Monday – September 13th 2021 – NW Norfolk
We started day one with a visit to Snettisham and The Wash and despite the tide not being a really high tide, we were still treated to a plethora of shorebirds and waders.
As the tide rose, the shorebirds gathered in tighter groups, 40,000 Knot, 1500 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1500 Oystercatcher, 500 Curlew several hundred Dunlin forming the greater mass but with 150 Redshank, 100 Grey Plover, 100+ Sanderling , 50+ Ringed Plover, hundreds of Shelduck all adding to the spectacle. Of course as well as the spectacle there’s plenty of fun in finding the scarcer birds amongst these. It was a lovely morning with light winds, so it was a very pleasant few hours!
Careful searching through the masses, with particular attention to the Dunlin flocks yielded 2 juvenile Little Stints & 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, surprisingly was a lack of Avocets just 3 were noted.
As well as shorebirds there were good numbers of gulls, Black-headed, Common, Herring and Great black-backed and amongst these we were able to find several Mediterranean Gulls, adults and a first calendar year bird. There was also a nice group of terns, mainly Sandwich Terns, with a few winter plumaged Common Terns and a single late Little Tern.
Also out on The Wash, there was groups of Teal, Mallard and fishing Little Egrets. We then headed to the hide overlooking the freshwater pits, there was a superb flock of c2000 Black-tailed Godwit, with a lot of Redshank at one one edge of the flock. There was good numbers of wildfowl, with c100 Teal, 45 Wigeon, and smaller numbers of Gadwall and Shoveler, plus a single Pintail. Also closer by was a nice roosting group of 7 Spotted Redshank.
It had been a wonderful bird filled morning and we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed our picnic lunch. As we left Snettisham there was a lovely mixed flock of c100 Linnets & Goldfinch resting on the wires over the Ken Hill re-wilding area.
We then headed to Titchwell reserve, as we walked out we heard Bearded Tit but it wasn’t showing! Once at the view over the scrape there was a good selection of waders and wildfowl and we headed to the hide. There was 35+ Ruff, 100+ ‘icelandica’ Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, nice views of Snipe, and a Wood Sandpiper showed very well close by.
We couldn’t locate the Pectoral Sandpiper seen earlier so we decided to head round to the autumn trail. On arrival there was quite a few birders also looking, and they hadn’t seen it. A bit of scanning soon produced 3 juv Little Stint, then a juv Curlew Sandpiper, plus several Dunlin. Then almost like magic I suddenly realised I was staring at the Pectoral Sandpiper, it must’ve flown in I guess, I alerted my group and the other birders and we soon getting great views as it edged closer and closer until it was the closest wader, a real treat!
On the way back we looked for Corn Bunting, though it was a bit of a long shot in mid September, we didn’t score but did manage nice views of a perched juvenile Marsh harrier.
A video of the Pectoral Sandpiper can also be watched here
Tuesday – September 14th 2021 – North Norfolk
Today the weather was in stark contrast to yesterday! Heavy cloud greeted us at North Point, but at least it was dry for a while! There was a big flock of Grey-lags, several Egyptian Geese, plus two presumably feral Barnacle Geese. Also amongst the geese, were two roosting Spoonbill, and in flight shortly after being disturbed by a Marsh harrier!
A walk into the scrub area yielded Whitethroat and Blackcap but nothing out of the ordinary, we then headed along the seawall there was another Marsh harrier, several Little Egrets, Curlew and commoner shorebirds. The drizzle had now turned into persistent rain and we decided to head back to the minibus, we were slightly damp by the time we got back. We used the next hours of heavy rain to firstly sea-watch from the Cley shelter, from our dry vantage point we were able to enjoy around c100 Common Scoter in small groups moving West, a few Teal, plus several Gannets, a Kittiwake, a feeding flock of Sandwich terns plus 2 lovely summer plumaged Red-throated Divers just offshore.
We then used the continued wet weather to visit Cley Spy to sort out some Optics issues that the group wanted to get sorted and then had an early lunch.
After lunch the heavy rain continued but with slightly lighter spells, so I headed us out to the central hides at Cley, at least once in place we were out of the rain. More waders and wildfowl, lots to look at and we added Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, plus c20 Golden Plover dropped in.
Wednesday – September 15th 2021 – South Norfolk, The Brecks
We headed to the Brecks today, the skies had cleared and as we reached the first area the clouds were parting and the sun was shining! After a couple of stops and scanning I soon found the Stone Curlew, now gathering into pre-migration flocks, always lovely to see! At least c25 Stone Curlew were in view, though there may have been others out of view. Also Egyptian Goose, c25 Lapwing, Red-legged Partridge, Yellowhammer noted in the area.
We headed a short drive to a vantage point looking over the nearby forest edge, I was hoping that after a wet day yesterday, there may just be a chance of Goshawks up. It was an inspired decision as on arrival a single 1cy Goshawk was soaring over the woodland and was soon joined by another young Goshawk, they then gave us a lovely show for several minutes as they interacted and even talon grappled at one point. Just to round it off a Sparrowhawk appeared and ‘buzzed’ the Goshawk, this allowed the considerable size difference to be fully appreciated, the Sparrowhawk looking tiny as it bravely tried to drive the Goshawk off! Also here 5+ Common Buzzards in the air, plus a Mistle Thrush.
We then headed to a forestry clearing I had been visiting in the spring and early summer. The woodland was quieter than on previous visits but Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatches, a vocal Marsh tit, a nice flock of 15+ Long-tailed Tit, a Chiff–chaff, a calling Great spotted Woodpecker.
Once on the clearing there was a nice group of Stonechat, which have had at least 2 broods, a group of around 8-9 birds! Also Yellowhammer perched on the wires. I heard Woodlark call a couple of times, but it took a bit of walking before we had them in flight, a group of 4 Woodlark and then in another area a group of 3 more came up off the ground.
We had lunch at Lynford and then did a circuit of the area, it was fairly quiet as to be expected at this time fo the year and the afternoon, but we still managed 2 Firecrest, at last decent views of Marsh Tit! Siskin flew over and there was a nice Grey Wagtail feeding at a puddle, also more Long-tailed Tits, plus Nuthatch and 2-3 Treecreeper.
A lovely 3 days with 107 species recorded.
|1||Greylag Goose||25||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|2||Barnacle Goose||2||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|3||Mute Swan||5||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|4||Egyptian Goose||9||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|5||Common Shelduck||100||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|6||Northern Shoveler||10||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|7||Gadwall||6||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|8||Eurasian Wigeon||40||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|9||Mallard||5||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|10||Eurasian/Green-winged Teal||100||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|11||Common Pochard||4||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|12||Tufted Duck||2||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|13||Common Scoter||100||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Cley Coastguards||14-Sep-21|
|14||Common Pheasant||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|15||Red-legged Partridge||1||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|16||Rock Dove||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|17||Stock Dove||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|18||Common Woodpigeon||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|19||Collared Dove||3||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|20||Common Moorhen||2||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|21||Stone-curlew||25||Cockley Cley–Pig Fields||15-Sep-21|
|22||Pied Avocet||3||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|23||Eurasian Oystercatcher||1500||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|24||Grey Plover||100||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|25||European Golden Plover||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|26||Northern Lapwing||40||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|27||Common Ringed Plover||40||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|28||Whimbrel||1||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Dauke’s Hide||14-Sep-21|
|29||Eurasian Curlew||500||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|30||Bar-tailed Godwit||1500||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|31||Black-tailed Godwit||2000||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|32||Ruddy Turnstone||5||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|33||Red Knot||40000||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|34||Ruff||30||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|35||Curlew Sandpiper||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|36||Sanderling||100||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|37||Dunlin||400||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|38||Little Stint||2||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|39||Pectoral Sandpiper||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|40||Common Snipe||6||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|41||Green Sandpiper||3||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Dauke’s Hide||14-Sep-21|
|42||Spotted Redshank||7||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|43||Common Greenshank||1||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Dauke’s Hide||14-Sep-21|
|44||Wood Sandpiper||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|45||Common Redshank||150||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|46||Common Guillemot||5||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Cley Coastguards||14-Sep-21|
|47||Black-legged Kittiwake||1||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Cley Coastguards||14-Sep-21|
|48||Black-headed Gull||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|49||Mediterranean Gull||5||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|50||Common Gull||4||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|51||Herring Gull||4||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|52||Lesser Black-backed Gull||2||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Dauke’s Hide||14-Sep-21|
|53||Great Black-backed Gull||3||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|54||Little Tern||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|55||Common Tern||6||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|56||Sandwich Tern||20||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|57||Red-throated Diver||5||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Cley Coastguards||14-Sep-21|
|58||Northern Gannet||5||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Cley Coastguards||14-Sep-21|
|59||Great Cormorant||10||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|60||Grey Heron||1||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|61||Great White Egret||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|62||Little Egret||5||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|63||Eurasian Spoonbill||2||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|64||Western Marsh Harrier||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|65||Eurasian Sparrowhawk||1||Cockley Cley Raptor Watchpoint||15-Sep-21|
|66||Northern Goshawk||2||Cockley Cley Raptor Watchpoint||15-Sep-21|
|67||Red Kite||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|68||Common Buzzard||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|69||Great Spotted Woodpecker||1||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|70||Common Kestrel||2||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|71||Eurasian Hobby||1||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Cley Coastguards||14-Sep-21|
|72||Eurasian Jay||2||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|73||Common Magpie||2||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|74||Eurasian Jackdaw||10||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|75||Rook||4||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|76||Carrion Crow||2||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|77||Coal Tit||5||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|78||Marsh Tit||2||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|79||Eurasian Blue Tit||1||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|80||Great Tit||2||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|81||Woodlark||7||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|82||Eurasian Skylark||1||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|83||Bearded Tit||1||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Dauke’s Hide||14-Sep-21|
|84||Eurasian Reed Warbler||1||Cley & Salthouse Marshes NWT NR–Dauke’s Hide||14-Sep-21|
|85||Barn Swallow||5||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|86||Common House Martin||20||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|87||Common Chiffchaff||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|88||Long-tailed Tit||12||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|89||Eurasian Blackcap||1||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|90||Common Whitethroat||1||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|91||Goldcrest||4||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|92||Common Firecrest||2||Lynford Arboretum||15-Sep-21|
|93||Eurasian Nuthatch||2||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|94||Eurasian Treecreeper||1||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|95||Eurasian Wren||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|96||Common Starling||20||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|97||Mistle Thrush||1||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|98||Song Thrush||1||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|99||Eurasian Blackbird||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|100||European Robin||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|101||European Stonechat||8||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|102||Dunnock||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|103||House Sparrow||2||North Point/Warham Freshmarsh||14-Sep-21|
|104||Grey Wagtail||1||Lynford Arboretum||15-Sep-21|
|105||Pied Wagtail/White Wagtail||3||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|106||Meadow Pipit||1||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|107||Common Chaffinch||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|108||Eurasian Bullfinch||2||Didlington, Breckland Forest, Thetford||15-Sep-21|
|109||European Greenfinch||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|110||Common Linnet||30||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|111||European Goldfinch||10||Snettisham RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|112||Eurasian Siskin||1||Lynford Arboretum||15-Sep-21|
|113||Yellowhammer||1||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|
|114||Common Reed Bunting||2||Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve||13-Sep-21|