We started the day with a couple hours of looking at the sea, it was a nice busy session with a constant Westerly stream of wildfowl –
Dark-bellied Brent Goose 160 West
Common Shelduck 8 West
Eurasian Wigeon 100 West
Northern Pintail 4 West
Eurasian Teal 30 West
Greater Scaup 3 Fem East
Velvet Scoter 3 West
Common Scoter 37 West
Great Crested Grebe 1 East
Red Knot 12 West
Dunlin 2 West
Common Guillemot 10 West,
Razorbill 24 West several on sea
Black-headed Gull 4
Common Gull 21
Herring Gull 12
Great Black-backed Gull 3
Sandwich Tern 1 West
Red-throated Diver 40 West & East, 5+ on sea
Great Northern Diver 1 East
Northern Gannet 20
Great Cormorant 1
Whilst we were watching the sea there were small numbers of passerines passing overhead Meadow Pipits, with a few Rock Pipits and 2 Grey Wagtail but the highlights were a Lapland Bunting calling over high west, followed shortly by a Snow Bunting calling and seen well in flight.
We then headed over to the East Bank and walked to the end and turned east.
As we arrived a small group of 30 Pink-footed Goose passed overhead, out in front of us there was 30 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 70+ Wigeon, 60+ Teal & 20 Great Cormorant.
Just behind us there was the regular pinging call of Bearded Tits, and after a few flight views 2-3 perched and a male ‘Beardie‘ showed beautifully atop the
The shallower pools held a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 juv Bar-tailed Godwit & small groups of Redshank.
We reached Arnolds Marsh and there was 50+ Dunlin, Ringed Plover, 4 Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit & Curlew. Then to the rear of the marsh a Short-eared Owl appeared hunting towards the rear of the marsh, circling over the fields it was a distinctive individual with several primaries missing in the left wing, this helped clinch a second Short-eared Owl a little while later, this one with fully intact wings! As we walked along the back edge of Arnolds Marsh a Lapland Bunting got up, called overhead and flew over our heads, sadly I couldn’t locate it on the ground.
As we stood scanning the marsh, raptors continued as a Peregrine was located, a superb adult male perched on the fenceposts, followed by a Marsh harrier and then a brief distant Merlin.
We rounded the day off at Kelling in style. With a well earned Jack Snipe, which was found after a lot of scanning and just visible tucked up tight in wet vegetation. The finale came when a late shower resulted in an amazing 30 minutes fall of Thrushes. It involved mainly Redwing, over c2-2500 Redwing! Along with some Blackbird, Song Thrush and a few Fieldfare plummeting from above us into the bushes around us and over head. It was an incredible experience to think of these birds having all crossed the sea and arriving en-masse right in front of us.