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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Autumn Migration Kicks In!

A huge haul of migrants in Norfolk today! It took me ages to type up today's sightings! Just wished I had seen some of them, oh well. Sea mist in North West Norfolk all day and NE winds – perfect conditions for birds!

Wasn't able to get out birding until after lunch, partly due to taking Mother shopping after she said she didn't want her usual Sainsbury's van delivery today! Also took her for a hair cut in Hunstanton this morning. For the first time since my Father was admitted to a care home, my Mother agreed to go birding for a short time locally. We visited Holme Marsh Reserve NWT in the village. We were horrified when we walked into the first hide to find that someone had allowed their dog to crap in the hide!!! It was right in front of the seat! I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was going to remove it myself when I discovered that it wasn't exactly old (won't go into any more detail than that!) It totally spoilt our little outing, as Mother wanted to clear it up with dock leaves and I wouldn't let her – we had a right old ding dong about this! I was fuming to say the least! I rang up Holme NWT to let them know and later on bumped into Gary and Robert who had dutifully gone and cleaned it all, well done to them. Yuck!

Mother and I then went to the village car park and sat in the car to watch for migrants in the bushes. We had some lovely sightings of one Chiffchaff and two Willow Warblers in the willows and a good number of the usual House Sparrows. Also a couple of Hedge Sparrows, a Blue Tit, Great Tit and a Robin were seen. It was now 4.30pm. I phoned Holme Dunes NWT and asked if they had any Yellow-browed Warblers or other passerines on the reserve and a lady told me there was a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Forestry. This came out on the pager shortly after my conversation. Mother said she felt really tired and wanted to go home, so I dropped her back at the house and returned to the Forestry to look for the Yellow-browed Warbler.

No sign or sound of the Yellow-browed Warbler, but I did see several LBJ's skulking around in the sea-buckthorn. I half expected some redstarts here, but nothing at all apart from a few magpies, very disappointing. Walked back to my car and drove down to the NOA car park.

Watched the scrub from my car, but again no birds. The sun appeared out of the sea mist for a short time which was nice. I walked straight across to the beach – it was so beautiful here. It was a very high tide and there wasn't another soul on the beach. I stood and reflected on times past with my family here and the many happy memories over the years – I started to get upset, so turned around and walked along the coastal footpath through the pines and scrub to look for birds. With several dead pines, both felled and some standing from the 2013 storm surge, the habitat here looks brilliant and I didn't think I would be saying that. I found a Long-tailed Tit flock with a Chaffinch and a Blue Tit, but nothing else exciting with it. Looked good for a redstart here, but none found.

Walked to the observatory and sat and pondered on one of the seats. I was pleased to see, that the huge sycamore by the nature pond that was chopped down a while back, has started to regrow nicely, although it's nowhere near the size it was yet. Walked along the bottom path that runs alongside the broadwater and was surprised to see mist net poles newly positioned across the path – couldn't work out why this has been done. I hope that NOA members are still allowed to walk along this path, as the scrub at the bottom is a good migrant trap, although I couldn't find any today!

Walked back along the main bank. Several Swallows in the air fly catching and a Muntjack Deer bounded away when it realised it had company. Walked back to my car and visited my Mother again for a short while before returning home.

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