November 8th & 9th Norfolk Exclusive 2 day Tour

Day One – Back to Snettisham again for another high tide!

I picked up Sarah, Sue & Maggie in Hunstanton and then we headed straight to Snettisham for another High tide, none of them had ever seen it and their excitement was great to see! They weren’t to be dissappointed!

Adding to the theatre of 80,000 shorebirds wheeling around, passing overhead, packed together in dense flocks and then swirling clouds over The Wash, were a hunting Peregrine and a Merlin.

© Red Knot Chris Mills taking to the air after a Peregrine passes through them
© Red Knot Chris Mills
© Red Knot Chris Mills packed together on the gravel bank
© Red Knot Chris Mills
© Red Knot Chris Mills heading back out after the high tide

Sarah managed to shoot a fantastic video capturing the real essence of the sight of the Red Knot passing over our heads – take a look here Red Knot video

After the high tide, we headed off for a brunch in Hunstanton, we took in some farmland and found a nice flock of mixed finches with around 40 Brambling and Reed Bunting mixed in amongst them.

Then on to Titchwell – a nice selection of wildfowl and the regular waders, plus 2 Water Rails showed well, Common Snipe and a Water Pipit flew overhead calling and landing very briefly. Roost time produced around 10 Marsh Harriers, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a single Caspian Gull.

Day Two – Cley & Holkham NNR

We started off by looking at the sea, a Great Northern Diver was present on arrival and we managed to just get scope views as it was drifting East. Much closer and showing very well were several Red-throated Divers, also still several Guillemot & Razorbill. Also 2 Little Gulls were dancing over the water a little further out, and there was a few Common Scoter, a group of 9 Eider, small numbers of Dark-bellied Brents, Wigeon, 1-2 Pintail and Teal passing West as well. A Snow Bunting flew overhead, calling but not the views you want for a group!

We headed off down the beach to where a much larger group of Snow Buntings had been seen, it was a good trek along the shingle and still no Snow Buntings! We took a break and had a snack, and then suddenly they appeared like snowflakes in the sky, 40+ Snow Bunting. They eventually came closer and gave us really nice scope views.

As we walked back I stopped to scan the sea and found an imm drake Long-tailed Duck, not too far offshore, whilst watching this I noted an all dark bird coming in low off the sea, once in the scope it was as I thought a Woodcock! It came passed us at reasonable range as it swept over the bank and no doubt disappeared straight into the nearest cover, wonderful to see such migration!

We lunched up at the Visitor Centre, then headed to Holkham, adding a few commoner woodland species, we missed the Shorelarks today, but this was more than made up for with an incredible Pink-foot roost with 30,000 Pink-feet arriving overhead in the last embers of light.

Watch the amazing sight and sound of these Geese coming over our heads – video here.

A brilliant end to a lovely couple of days.