October 21st-23rd 3 day Ladies Tour

A 3 day Exclusive Ladies Group Tour

Day One October 21st – Cley & Salthouse areas

We started the tour on the East Bank at Cley, where the Long-billed Dowitcher was still present, showing very well, we had a great scope views! There’s some nice video of the Dowitcher here with a whole load of Pink-footed Geese audible in the background! There was lots of waders along the Serpentine and Arnold’s Marsh, but before we reached there we had stunning views of Bearded Tits feeding atop of the reeds.

© Bearded Tit – Janet Pawley

© Long-billed Dowitcher, Cley Steve Gantlett

Down on Arnolds there was c20 Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, also 200+ Dunlin, Grey Plover, c150 Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, 300 Lapwing, several Common Snipe, Curlew & Turnstone, nearby there was also lots of Wigeon, Teal & 3-4 Pintail.

Back at Walsey Hills there was still a single Jack Snipe present.

After lunch we visited the hides, and after a bit of scanning through the other waders we located 3 Little Stints

© Little Stint Chris Mills
© Ruff Chris Mills

After lunch we headed to Salthouse and the Iron road, there was plenty more waders and wildfowl, but the highlights were on the sea, where close inshore there was a Red-throated Diver, several Razorbills and a 1cy Little Gull.

© Little Gull Chris Mills

Day Two October 22nd – Great Cressingham, Cockley Cley & Welney

I took the decision to head to South Norfolk & Welney, to pick up some scarcer birds in these areas. We started the day with a really nice flock of post-breeding Stone Curlew, there was 32 Stone Curlew all gathered together in loose groups around the field. There was  Grey Partridge and a group of  Tree Sparrow showing well in the hedgerow, single Yellowhammers, plus a group of Golden Plover flew over and a really large flock of c200 Linnet.

© Stone Curlews

We then headed to a raptor watchpoint, as the conditions were just brightening up, on arrival the first Buzzards were starting to spiral up and after 30 minutes we had 2 Goshawk, also Red KiteKestrel and Sparrowhawk from here.

From here we headed over to Welney WWT, we stopped just before we reached the centre, to look at a nice group of c400 Golden Plover. What happened next was amazing as a young ♂ Merlin came in from above at speed and swept into the flock hitting and killing a Golden Plover, quite a sizeable prey for a Merlin! I managed to get some digiscope video of the Merlin, on the kill!

The feeders at the Visitor Centre gave everyone really good views of Tree Sparrow, there was a lovely gathering of around 250 Whooper Swans from the main hide, plus nice views of Common Snipe and Marsh Harrier, we also spied  Cattle Egrets, distantly amongst the cattle.

© Whooper Swan – Jan Pawley

There was a nice flock of 11 Common Cranes and we got really nice views, there was 400 Black-tailed Godwit, plus an amazing flock of c170 Ruff, also a Spotted Redshank amongst the Common Redshank.

Common Cranes – Welney

The day was rounded off with a lovely evening group meal!

© Group Evening meal

Day Three October 23rd – Holme & Titchwell

We started the day off at Holme where we had good views of Marsh Harriers, plus lovely flocks of Golden Plover, Pink-footed Geese and Dark-bellied Brents, there was Great Crested Grebe, Common Scoter, Razorbill and Red-throated Diver

After lunch we went to Titchwell, highlights here were a Great White Egret, but definitely surpassed by the large and very close c600 Golden Plover flock, regularly taking to the air they were an absolute delight to watch!

© Golden Plover Chris Mills

Still a few Avocet present, plus lots of c300 Black-tailed Godwit, good numbers of 20 Ruff, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, large flocks of Teal & Wigeon, with a few Pintail now present. At least 6 Marsh Harriers over the reedbed, plus a Sparrowhawk went flashing through.

© Golden Plover Chris Mills

A great 3 days with 108 species recorded.