Saturday, March 10, 2018

📖 #15 ~ Norfolk Weekend 1/2

🌤 14C Saturday 10th March 2018 ~ While on route late Friday afternoon for a planned weekend visit to Norfolk a Birdguides update announced that a Snowy Owl had been spotted at Scolt Head Island, Norfolk. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at the Premier Inn Kings Lynn, it was too late in the day to have any chance of visiting.

Notwithstanding I arrived at Burnham Deepdale shortly after 6am on Saturday morning! I was well aware that the last report on Friday had the bird flying off to the west, but I had to start somewhere. It was a pretty atrocious morning with heavy rain falling but on arrival, there were at least a dozen hardy birders already on site. I spent a short time chatting with Penny Clark, who'd managed to view the bird yesterday evening but after a good 90 minutes, I decided to give up and head back to the hotel for breakfast. Amazingly just as I arrived back, the bird had been refound at Thornham Harbour.

I was at Thornham within half an hour and almost immediately onto the bird, thanks to the many helpful birders already there. It was perched up in a dead tree, albeit distant but I managed some reasonable scoped views, this was a UK lifer for me. Unfortunately just as I lined up the Canon SX50 for a long-range record shot the bird flew down into the scrub and out of sight. There it remained for a good while, that was until a couple of dicks with cameras decided to approach, eventually flushing the bird out onto the beach, where it perched up on a post, in fact remaining there for the remainder of the day!

After picking up Dee back at the hotel late morning we decided to head down to Cley marshes for lunch. With RSPB Titchwell mobbed due to the Snowy Owl and parking almost impossible we decided to give it a wide berth. Cley held the usual selection of species, a brace of Marsh Harriers over the reedbeds and a varied selection of waders on Arnolds Marsh. I'll add a full species list for the weekend in tomorrows post. The sea was incredibly quiet with very little of note so we decided to end the day with a visit to Salthouse for the Snow Buntings!

Snow Buntings on Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Bar-tailed Godwit ~ Cley Marshes