May 2nd 2019 – Norfolk Exclusive guided birding tour

I met up with John & Sue out in the Broads today. We headed off to Potter Heigham Marshes. It was a great morning with lots of activity. Almost immediately on arrival we were hearing and then scoping a Cuckoo! There was a showy Sedge warbler singing nearby and a quick scan of the nearby lagoon gave us a lovely feeding Spoonbill. A thorough search of the area and we were soon watching a Ruff, then 2 Greenshank and several Snipe.

We walked along the bank to search the other areas and were soon watching Sedge and Reed warblers, hearing Cetti’s lots of Whitethroats and then the distant bugling of Cranes. The calls seem to be getting closer and with a bit of scanning I located 15 Common Cranes high in the skies, circling. Five of them eventually came overhead and were still calling a magnificent sight! There was also regular close views of Marsh harriers, one male coming really close.

As we wandered further on there was lots of Gadwall and Shoveler, plus a few Teal and Wigeon. A more careful scan eventually located a suoperb drake Garganey – such a beautiful and scarce spring migrant.

We walked back and had lots more warblers and also heard a Grasshopper warbler reeling, the biggest surprise was an incredibly early Swallowtail butterfly that flew past us! We then headed for lunch and had a nice relaxing break at Sutton Stiaithe.

We then headed off to Hickling with the target species – Bittern, firmly in my mind. Before we could even look for Bittern we were enjoying ovely flight views of my first Hobby of the year, 3 Hobby hawking overhead!

We reached the first suitable area of cleared reeds and I took a sweep with the bino’s, I couldn’t quite believe our luck a Bittern was feeding in the shallows and for the next 45 minutes we enjoyed lovely scope views, here’s a digi-scope shot below!]

Bittern – sometimes you get lucky!