February 17th 2019 – An Exclusive Birding Tour in North Norfolk

A lovely day walking out at Burnham Overy and visiting Holkham fantastic numbers of Lapwing, also Spoonbill, Great White Egret & Russian White-fronted Geese. The day rounded off with a great raptor roost

I collected Carl, Dodie, Sarah and Tony in Fakenham at 8.30 and we headed up to Burnham Overy Staithe. We were immediately greeted by vast numbers of birds! Brent and Pink-footed Geese overhead and incredible numbers of Lapwing, in fact some of the best numbers I have ever seen, with c5000+ Lapwing on the Holkham NNR. Also lots of Wigeon and Teal out on the wet fields, whilst the salt-marsh held 40 Redshank, Dunlin, 60+ Curlew, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Little Egret and 30 Shelduck. There was at least 7-8 Marsh Harriers and the sky was constantly busy as the Lapwing and wildfowl moved around in clouds of activity.

As we walked to the dunes, we spied 3 Grey Partridge, lovely scope views as they called and gave a little display. From the hide we had a great hour with a Great White Egret, 65 Russian White-fronted Geese and 5 Spoonbills, these returning birds no doubt encouraged by the fine mild spell of weather.

As we walked back through the dunes we had small parties of Meadow Pipit, plus a pair of Stonechat, Kestrel, 3 Red Kites overhead and several Buzzards.

We enjoyed our packed lunch looking out from the Staithe. At the request of the clients we enjoyed a quick pint in The Hero….. ‘honest guv’!

We next stopped off and at Lady Annes, to take a look at the Brent Goose flock, very close by. I soon found one of the hybrid Black Brants, one of the less striking birds. Then Tony described a bird that sounded much more like the real thing, and sure enough he had the Black Brant, it’s gleaming black back and white flanks giving it up.

We rounded the day off with a brilliant raptor roost, 5 Hen Harriers including a beautiful adult male quite close, a very close Barn owl, a distant Short-eared Owl, a Peregrine and 3 Merlins!