11th August – Exclusive day North Norfolk

Well after a long period with the lockdown we eventually got back out to do some guided birded in Norfolk!

I collected a group of dour today in Edgefield and we then headed up to the Coast, where a cool sea breeze was most welcome in the hot weather conditions!

A walk along the East Bank produced a few nice migrants, with 2-3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, a nice flock of c50 Curlew. Out over the main reserve a flock of waders rose up and there was c60 Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Lapwing, 2-3 Ruff and a few Dunlin. As we wandered along the path, a Great White Egret appeared briefly but soon disappeared into a ditch, there was also Gadwall, Little Grebe and we heard several ‘pinging’ Bearded Tits though they were keeping low in the reeds. Further on better and closer views of both Green and Common Sandpiper alongside several Redshank.

We soon reached Arnolds marsh, where there was a lovely group of Sandwich and Common Terns. A small group of Dunlin flew in and amongst them there was a sought after Little Stint, a scattering of these in the last few days. More Curlew, lots of Shelduck, Black-tailed Godwits and 60+ Cormorants.

We reached the shoreline where we were watching fishing Sandwich terns when suddenly 2 Arctic Skuas came into view, giving pursuit of the Terns, they were soon distant specks accelerating out into the sea.

We next headed to Stiffkey fen where the walk along the river we heard Bullfinch, Chiff-chaff and Blackcap. Out on the fen there was a superb gathering of post-breeding Spoonbills, 39 in total. Also 2 vocal Greenshank, a single Ruff flew over, plus 40 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper on the mud. We walked onwards to view Blakeney saltmarsh, Linnets, Goldfinch and Meadow Pipits along the way. Out towards Blakeney there was masses of Sandwich tern and we could also see hundreds of distant Seals hauled out on the sandbanks.

Birding along the East bank at Cley