along the reed bed edge we also had views of Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and heard Bearded Tit.

As it warmed up. we headed towards the West side of the reserve and were soon enjoying raptors circling in the skies, Marsh harrier and Common Buzzard. These were soon joined by two lovely Hobby, one of them providing excellent views as it hawked and consumed dragonflies!

As we wandered to Bittern Hide a Greenshank flew over calling. We then sat watching a young Marsh Harrier and another Hobby from the hide. Suddenly and close by a Bittern flew low across the reeds, just enough time for Viv and Bernard to get a view, a new bird for Viv!

We then headed off for a coffee and cake, before visiting Rush Hill scrape. There was a nice selection of waders here, with 70 Lapwing, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, 15 Dunlin including 3 Curlew Sandpipers.

We then headed off in the Martham broad area, stopping off en-route for a fantastic flock of 70 Mediterranean Gulls, courtesy of Ryan Irvine’s local knowledge.

Mediterranean Gull over 70 in the field near Martham

At Martham there was Green Sandpiper, but the Wood Sandpipers had departed, however a afternoon hunting Barn owl rounded the day off beautifully!

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