Saturday, 6 September 2014

Catching up with the drifters

A couple of days off, an easterly wind and a high all the way to Russia, needless to say I was out both days as much as I could be!

On thursday I walked up Blakeney Point. I had a very enjoyable day, its always a nice walk and quite a different setting to the fen that is more 'my' usual habitat! I managed to walk just about every inch of the place including yankee ridge, near, mid and as far as you can go on far point, I forgot how much further the real point was from the plantation, it was deserted too which was nice.
Totals for the day included
Pied Flycatcher- 6
Whinchat- 19 (probably many more!)
Wheatear- 12
Willow Warbler- 7
Redstart- 5
Spotted Flycatcher- 3
Garden Warbler- 2

Not a bad result of more regular drift migrants and plenty to keep the spirits and expectations high. I missed a Bared Warbler which was reported on the pager as 'in bush in dunes' I decided not to try too hard to find said bush and all bushes were thoroughly checked anyway, a better description may have helped!

Garden Warbler (David B you can see why I suggested GW for your bird photo?)

Friday I decided to head to the East coast and headed to my usual autumn spot- Waxham area. I walked south about a mile and then North to Sea Palling.
As is usual at Waxham it appeared quiet but sitting still, patience and a bit of local knowledge soon saw a few birds creep into the notebook.
Totals included
Pied flycatcher- 3
Whitethroat- 6
Blackcap- 3
Lesser whitethroat- 1
Whinchat- 2
Red Backed Shrike- 1 (1st winter)
Tree pipit -1 S
(hybrid?) hooded crow- 1
Adder- 5

I was particularly pleased to find the shrike- as far as I know it is a self found bird (at least I was not aware of it before I set out, but upon reporting the bird I have been told that there was a 1w at horsey a few days previously) There was a different bird seen at Happisbough at the same time as well as a few others down the coast. It is almost 2 years to the day since I found one at Winterton, so clearly a good time for shrike finding!
While watching the Shrike a Tree pipit flew south overhead, this was a bit surprising seeing as there was no other pipit passage during the time I was there, but no doubts as to the id!
I suspect I usually go to Waxham when it is cold windy and later in the season as I have never seen Adders in the dunes here before. It was a warm and partially sunny day (not my usual birding weather) so I was very pleased to see the Adders, although the 1st (large) one I disturbed as I sat down to look at the bushes reminded me to be careful!
probable hybrid Hooded Crow

All in all a pleasant couple of days with plenty of drift migrants to look through (but still no Icterine Warbler :(

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