Monday, November 26, 2012

Norfolk Monday and Home!

Red-throated Diver Offshore @ Salthouse!
Our final day on this particular break was actually the best weather wise, in fact it was quite a pleasant day all around with light winds and occasional sun! To start we decided to stop off at Salthouse, move on to Cley Marshes for lunch and then wind our way back to land locked Warwickshire.

As luck would have it the recent Shore Lark was once again reported early on at Gramborough Hill and so after parking up at Salthouse we took an elevated stroll along the shingle and across the hill, returning to the car park at lower level along the marsh. The usual Turnstone were very obliging and a sea watch produced Red-throated Diver, Great-northern Diver and a lone adult Gannet heading south. Fourteen Snow Buntings flew low over the shingle heading east.

1 of 20 Snow Bunting @ Salthouse
While walking along the shingle Dee spotted something different dropping in below onto the marsh and a little while later we were rewarded with good views of Short-eared Owl, great spot from the ever vigil wife! When returning back at ground level along the marsh a flock of 20 or so Snow Buntings flew in offering a few photo opportunities but no Shore Lark. In fact the Shore Lark is my Norfolk nemesis bird, failing to connect on my previous 2 autumn/winter visits. During our walk at Salthouse the amount of Pink-foots and Brent on occasions turned the sky black with flock after flock passing over, a real sight to behold! Just prior to moving on to Cley the Short-eared Owl was once again quartering the marsh but sadly too distant for any photos, a Marsh Harrier was also recorded.
Teal at Cley Marshes
After lunch at the Cley Marshes Visitor Centre we walked down to the hides overlooking Simmonds Scrape and Pat's Pool. Conditions were ideal for spotting Bearded Tit in the reeds with flat calm winds and the sun shining, indeed we'd recorded 3 by the time we reached the hide, a Cetti's Warbler was also heard on route.

Overlooking the pools 4 Bewick Swan were in and feeding along with good numbers of Avocet (17), Ruff (21) and I would estimate around 1000 Golden Plover. A trio of Marsh Harrier were seen which included ♀♂ and Juvenile. The Juvenile perching for a while giving me the opportunity of a distant record shot. Also recorded of note before departing for home: Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret, Snipe, ♀Goldeneye (quite a rarity here a regular told me), Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Brent and Pink-footed Goose.

Being a great mammal enthusiast Dee was delighted when a Field Mouse was running around the hide before making off with a discarded orange club biscuit wrapper, priceless and a fun end to our Norfolk break!