Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Shrike and the return of the wild geese

Tuesday 23rd September
Early evening and stopped at the traffic lights by Norfolk Lavender in Heacham when a Barn Owl carrying prey flew over Docking Road presumably to a late brood.

Wednesday 24th

Lunchtime walk around Ken Hill Woods was enlivened by a Kettle of 6 Common Buzzards over the top of hill in the middle of the woods.

Grey Squirrel, Ken Hill
Friday 26th
Another lunchtime walk through Ken Hill Woods and good to bump into a mixed flock with Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Blue, Great, Coal, Marsh and Long Tailed Tits.

Sunday 5th October
A quiet walk along the Brancaster to Brancaster Staithe boardwalk, had 4 Buzzards circling overhead, a single male kestrel, the biggest flock of newly returned Brent Geese contained 80 birds, also several Little Egrets, a Cetti's Warbler 1 calling by NT Branodunum in reed saltings, several Bearded Tits heard calling above the reeds by Brancaster Staithe, two Goldcrest in garden by the National Trust Branodunum field and a Red Admiral.

Wednesday 8th October
A night time walk around the block in Hunstanton turned up sighting of a Tawny Owl when one flew across the A149 by the recreation ground.

Thursday 9th October

Managed to use a little flexitime to leave work early and got to Burnham Norton for 5 pm to look for the Steppe Great Grey Shrike. This duly disappeared for a couple of minutes when I arrived before working its way down the side of a ditch by perching on fence posts, eventually it flew into a Hawthorn by the side of the path only to be flushed back into the middle of the grazing marsh as a 'surge' of birders and photographers spooked it. Was still able to watch it through the scope feeding, presumably of insects. Good to get a Norfolk and UK tick.
Steppe Great Grey Shrike, Burnham Norton
Friday 10th October
Another lunchtime boot around Ken Hill Woods and another nice mixed flock with Goldcrest, Blue, Great, Coal, Long Tailed and Marsh tits. In the late autumn sunshine Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and a White sp.

Sunday 12th October
Walking through the cold thick fog across the car park to the Oasis swimming pool in Hunstanton for my early morning swim there was a cacophony of bird calls coming from the roof of the pool where there were perched a couple of hundred starlings, presumably enjoying the heat rising from the pool underneath.

Brancaster Boardwalk
A single Cetti's Warbler in tidal reeds, a kingfisher flew calling over the big tidal creek, and a female Blackcap fed in an overgrown orchard in one of the gardens backing onto NT Branodunum.

Brancaster Staithe and Thornham Harbours

Pink Feet
Driving home with no1 son we stopped for ten minutes in the harbour to watch a couple of Cormorants feeding in the channel at low tide whilst Pinkies & Brents flew overhead. Then we had a quick explore of Thornham Harbour where I managed to see another Kingfisher, three Marsh Harriers, and up to four Rock Pipits.
Rock Pipit
Hunstanton Beach
Managed to get half an hour on the beach late afternoon it was relatively quiet with lots of Herring and Black Headed Gulls and the odd Great Black Backed and Common Gulls, Oystercatchers and Bar Tailed Godwits were the commonest waders. I rather like this picture of a juvenile Herring Gull with people walking on the beach in the background mirroring the Gulls own purposeful stride.

Juvenile Herring Gull