A good selection of species on a windy day along the coast......
High winds and rain forecast, but nevertheless Jason and myself set out for a drive along the North Norfolk coast, which began in the sunshine!
The first ‘bird of prey’ of the day was a Common Buzzard. This was followed by a male Sparrowhawk criss-crossing the road in between the hedgerows in inimitable style.
At Salthouse, the drive along the Beach Road held nothing of note in the breezy conditions, but the pond at Walsey Hills provided a Cetti’s Warbler singing, 5 Pochard, 2 Little Grebes and a Brown Hare on the back field.
Along the Beach Road a small falcon was seen was seen acrobatically flying over the marshes diving down at great speed (worthy of a Peregrine’s stoop), before ascending again; a Merlin. A female Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard were also seen before heading up to Coastguards.
The very windy and cold conditions here were not worthy of what the earlier mild temperatures of an early Spring had promised, but getting out of a warm vehicle, into the biting wind and having a look out to sea proved worthwhile, when a Fulmar was seen heading West. This was followed by several skeins of Brent Geese (East) and then reasonably close-in a drake Goosander heading West.
Two pairs, of Oystercatchers were searching for food on the Eye Field and further back were 7 Barnacle Goose, soon to be joined by Dark-bellied Brents. A Lapland Bunting was heard to call here on at least three occasions but could not be found, whilst a flock of Starlings landed and flew in their search for food and several Meadow Pipits.
A look at Morston Quay found Brents, Little Egret, Common Redshank, Oystercatcher and Teal.
Two Red Kites were at Holkham, plus 2 Marsh Harriers and a Muntjac was resting on the field; the third time it has been seen here in practically the same place, at least on two occasions during strong winds!
Further along the road, a look over the Holkham Freshmarsh saw 2 Red Deer towards the edge of the Pines.
Our ‘picnic site’ at Brancaster Staithe found Oystercatcher, Common Redshank, Turnstone Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and Curlew and a Little Egret, Wigeon, Teal and our sixth bird of prey of the day a Kestrel, the only one we saw all day!
With the weather worsening, we gradually headed homewards back along the coast with 3 Brown Hares chasing each other at Burnham Overy; all things considered a very productive day.
Little Grebe Pochard Oystercatcher
Hares & Deer......
Another breezy (hurricane Gareth) day (14th) along the North Norfolk coast with Jason Nichols, found 3 Barnacle Geese on Cley’s Eye Field.
Several flocks of Brent Geese were seen at Cley and at Morston and at Burnham Overy 2 Muntjac were feeding along a hedgerow.
A look around the Choosley area found 26 Brown Hares and surprisingly 2 Chinese Water Deer. I say surprisingly because I have not seen them in this area before, but basic research with general distribution maps appear to suggest that this deer is present here, although the maps I have seen so far are not detailed enough and further research is needed.
A Common Buzzard was in the area and a nice find was 2 Corn Buntings singing in the hedgerow along Chalk Pit Lane.
A stop at ‘the gate’ at Holkham saw 2 Spoonbills fly into the trees and both Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard were seen here too.
Barnacle Geese Didn't see anyone swimming at Cley (funnily enough!)
but if there was I would guess his name was Gareth!