Saturday, 23 May 2009

Birding in North Norfolk

A gloriously warm sunny day with little to no wind, although it did cloud over for a while at Titchwell the weather could not have been better.

We left Pitsea at 06.30 arriving at our first site in north Norfolk around 09.30, looking out across a field of rape we were treated to 3 Marsh Harriers and a couple of what were probably Buzzards soaring distantly on a thermal. After thirty minutes one of the birds we were hoping to see appeared along the top of the field, following the hedgerow, a male Montagu's Harrier showed extremely well as it followed the hedgerow down the opposite side of the field, a stunning start to the day!

On to RSPB Titchwell Marsh which as always didn't disappoint, warblers were in full song, Blackcap, Willow, Chiffchaff, Sedge, Reed and Cetti's. Three Marsh Harriers showed well over the reedbeds and a pair of Cuckoos gave us a flypast. A single Turtle Dove showed well in a dead tree and Bearded Tits 'pinged' away in the reedbed occasionally giving brief flight views. On the freshmarsh a few pairs of Avocets now had chicks while many more were still sitting. Around fifty Black-tailed Godwits were still present some of which were now in their breeding plumage as were five Grey Plover.

Five Spoonbills flying over heading east were an unexpected bonus for some, unfortunately I missed them! On the beach summer-plumaged Sanderlings were seen alongside Turnstones and more Grey Plovers while on the sea two drake Eiders were a nice find as were 15 Common Scoter flying past.

We finished the day at Cley Marsh, A lapwing with three very young chicks showed extremely well. Marsh Harriers were constantly mobbed by Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits as they quartered the marsh. Dunlin, Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers were seen well. From the beach and north hide, Common, Little and Sandwich Terns along with another Spoonbill were seen.

We finished the day at 06.30 pm with another Marsh Harrier quartering the field beside the Visitor Centre car park. A great day enjoyed by all.