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Thursday, 13 October 2011

East Hills!!!

Treated myself to a new pair of 'Le Chameau' wellingtons from a large country walking shop at Hardwick Industrial Estate in King's Lynn. I hate wellingtons, they are horrible to walk in, but I needed to find a good fitting pair of wellies that didn't come off when i jump creeks and find myself in quick sand!! These new wellingtons are the rolls royce of wellies!

Drove to Warham to meet up with Eddie to walk East Hills at 11am.

Eddie had watched a Grey Grey Shrike fly in off the sea at Coastguards Cley this morning at around 9am and land on the beach momentarily and then flew across to the fence on the Eye Field. Wish I had seen this - what an amazing sight!

Anyway - the first bird found was a Yellow-browed Warbler at 11am in the oak tree next to the concrete pad (west track) Warham right next to our cars! Managed to get a photo, but a crap one as the light was awful and it was moving around continuously at the top of the oak tree.

With my new wellies on, we set out for East Hills. The walk out was exciting and we hoped to find a mega. 2 Lapland Buntings flew over on the way out. Greenshank calling overhead. My mother phoned me to say that whilst looking through her diaries last night that 'October 13th was a classic day for great grey shrikes' - how right she was - several turned up!!! Eddie found a dead barn owl which had been there a while looking at it. Several thrushes started appearing including blackbirds, song thrushes, redwings and fieldfares. The further we walked towards the east end, the more thrushes scattered from pines and brambles everywhere - there were tons! 4 Grey herons flew high west. A good selection of birds, certainly alot more than our last visit out here. We flushed a Woodcock, at the west end which was a nice surprise, 2 Bramblings, 2 Chiffchaffs, loads of Goldcrests, wrens, chaffinches, robins, meadow pipits. Whilst eating lunch we had close, but brief views of a ring tail Hen Harrier. After lunch we walked back and found several more fieldfares and again more thrushes feasting on blackberries. We looked in the sycamores again, but nothing exciting was found, not even a YBW out here! News of Red-flanked Bluetails in Suffolk and other counties spurred us to look harder! Met up with Stuart W. who gripped us off with two Short-eared Owls and also a Long eared Owl - so envious of the LEO! Meeting up with Stuart again a bit later, he had also seen a redstart. Stuart was approx 45 minutues after us - we should have gone out a bit later! I saw a Merlin flying on the seaward side of the dunes. Loads of goldcrests in the pines at the east end as we left.

We could not believe news coming out from Titchwell RSPB '19 Short-eared Owls in off sea' - it was almost unbelievable - news kept coming and the number of Short eared Owls being seen kept climbing, totalling 50 - yes 50 Short-eared Owls!!!!!!!!!!! between 1.30-4.30pm - this has got to be a record of some sorts surely!!!

1 Lapland Bunting on the way back, a few meadow pipits, but little else of note really.

Few Goldcrests in the oak tree by the concrete pad, but no sign of the yellow-browed warbler we had seen earlier.

Roll on tomorrow!!!


Main birds of the day were Yellow-browed warblers, Grey grey Shrikes and Short-eared Owls all over Norfolk! Too many places to mention!!! 2 long-eared owls, Richard's Pipit, a Firecrest, a Black Tern, grey phalarope, lapland buntings, ring ouzels, crossbills, bramblings, tree pipits, yellowhammers, water pipit and the list goes on! Good selection at Holme Bird Observatory today.

included an ISABELLINE WHEATEAR at North Denes, Lowestoft see here, RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL at Minsmere. RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL and a LITTLE BUNTING at Orford Ness.


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