Ring RARE BIRD ALERT with your sightings to: 01603 456789 or Hotline: 0207 0382820 or Text: 07520 634324
All Bird News & Megas via The Rare Bird Alert Website – Subscribe To RBA For Detailed News & Much More!

OVER TEN MILLION VIEWS! If you would like to advertise here, please contact me at []

Friday 19 September 2014

Dripping with Migrants at Burnham Overy Dunes!

East of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.

11 Hours Birding!
There was no messing today, no messing about editing photos or anything, time to get some serious birding done! Alarm went off at some insanely hour and I drove in fog to Burnham Overy, arriving at just before 7.25am. I was late, I wanted to be here by 6.30am, but still a vast improvement on yesterday's arrival time! There were four other cars here already. A birder who pulled up after me, kindly let me know there was a Black Redstart along the road that goes south to Burnham Thorpe, so I nipped up there in the car, but no sign. I had to put waterproof trousers on, as the dense fog just soaked everything.
Willow Warbler
At the end of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.

Early morning at Burnham Overy Dunes

Early morning at Burnham Overy Dunes

Along the hedge-lined track were Robins, Hedgesparrows, Chiffchaffs and Chaffinches. Everywhere was very wet with the fog and there was no sign of it lifting. Walking along the sea wall, a birder informed me he had watched a Siskin feeding along the path, further back – obviously I wasn't looking properly! As I neared the bushes at the end of the seawall, it was alive with birds! I didn't know which way to look first, scattering in all directions were: a stonking male Redstart on the fence, Whinchats x 2, Willow Warbler, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wheatears, Hedgesparrows, Chiffchaffs and Robins! In the main clump of bushes at the end were another Red-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler (found this straight away), female Blackcap, Garden Warblers x 2, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warblers x 2, Chiffchaffs x 3, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroats x 2, Reed Buntings and Robins. I got some fairly good shots of the Yellow-browed Warbler by the apple tree and then headed east over the dune ridge.
Yellow-browed Warbler
By the famous Apple Tree at the end of the boardwalk.

I spent three hours in a hollow trying to get a jaw dropping photo of a Red-breasted Flycatcher, but all it did was tantalise and tease me – magical watching this stunning and cute little bird as it did several fly pasts, dancing around like a fairy, almost inches from my face and then land somewhere completely inappropriate for a photograph (how selfish!). I had breakfast and lunch here! Other birds that dropped in whilst here were: Chiffchaff x 2, Blue Tits x 3, Hedgesparrow and a Chaffinch. Met two blog readers whilst here – nice to meet you both. At midday I tore myself away to continue birding. Several Wheatears and Redstarts around the dunes.
East of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.

Just round the corner was a stonking Barred Warbler – I just love these birds, you know when they are about to come out of hiding, when a bush, stem or branch moves quickly and heavily. I can't recall watching a Barred and a Garden Warbler together, but this is what happened! In fact I was watching a Barred Warbler with 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Wrens and behind me were 2 Redstarts and several Wheatears at 1.15pm! What a cracking day! I only managed a record head shot of the Barred Warbler, as it gobbled blackberries, obscured by dead dock stems and was nigh on impossible to photograph. A couple of birders turned up and stood next to me – the Barred Warbler was in hiding at this point and one of the birders had to be somewhere else in 1 hour, so I walked around the whole dune and bushes to encourage the Barred Warbler to show itself for them. This duly worked, but annoyingly for me, it worked too well! I returned in a couple of minutes to find that it had posed perfectly on a nice green bush and a photographer had nailed it with a cracking shot of the entire bird!!! Bother! I stayed quite a while to try and photograph this fabulous bird, but it remained in the brambles munching on blackberries, only revealing its head. Also bumped into Ben L. here who had arrived here at 6.30am and seen a Stone Curlew fly over – can't remember which direction he said it was flying though.
Garden Warbler
East of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.

 Barred Warbler
East of the Boardwalk, Burnham Overy Dunes

East of the Boardwalk, Burnham Overy Dunes

East of the Boardwalk, Burnham Overy Dunes

I watched the Red-breasted Flycatcher in the hollow again. A birder said he had just watched 2 Red-breasted Flycatchers in a small clump of bushes close to the hollow where the other one was and with another birder saying there was three on show in the main bushes at the end of the boardwalk at the same time, this made a total of 5/6 Red-breasted Flycatchers! I headed back to the main bushes at the end of the boardwalk. As I stood here watching birds flitting about, someone said 'Hello Penny'... I looked up and there was Chris Knights standing on the bank! It was lovely to see him and we had a bit of a catch up and Chris kindly asked how my father was. Several skeins of Pink-footed Geese flew over south in the fog, which Chris said would make a good picture – it didn't look particularly 'good' when I looked on the back of the camera! Chris's eyes lit up when I mentioned that Ben Lewis had seen a Stone Curlew flying over here this morning.
Pink-footed Geese
Flying east in the fog over Burnham Overy Dunes

Chris Knights
Wildlife Photographer, Farmer
Burnham Overy Dunes

I headed off for Gun Hill and was surprised to find so little birds here. I did however find 2 stonking Male Redstarts, a few Wheatears and 1 Chiffchaff. There were 45 Cormorants on the shoreline opposite the hill. As I neared the brick building I could see something sitting on top, I just couldn't work out what it was by my naked eye. Looked through my bins – it was a Squirrel!!! What the h*ll was a squirrel doing out here!? It looked so comical perched on the very top of the brickwork and it kept a close eye on me. It disappeared into a hole in the brickwork when I got closer. I remained still and rattled the bramble bush and it peeked out over the edge of the brickwork to see what I was up to, so funny! I sat and had a coffee and sandwich and watched the big patch of bushes to see what popped up and saw 2 Redstarts here. Something with a blue tail would have been good!
It's cosy up here and I'm lovin' it!

Blooming photographers – don't get any closer!

There are you – no hope of you climbing up here LOL!
Grey Squirrel
Settling into new home at the brick building, west of Gun Hill

Back at the main bushes, the Yellow-browed Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher were still there along with a Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff. A Sparrowhawk zoomed in and caught a Chaffinch! I started walking back at 6.30pm. I had to run the last few yards to my car as it was thunder and lightening and had started to spit with rain. I just made it before the rain came down with seconds to spare! 11 hours later and I was shattered, but what a fabulous day!

No comments:

Post a Comment