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Monday, 22 August 2016

Weybourne and West Runton!

Perched on fence wires with two Wheatears and a Whinchat!
West Runton

Arrived at Weybourne this afternoon and parked up alongside the willows – free parking! It was a glorious, sunny but blustery day. I made my way west along the shingle to the pine trees and scrub to see the Wryneck. However, I had made a fatal mistake – I had left my scope in the car. From pictures I had seen on the net, which I presumed where SLR, the Wryneck seemed like it was only a short distance away from the coastal path. I was cursing myself, when I realised I should have brought my scope. At this time of the day I was looking straight at the sun and birds were silhouetted and hard to ID, even through the bins. When I first arrived, Marcus Nash and his son had just seen the Wryneck and said 'I timed that just right' – but I hadn't, I never saw that bird in the 1.5 hours I stood here! Others birds seen here were: Whinchat, Stonechat, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Goldfinches x 2, and Linnets x 2. Marcus had also seen a Redstart here, but I didn't see that either. Another birder thought he had the Wryneck perched on a bramble, but it was sitting away from us and distantly with bins and I couldn't really see if it was or wasn't with the light as it was – I was waiting for it to drop to the ground, when two other birders turned up with a scope and informed us it was the Whinchat I had seen a few seconds earlier – sigh, oh well! I could have waited longer, but I've seen plenty of Wrynecks before and decided to head to West Runton. Obviously the Wryneck would show after I left and of course it did!

I parked at the car park at the end of Water Lane at West Runton. With no sign of the ticket man, I parked free again! The Red-backed Shrike was far more confiding and it only took me a few minutes before I saw it! I stood just east of the blue Ford tractor, by the corner of the fence line. The Red-backed Shrike spent most of its time feeding in the hedge that runs south – but I was very lucky when it flew across the field and perched on one of the fence posts, along with 2 Wheatears and a Whinchat! It was still distant for my SLR camera, but got a reasonable record shot. I saw 2 Whinchats here altogether and also some House Sparrows sitting in the hedge. I wasn't able to phone-scope video the shrike, as it didn't sit long enough, which was rather frustrating.
Whinchat at West Runton

I headed west through the car parking area to the scrub by the goal posts. It seemed to be alive with birds in here and I had a wonderful surprise of not only 2 Pied Flycatchers but also 2 Spotted Flycatchers as well and a Wren creeping around! The light was failing now, so I headed home.

Along the Holt Road, A148 just before Bale I could see lots of blue flashing lights and what looked like a big crash scene, with several big lorries, cars, ambulances, fire engine etc. The road was blocked with a police car and a police officer was directing traffic south along Sharrington Road. I hadn't got a clue where I was going, so stopped to set up the sat nav. and eventually came back onto the A148, where a police car was across the road, directing traffic down the road I had just come from – I note from the Eastern Daily Press website that an air ambulance attended as well – it didn't look good at all.

After arriving home, I found out that the little girl I used to be nanny too, Allegra Loch and who's wedding I attended in 2013, has just given birth to her first child – Aurelia Beatrice, which is wonderful news, but now I really do feel old!

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