Before moving up to Norfolk for the last few days we went back to Westleton Heath early morning.
This time I got much better views of a pair of Nightingale along one of the tracks. In total we had 4 separate singing birds. Nearer to Dunwich Heath a Stone Curlew was sitting close to the ground and 4 Dartford Warblers – Lifer, were moving around the heath. After being initially shy the Dartfords soon began singing from the top of gorse bushes. Also around the heath we had good views of Little owl, Green Woodpeckers and 3 Turtle Dove as well as a few family parties of Foxes.
On the way to Norfolk we stopped for most of the day at Great Ryburgh watchpoint. We had one possible Honey Buzzard along with 6 Common Buzzard, 1 Red Kite, 1 Little Egret, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Egyptian Goose and strangely 1 Sandwich Tern.
Over the next couple of days we put in a good few hours at various Montagu’s Harrier sites without success. Also on the way we briefly stopped at Choseley Drying Barns where Corn Bunting were singing from the surrounding hedgerows.
With our accommodation in Norfolk less than a mile away from Titchwell RSPB we had a quick look around that evening. Whilst walking down the main path through the reserve we checked the pool on the left of the track. A pair of Red Crested Pochard - a long overdue lifer, was amongst the wildfowl on this deeper pool.
We started off the day a couple of miles up the coast at Cley. No sign of the Shorelark but close prolonged views of Bearded Tit and Little Egret were nice. Rather than go onto the main part of the reserve we went back to Titchwell. On the way out a pair of Egyptian Geese were at Salthouse Ditch.
Titchwell was quiet buy its usual standards but Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Avocet, Pintail with young and Ruddy Duck were still on the reserve, not that quiet!
On our way out of Norfolk we planned to stop at Welney WWT. But first we tried our look at Wolverton Triangle for Golden Pheasant. No Pheasants but a Muntjack Deer fed close to the car. We also tried a nearby site for Woodlark and as soon as we entered the site a Woodlark – Lifer, began singing before dropping from the sky like a Skylark.
When we got to Welney we stayed around the area where the Bluethroat had been seen. After 3 hours with no sign we moved on, only to find out the next day that it had been seen an hour after we left.
Our final stop of the trip was nearer to home at Blackhall Rocks where the Surf Scoter – Lifer, was showing well amongst a raft of Common Scoter.
A good way to finish the trip.
I went down to Hartlepool with Holywell Birder, BM and TM on Monday to see the White Throated Robin – Lifer. I won’t go into details but I was in the chaotic scenes at Hatlepool and only saw the bird after climbing up a ladder.
After a quick stop at McDonalds in Hartlepool we went to the dunes near the sewage works at Seaton Carew where the Red Backed Shrike had been seen.
The shrike soon appeared and showed well on a fence line for ten minutes before hunting in the dunes. Although not as rare as the Robin the RB Shrike was much better looking and I didn’t have to climb a ladder to see it!
Yesterday whilst walking from Seaton Sluice to St.Mary’s I flushed a pair of Yellow Wagtails from the cycle track. They then landed in a stubble field near Hartley. These were the first Yellow Wagtails I have seen this year, we didn’t even see any in Norfolk and Suffolk.