Norfolk Day One of Five Day Tour – 12th October

We made our way towards Holkham and en-route noted a couple of Red Kites, though we were set to see plenty more up at the coast. We were greeted at Holkham with small skeins of Pink-footed Geese, as we set off in search of smaller target birds!

Our first foraging flock appeared and there was an obvious number of Goldcrests, with quite a few Blue, Great and Long-tailed tits, but nothing unusual. As we walked along there was plenty of Redwing and Blackbirds and small flocks of Siskin passed overhead.

Out on the grazing marsh a nice flock of c30 Curlew were sent spiralling as a Marsh Harrier wheeled past. A little further on a much larger flock of tits and crests appeared along the first of the autumn paths. After a few minutes of searching a warbler appeared in one of the hawthorns, it eventually emerged, a super wing-barred Yellow-browed Warbler. It showed on and off for several minutes allowing everyone to get reasonable views.

Yellow-browed warbler

More flocks of Siskin passed overhead along with 1-2 Redpoll, plus more small numbers of Redwing and Blackbird, a few Skylarks and Lapwing also were overhead passing West. Plus a Chiff-Chaff was seen along with 6 late Barn Swallows.

We reached the end of the pines and then stood along with a small group, in a 90 minute vigil waiting for the Barred Warbler that had been present for a few days. It played hard to get and there was no sign of it. fortunately we kept entertained by Siskin, Redpoll and 2 groups of 10 & 14 Crossbills that passed overhead. Whilst waiting an Eastern type Lesser Whitethroat also appeared. Plus several Red Kite were circling the dunes 2 Great White Egrets and 2 Cattle Egrets were seen out on the grazing marsh.

On the way back we stopped off for several flocks and added a Treecreeper to the list.

We next headed to Burnham Overy Staithe, en-route I stopped off for a nice covey of 7 Grey partridge. We had a late lunch and then walked along the Staithe wall, there was several Rock Pipit as we walked out. Bearded Tits pinged from the reedbed, but were elusive, seen briefly in flight. Red Kites, Buzzard, Marsh harrier, Buzzard and Kestrels were much in evidence. The mud halfway along the wall held a nice group of waders with 50 Dunlin, 40 Ringed Plover, several Redshank, Curlew, Grey Plover and 2-3 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Towards the end of seawall there was a nice flock of c400 Golden Plover and 2 Cattle Egrets were sitting close by on sea pools. Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck and small numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Geese were also feeding out towards the entrance to the sea.

As we watched a group of Golden Plover circling, much higher my eyes were drawn to a much higher group of 34 Snipe, clearly migrating westwards, migration in action and wonderful to see.

There continued a steady passage of Starling and a few Siskin and Meadow Pipit also continued into the late afternoon. The promised rain arrived, fortunately quite late, but was our cue to head back to the minibus.

A nice days birding without anything earth shattering and 83 species recorded.