More migrants and a Med' heron......
The usual trip out (2nd) along the Norfolk coast with Jason Nichols saw the first Swift of the year at Salthouse. Several House and Sand Martins and Swallows were seen here as was a Wheatear, but no news of the Great Spotted Cuckoo seen in the area over the last few days.
Two Red Kites were seen at Stiffkey on the way to Burnham Overy, which is a regular occurrence here, and several Common Buzzards were also seen on the journey.
A short walk along the bank from Burnham Overy Staithe found the reported Purple Heron visible in front of a Hawthorn bush, which had been here for well over a week now. The heron walked towards the fence, ever vigilant in ‘stalk-mode’ looking for prey, before flying a short distance further on where it caught a small dark object, which it then took to one of the dykes, where it seemed to disappear from sight. However, an orange beak was seen and the heron flew over the reeds and landed much further away, where it could not be seen.
Whilst here both Sedge and Reed Warblers were singing and Bearded Reedlings could be heard ‘pinging’ and on occasions a male flew up high into the sky before returning back to the reedbed.
A brief stop at Brancaster Staithe, which was inhabited by school children playing in the creek, meant not too much bird life was around, so we proceeded to Titchwell car park where we had a sandwich, whilst keeping a vigil for Turtle Doves, but so sight or sound.
Our usual drive around Choosley heard a Lesser Whitethroat singing at the beginning of the road leading to the barns and several Common Whitethroats were also heard here.
Just past the barns a Wheatear, Grey Partridge and 2 Oystercatchers were seen, along with several Brown Hares.
More Brown Hares followed as did more singing Common Whitethroats and male Orange-tips and Holly Blues were along the roadside, with a few Green-veined Whites. What looked good for a Corn Bunting flew out of the hedgerow and at the end of the road another Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the hedgerow.
Just before Wells, a Lesser Whitethroat was heard through the open car window, on our way to the flooded areas, just east of Wells.
These areas of water appear to be intentionally kept flooded and are attracting a good number of avian species. 2 Spoonbills were here today, as was Little Egret, a male Ruff (black ruff feathers) and a Greenshank, whilst a pair of Marsh Harriers patrolled the area.
A final stop at Cley along Beach Road found 11 Golden Plovers, most of which were in summer plumage and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits on the Eye Field, where there was also 3 Wheatears.
A walk east, along the edge of the field to get a closer view of the plovers, saw at least 6 Wheatears, with three perched on the pill box together and two of the Wheatears allowed reasonably close careful approach, resulting with some very acceptable images.