November 2nd continued......
Great White Egret Cattle Egrets
North Norfolk coast & plastic where it should not be......
Back along the North Norfolk coast with Jason Nichols (9th) found at least 1500 Pink-footed Geese on cleared sugar beet fields at Kelling and were later seen in flight from Salthouse.
Stopping at the pull-in at Walsey Hills saw an interesting variety of birds, as they flew across to the nearby woodland edge after being disturbed from Walsey Hills by visitors. A male Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Redwing, 10+ Blackbirds and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen, whilst a pair of Stonechat were in the reeds, at the back of the pond. Two, Little Egret and 3 Little Grebe was looking for prey in the pond.
With no sign of the Grey Phalarope, out on Pope’s Marsh and no brents present, a drive up to Cley Coastguards found another pair of Stonechat and a Guillemot and three Grey Seals offshore.
At least one Cattle Egret was still present with the cattle at Stiffkey (two seen on the return journey) and a Great White Egret on Holkham Freshmarsh once again (as 2nd November) made it a ‘three egret day’.
Brancaster Staithe found a variety of wader species, with Grey Plover, Curlew, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Turnstone, Dunlin, Oystercatcher and Common Redshank. Both Common and Herring Gulls were ‘mussel dropping’, (a practice of flying up with a mussel and dropping it, in order to break the shell), which has been seen by both species of gull on several visits here over recent years.
It was however, sad to see plastic where it should not be; fishing line wrapped around the base of the leg of a Great Black-backed Gull, causing it to drag its foot and four colour rings (two on each leg) on a Turnstone. In both cases, the plastic on these birds compromises their day to day activities for reasons (in the case of ringing) stated here before on the website on many occasions.
Two Little Egrets were also present, as were at least 20 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and several small flocks of Starlings were arriving from the east.
With the Grey Phalarope being reported at Kelling Water Meadows, a visit there followed on the way back along the coast. However, the phalarope was not there, the reason being a shooting party present earlier. Nevertheless, the third ‘brace’ of Stonechats for the day were seen here as were 2 Redwings.
Curlew Grey Plover
Bar-tailed Godwit Turnstone