A lovely winter’s day birding filled with wildfowl and special birds!
I picked up Steve & Debbie from the White Horse at Brancaster and we started with some nice easy birding just at the back of the pub, out on the saltmarsh. There was a lovely selection of birds, lots of Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Teal, Shelduck, plus Bar & Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Curlew, Grey Plover and a very confiding Turnstone. A nice surprise, was a Great White Egret flying briefly and then just with the head visible in one of the channels. Overhead 2 Red Kites and a Marsh harrier kept the wildfowl on their toes.
We then headed to the Staithe harbour where there was some very confiding Teal, allowing close views, plus a lovely Little Egret in it’s breeding plumage finery!
We next had a walk around at Titchwell, out on Patsy’s pool there was great views of 5-6 Common Snipe, a nice group of Pochard, Mallard, Gadwall and a Little Grebe. Also great views of several Marsh Harrier, and the walk back provided lovely scope views of a male Bullfinch. A bit of searching revealed the usual Water Rail in its favoured location too!
We had a nice bit of lunch and thawed out, and enjoyed a very friendly Robin in the car park!
We then headed to Holkham. From the Lady Anne’s drive, there was superb grazing flock of c2000 Wigeon, probably the best numbers I have seen here this winter, plus plenty of Teal. Out on the saltmarsh there was the usual Meadow Pipits and a few Rock Pipits. We eventually got up nice and close to around 45 Snow Bunting, as always a joy to watch. Out in the bay there was a small flock of Common Scoter, a lovely group of 6 Red-breasted Merganser, several Red-throated Diver and eventually a really nice Great Northern Diver.
A final bit of searching on the way back and we found the Shorelarks initially I had 6 birds, but these were joined by a second group of 22 Shorelark, so a nice group of 28 Shorelark.
We had a very enjoyable day and rounded off with a nice cuppa at The Lookout!