I got picked up at 5 this morning with the hope of the Willow/Alder flycatcher and whatever else we managed to see along the way, straight to Cley with us.
Amazed to find that the coastguards carpark still had spaces in it at 6am this morning we happily parked and started the long wind blown march out to the plantation, always longer when the body hasn't woken up yet!
After a few minutes of sitting watching the plantation I saw a small bird hopping about under a sycamore but never got on it properly, there was still hope that the bird was still present. About half an hour later someone shouted 'Ive got it' so everyone raced to try to see the bird, at the very same time a bird was calling really hard from the Western edge of the plantation which a few of us checked out, to our surprise a LITTLE BUNTING was sitting there giving it all it had. it stayed for about 2 mins and then flew off strongly in land, incredible how it must have just flown across the North Sea, landed calling non stop and then went on its way again, very much unlike a large amount of the birders that looked half dead by the time they had walked to the point!
A few minutes later and more individuals seeing the bird it performed fairly well, I secured some very good views of the bird for about half an hour, far better views of the Cornwall Empid. To me this bird looked quite different to the Cornish bird, possibly due to the fact that its a month earlier in moult stage? Who knows what this one will turn out to be, I have not had time to check all the features out (not that there are too many to look for).
After a brief look around the point we decided to head back loosely walking back with Howard Vaugn et al from Rainham, we didnt get too far when a large pipit flew over us, bins up straight away revealed a RICHARDS PIPIT flying towards the point, all that saw the bird were in agreement so I was happy too.
About 10 mins later 2 grebes flew past the first a typical great crested the later quite a well marked adult summer-winter RED NECKED GREBE, fantastic stuff, the day was already good but that was another bonus, but it got better than RNG when 2 LONG TAILED SKUA'S flew over the shingle giving stonking views of a bird I have seldom seen the past, nice one!!
Returning to the car park the expected carnage ensued, cars on just about every possible bit of land. We decided that the Dell at Wells would be nice and sheltered, it was very quiet indeed however 2 Pied Flys were present , with that nugget of info passed on to 2 birders we were off back towards Brundall and home (I have moved again). It was only when I got home that I realised the 2 birders we saw had more luck than us with a Bonelli's warbler sp at the Dell, we did think it looked good, lesson learnt!
Ah well cant win em all and I'm very happy with seeing a Willow/Alder flycatcher, Little Bunting, Richards pipit, 2 LT Skuas, Red necked grebe and a couple of pied flys all before mid day in Norfolk. Great day I just hope its the precursor to a great Autumn.