Purple Sandpipers, Snow Buntings and birds of the horse paddock......
A drive along the Norfolk coastline (7th), with Jason Nichols began at Horsey where a pair of Cranes and a male Marsh Harrier was seen.
At Happisburgh there was no sign of any Shore Larks, but 2 Ringed Plover, Turnstone and 3 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were on the cliff-top field.
Sheringham seafront had a decidedly icy feel, but eventually 3 Purple Sandpipers were found resting on the sea defence boulders, near the Sheringham Museum, where Turnstones were also present.
20-30 Snow Buntings were found just east of Gramborough Hill, Salthouse and ‘making like a seal’ on the shingle enabled reasonably close approach without disturbing the buntings as they searched for food, tending to head in the direction of the masquerading seal!
The fields opposite Walsey Hills found three variations of Brent Geese. Amidst the 800+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese was a Pale-bellied Brent and the wintering Black Brant. Whilst here, two Water Rails flew along the dyke and a third one was heard calling, back towards where the two rails had flown from.
A male Stonechat was periodically going onto the ground to bathe before returning to its perch on a fence along Beach Road, Cley but nothing of note was seen on or over the sea.
A Song Thrush was good to see at Blakeney freshmarsh and a horse paddock near Morston held a whole variety of species with 2 Song Thrush, 8+ Fieldfare, 6+ Redwing, Blackbirds and 28 Curlew all searching for Earthworms. Several Rabbits were also present with some in a ‘Spring pursuit’ of one another and a Common Buzzard, which flew low over the paddock, had all the occupants of the field heading for cover!
Two Muntjac were on a field just outside a wood (which they fairly quickly returned to), between Morston and Blakeney, ending a very interesting day.
The eroding coastline at Happisburgh
Wigeon & Shoveler at Salthouse