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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Black-browed Albatross & Siberian Stonechat!

Thornham Point 

Hunstanton Cliffs
Arrived at the cafe by the lighthouse at Hunstanton Cliffs by about 7.30am. A good crowd here including Mark Golley, Steve Gantlett, Eddie Myers, James MacCallum, Mark and Tracey Bradbury, Andy Brown, Phil Amies, Robert Smith, Ian Brittain and crew amongst others!

Mission: Black-browed Albatross
We all worked hard to see this Mega bird, but it wasn't to be sadly. A mix of heavy rain showers kept us entertained during the morning's seawatching, along with lots of banter. I congratulated Steve on his massive achievement of seeing 600 birds in the UK and he corrected me and said it was now 601 with Stejneger's Stonechat – as I type this on Monday morning, I wish Steve good luck on seeing 602 with Siberian Accentor!!! There was a fairly good mix of birds on offer including: several bonxies, Arctic Skuas including one dark phase, big numbers of Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe, Eider, Cormorants, tons of Gannets, auk sp's x 6+, Sandwich Terns, Fulmars, Great black-backed Gulls. Several of the usual House Sparrows in the scrub along the cliff top along with small Starling flocks, Goldfinches, Hedge Sparrows and Chaffinches.

The cafe behind us proved very popular and several people succumbed to breakfast and hot drinks. Dogs were welcome and IN the cafe which I wasn't impressed with, but the vege breakfast was very good indeed! Birders started to leave late morning and I left at 1.40pm.

Mission aborted at 1.40pm!

Titchwell RSPB
A good selection of birds at Titchwell including several Yellow-browed Warblers around the Meadow Trail along with a couple of Chiffchaffs, female Blackcap, Goldcrests, Bramblings and a Redstart on the East Trail. Lots of birds on Patsy's Pool including several nice Ruff. I didn't walk along the main path and returned to the carpark to search for more yellow-browed warblers etc in the hedges. I was going to Thornham Point to find something good, as not many people bother to walk out there – but its a doddle compared to Blakeney Point! I decided to give it a miss, when I found out that Mark Golley and James MacCallum were already out there! It there was something good there, it would be found, so I decided to save my legs!
Yellow-browed Warber
Meadow Trail, Titchwell RSPB

Thornham Point
I was just in the middle of a sandwich, when Mark Golley phoned me to say James and he had found a Siberian Stonechat on Thornham Point! I was standing with Dawn, Pete and Bethany Balmer, so we all scurried up to Thornham Point as quickly as we could, collecting Eddie on route who had been in Parrinder Hide. The Siberian Stonechat did not behave as I expected it too. For a start it wasn't on show initially and was very elusive. It certainly wasn't perched on the sueda posing – far from it! Eventually we all got to see it – being short did not help and I was trying to photograph the bird over the sueda with vegetation in the way, distant views for photography, but what a cracking little bird. Dave Appleton was also with us and he walked back with Eddie and I (last to leave) whilst we discussed how bad our pictures were!
Thornham Point

 We stopped to gull watch and saw a Yellow-legged Gull, which Dave spotted within seconds, wish I was that quick with my gull ID!!! Walked back in the dark and saw two robins feeding along the main path – we obviously checked them out being as 'Sibes' had hit our shores today!

Spent the evening with my Mother before returning back to King's Lynn. Too sleepy to type all this up when I got home.

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