Norfolk Day Exclusive Day Tour – 30th October

Today was an exclusive general days birding for a couple. I collected them and we headed up towards Holkham. As we passed through mid Norfolk and stopped off on a quiet lane for a nice group of winter thrushes, 2-3 Red Kites and a flock of Redwing.

We soon reached Holkham and headed out into the nearby park, where a small group of Hawfinches had been present for a few days. We approached the area, 4 Hawfinches were obvious feeding in the tops of the trees and over the next hour we got really nice views of at least 10 Hawfinches perched in the tops of the trees.

© Hawfinch Holkham Hall taken by Eric Yeomans

We then headed to Burnham Overy Staithe, stopping off en-route for Marsh Harrier and 2 Great White Egret. As we walked out on to the Staithe, vast skeins of Pink-footed Geese dropped from the skies and we had nice views of several groups feeding on the ground. It was a good morning for Geese, as 30 Barnacle Geese dropped into view, followed by c150 Dark-bellied Brent Geese out on the saltmarsh. Wigeon and Teal occupied many of the wet areas as wandered along, these were sent scattering when a juvenile Peregrine came in low and took several dives into the flocks, quite a performance.

Our attention was next drawn to the cattle, in close attention was the now, reliable group of Cattle Egret, 2 flocks totalling 20 Cattle Egret. There was also several groups of 100+ Golden Plover wheeling overhead along with several hundred Lapwing in the distance. Rock pipits were continuously flitting along the groynes, plus a nice group of 7 Bearded Tits performed dispersal flights from the reedbed, along with Stonechat and Reed Bunting perching along the hedgeline.

Out on the channel there was a good selection of shorebirds, with 80 Dunlin, Knot, Turnstone, 10+ Grey Plover , several Ringed Plover a few Knot, 2-3 Bar-tailed Godwit and numerous Redshank.

We then headed to Cley where we had lunch and then had a look on the sea, it was fairly quiet but Common Scoter, Gannets, Razorbill and Guillemot were offshore.

We rounded the day off with a fantastic roost of 10,000 Pink-footed geese and a cracking male Hen Harrier plus a hunting Barn Owl.