Shore Larks, Spoonbills in a hedge, but no pallid.....
With the Pallid Harrier still being seen around New Holkham, a trip (9th) in that direction was made with Jason Nichols.
Various stops along the route were productive, beginning with 3 Ruff at Salthouse.
Parking up alongside the ‘pond’ at Walsey Hills found 10 Pochard diving for food and 3 Little Grebes were doing likewise. A Water Rail flew from the nearside bank into the reeds and a pair of, Grey Heron were collecting nesting material and heading into the small wood to the west of the pond.
Morston Quay held a few waders in particular a Greenshank and Brent Geese were along the channel and out on the saltmarsh.
After a bit of a trek around the east side of Holkham Bay, the Shore Larks were located, mainly thanks to some ‘field-craft’; spotting a couple who kept their attention on one particular area of the saltmarsh! The shore larks were busy feeding and it allowed good views of these attractive birds, with some of them beginning to look like their alternative name-Horned Lark.
A Goldcrest and 2 Stonechat were seen near the entrance to the conifers and Pink-footed Geese were grazing on the fields.
A stop at the usual two pull-ins along the A 149 to view the freshmarsh was rewarding, with 2 Spoonbills perched in the hedge on the freshmarsh, which could (at that distance) easily have been passed off as two Little Egrets, but the sleeping birds eventually confirmed their identity when they moved their heads, thus revealing the unmistakable bill.
2 Red Kite, 5 Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, 2 Mistle Thrush and at least 100 White-fronted Geese added to what was a very worthwhile stop.
Pulling-in just to the east of Lady Anne’s Drive to assess the route to New Holkham was another good stop as things turned out, when a pair of Grey Partridges came out onto the grass track searching for food. Some careful positioning from the car pointing the camera between the bars of the gate obtained photos of the partridges too.
The Pallid Harrier had been seen at 10.00 at New Holkham, but despite quite a few hours in the area there was no sign of the harrier and there were no reports of it for the rest of the day. However, whilst there 4 Common Buzzard (one mistaken for a ringtail harrier and then the two individuals involved apologised and said it was a Marsh Harrier!?), Red Kite, 4 Brown Hare, both Nuthatch and Tawny Owl heard, Buff-tailed Bumblebee and a Peacock were of note.
Later at Burgh Castle 2 Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria a highly variable moth (two very differently marked individuals) and a Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla were found.