Exclusive group Guiding North Norfolk Day Two – 23rd September

I collected the group from Blakeney and we headed off towards Wells. The early morning rain had eased and we arrived at North Point with drier conditions.

The pool at North point held 3 Greenshank, though these soon headed off East. Just as I was scanning a nice fresh looking juvenile Wheatear caught my eye as it popped up along the fenceline and we enjoyed good scope views.

Further scanning of the pool revealed 2-3 Ruff, 40 Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and a single Pink-footed Goose, in amongst the big flock of Greylags. Also Little Egret, Grey Heron and a nice flock of 250 Golden Plover in the stubble just beyond.

Attention was soon drawn skyward as a nice skein of 200 Pink-footed Geese passed overhead, the first of the autumn for me although the first arrivals been present for 2 weeks now.

We next headed for the bushes, there was quite a bit of activity. A group of Long-tailed, Blue and Great tits passed through, plus Chaffinch, Linnets, Goldfinch and several Greenfinch. More interesting were 5-10 Blackcap, several Chiff-chaff and a Lesser Whitethroat. Two Marsh Harriers also appeared a fresh juvenile and a smart adult male. Skylarks were overhead and a few Meadow Pipits & Swallow also moved West.

Not withstanding the birds, 2 smart Stoats were also a real mammal highlight and I managed to ‘squeak’ one of them in close!

We had a quick look at Holkham, but it was relatively quiet, so we headed on to Cley for lunch and coffee and then headed out on to the reserve. We took a quick look at the sea on arrival at Cley. Although winds were Westerly and it was relatively quiet we still added Gannet and Red-throated Diver. We then headed for lunch at the Centre. Our lunch was interrupted by a hunting Hobby, a juvenile plucking dragonflies from the tops of the reedbed, also 2-3 Marsh harrier and Kestrel.

We then walked to Bishops Hide, where there was a good selection of birds in excellent light and good scope views. There was a nice group of 35 Black-tailed Godwit, a single Greenshank, 3 Dunlin, a single Knot 20 Ruff, also plenty of Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler.

As we headed along the East Bank a Peregrine passed over heading inland & a Marsh Harrier was over the reedbed. We stopped off several times for pinging Bearded Tits, but they refused to show well.

Off the East bank, there was a nice flock of Curlew along the Serpentine, plus a very fresh juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit dropped in. The majority of waders were to be found on Arnold’s marsh. There was a really nice mix of birds here and scanning carefully eventually revealed 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, alongside 12 Dunlin, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Ringed Plover & Redshank.

A nice couple of days with 92 species recorded, without an epphasis to see rarities or woodland birds.