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Saturday, 5 May 2012

Beautiful day with a good mix of birds

A beautiful sunny day with biting north easterly wind and a few showers!

Snettisham Coastal Park
After seeing the Golden Oriole three times this week, I just presumed I would see it again, but a full search of the entire coastal park did not produce this bird today! I walked through the centre paths and then across and back via the inner sea wall. A good smattering of migrants including cuckoos, common whitethroats, blackcaps, chiffchaffs, reed buntings, willow and reed warblers, swifts, swallows and huge numbers of wheatears including one little group of nine sitting close together on a sandy patch in the sunshine! At least two pairs of stonechats and 2 common buzzards also seen. I walked back along the seawall with a couple of birders. Further along the bank another birder very kindly told us about a pair of Garganey further along by the river bank which we saw at 10.30am – they were sitting asleep and were quite camouflaged against the bank. Eddie Myers kindly phoned me this morning to say he had found (along with Kevin Shepherd and Keith Dye) a PALLID HARRIER at Cley flying west – Congratulations!!! This bird was seen throughout the day as it made its way along Blakeney Point (see pictures here and here), Morston, Warham and last seen at Holkham, BUT not by me!

Went to visit my parents and then went for lunch at Titchwell RSPB.


Parked up on the Burnham Market Road and walked along the track just off the main road and then branched off right on the track to join 'Bone's Drift' and eventually caught up with Eddie, Andy J. and others to view the Purple Heron at 3.35pm. Of course it had been standing in full view in the field just before I turned up! I saw it walking along a ditch and took several pictures, only to discover the camera had taken them in black and white - I just couldn't understand what was going on, I had not changed any settings and as far as I am aware there are no short cut buttons on the camera to change colour to mono!!! I had to go into the menu of the camera and change it back to colour in 'Picture Style' – so I have some pictures of a purple heron in black and white, this is both extremely annoying and also hilarious at the same time! Everyone else left..... FA Cup final!!! I stood there for another hour waiting for that bird to reappear so I could take some 'colour' pictures - did it show again? did it h*ll no!!!!!!!!! I saw 2 marsh harriers, 2 common buzzards, several grey herons and good numbers of swifts. The Pallid Harrier was somewhere close by whilst I was here, but it didn't pass me! I trudged glumly back to the car.

Warham Greens - Garden Drove/West Track.
Parked the car on the concrete track and went off down the track to find a mega. First bird I saw had a red breast, no it wasn't an RB Fly! Saw a few chaffinches aswell and that was about it. But I had the most awesome views of the marshes and East Hills. The very high tide this evening had covered most of the marsh and the setting sun radiated glittering rays across the whole marsh – it really was magical. I then had a wonderful surprise of a Short-eared Owl flying east at 7pm and then back west again later. There were also good numbers of little egrets on the marsh and also a hare lolloped across the marsh in the water!

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