Sunday, February 5, 2017

North Norfolk challenge!. 1.2.2017

The day started well.  I went to Salthouse early and simply happened across a 3rd winter Caspian Gull that I couldn't even share with anyone  (as I imagine they were still engaged with toast and marmalade or whatever )!  At one point a 3rd winter Herring Gull pitched up alongside as a very useful comparison. Other than that the area was somewhat short of birds.

Ever onward I then discovered what might best be described as a bloody nightmare ! I do try not to use bad language ( it's entirely unnecessary ), but this scenario warranted worse, honestly. There were road diversions in place from Blakeney to the other side of Wells !!!  Signage was minimal, involved a detour around Fakenham and , as we all know, Norfolk's lanes, if you do try and use your initiative are , shall we say, confusing !!!  And so it was . I went through villages of name and description that would be contenders for locations in " Midsommer Murders " , I became lost , wasted time  and cast a pox on all road engineers !! Somehow I managed to find Stiffkey and had a lone time birding over the marshes.

Brent Geese and Little Egret were feeding close in to the car park due to the lack of activity, but little else was in evidence.

Attempts to catch up with previously reported species at both Choseley and Thormham Harbour came to nought, so on I went to the RSPB Titchwell Reserve , and I'm pleased I did as , in many senses, it saved the day.

The list of duck was impressive with Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Wigeon, Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Common Scoter ( at distance as the tide was out ) supplemented by Brent Geese , Grey lag Goose , overflying Pink footed Goose and an equally  impressive list of waders  including, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot , Dunlin , Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Avocet and, finally a very showy Jack Snipe in the ditch behind the Visitor Centre ( the one that usually delivers Water Rail, but didn't ).  And in addition I had great views of both a Chinese Water Deer and a Muntjac. What more can you ask for ?  There was the question of road diversions , which were still in place , as was the curse of a plague of frogs etc!!!!

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