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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Burrowing Owl sunning itself and Red-backed Shrike feasting on wasps!!!

Burrowing Owl, East Runton.

Bishops Hide NWT, Cley

8.05am - tip off from Eddie - the Red-necked Phalarope had been, note I say 'had been', right in front of the hide, but when I arrived 10 minutes later it was very much distantly on Pat's Pool, but lovely to see all the same! Dull, rainy and chilly! Other birds seen: a Common Sandpiper, several Green Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpiper, 22 Curlew Sandpipers! and a Spotted Redshank amongst a huge selection of waders.

Walsey Hills NOA
9.00am - Sun now out thank goodness and warming up. Blackcaps, chiffchaffs, common whitethroats and lesser whitethroats and a single goldcrest. Eddie and I stood by the willows at the end of the public footpath and by the corner of Snipe's Marsh for ages watching whitethroats etc in the elders and brambles. I saw 'something' different briefly fly across the reed bed but didn't see it again. 8 Spoonbills flew across and landed on Arnold's Marsh.

Pot of tea etc at Cley VC.Phone call from Steve Beal to say he had found and was watching a juv. Red backed Shrike by the feeders at Walsey Hills!!!!!!! Typical - we had just come from there!!!

Flew back to Walsey to hear that a couple and two dogs had flushed the Red-backed Shrike!!! Several birders walked round trying to relocate the bird and eventually it was spotted sitting in the bramble/elder bush in the corner of the field by Snipe's Marsh at 11.45am. The shrike was catching beetles in the sunshine and looked quite happy. Rubbish for photos though, as couldn't really get close in case the shrike moved on etc! A male bullfinch was also seen flying across the reed bed.

Cromer - Warren Hill Wood
This journey was a complete waste of time and energy. Stood with lots of familiar faces to see absolutely nothing - I got bored and faced the opposite direction and picked up an nice Arctic Skua at 2pm going east below the cliffs. Saw a Hobby and a Chiffchaff and that was about it. Stood there for what seemed like hours. Got soaked in the rain, went back to the car for short lunch and then went back. Connor had arrived and kindly led us to where he had seen the Greenish Warbler. We stood looking up into the tallest trees ever - to see a movement amongst the sycamore leaves, at the highest point. I certainly didn't see the Greenish or hear it - I could only see a Chiffchaff. We gave up and left!

East Runton
5.30pm - stunning views of an escaped female Burrowing Owl sitting on a bank on the edge of the field next the first caravan - opposite the 'Citrine Wagtail Field' for those of you that saw it. It was just sitting there amongst some flowers and was the cutest thing ever. Thanks to Simon for pointing it out. Who cares that its an escape!!!!! Its still a bird, incredibly cute, made my day and was VERY photographical!!!!! I sneaked round the side of the caravan and got some frame filling shots. Seeing this bird cheered me up no end! We heard that both the male and female Burrowing Owl had escaped from Cromer Zoo, but the male had decided to stay and sit outside the cage - the female obviously decided that life was much more interesting further afield! This was almost, the highlight of the day!

West Runton
6pm - 10 Gannets going east, a Whimbrel flying west and a Med. Gull sitting very obligingly for my camera on a post in the carpark!!! Beautiful sunny evening and now high tide and the beach below looked stunning.

Sheringham Cemetery
House sparrows and common whitethroats, but nothing else spectacular.

Red-backed Shrike, Walsey Hills NOA.

Walsey Hills NOA

7pm-7.50pm - awesome views in the evening sunshine of the juv. Red-backed Shrike sitting on the railings going up the steps catching wasps. Using excellent (smiley face) fieldcraft, I got some frame filling shots! This just tipped the Burrowing Owl for 'Bird of the Day'!!!

Cracking day in the end!

Other birds seen in Norfolk today: news this evening of a juv. Red-backed Shrike and a Wryneck at Holme NWT (this morning), 2 Black Terns, 2 Pied Flys and a Whinchat at Scolt Head Island.


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