Friday, 7 January 2011

Titchwell and coastal stops

To get use of the car for the day I had to drop Ruth off at work at 6am this morning so an early start saw me at Titchwell carpark before any glimmer of light started to peak through.
I stood by the hump for 10 mins scanning for harriers and managed to get 16 Marsh and 1 Hen coming from the roost, also a Bittern flew over my head and into the grazing marsh pool, unfortunately in the half light not much detail could be seen. A Hen harrier female type bird was seen distantly towards Thornham, the dark upperparts and ginger underparts would suggest it was Northern however it was too distant and gloomy to be sure. A quick scan of the now unfrozen water bodies racked up the year ticks as would be expected including 32 Goldeneye, 2+ Water pipits and Ruff amongst many more common birds including Pochard (!).
The tide was high at about 8 so I headed up to see what was about offshore, it was very good. On my first scan I locked onto a Red Necked Grebe, then a Slav, another Red neck, 2000+ C Scoter a male Long Tailed Duck and a Great Northern Diver, a good start.
Totals for the sea included 3 Slav, 2 Red Necked Grebes, 8 Red Throated, 2 Great Northern Divers, 2000+ C Scoter, 10+Long Tailed Ducks including 4 just off the boardwalk. 2 Eider, 4 RB Mergansers and 7 Snow Buntings on the shoreline.
By now it was pouring with rain so I headed to the hide to mop up a few more yearticks including Spotted Redshank. I did see a juvenile/1st year Tufted duck which superficially resembles Scaup, which I see has been reported from the same location (anyone know more??). Back in the car park 2 Waxwings flew over just as I was about to close the car door, close one..

Given the rain I decided not to do too much more so I sat and had lunch at the car park by Burnham Overy scanning for any Rough Legged Buzzards that were obviously not going to be flying in the crappy weather, a similar story at Stifkey campsite, although a Hen harrier put on a nice performance.

Dropped into Wells on the way through to see the 2 Smew that have been present for a few days. A quick scan of a flock of Brent's saw a goose with Black Brant genes and a Pale bellied Brent, worth the 2 mins of checking.

Finally I went to East Bank Cley to see the American Wigeon, a new Norfolk bird for me. It was a nice bird and easy to pick out amongst the flock even with the long grass. A dodgy Ross's Goose flew in with a few barnacles, 2 whitefront families and about a thousand Pinks while watching from this point.

Lots of good birds today (42 year ticks and 1 Norfolk tick) although I will admit to following up some recent sightings, less fun than walking and looking but the rain made that decision for me.

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