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Saturday, 6 October 2018

Searching For Rares!

Wells Woods only produced Goldcrests x 2, Great Tit, Jay and several Woodpigeons! Bumped into Ashley Saunders with his Autumn Migration group and even Ashley hadn't seen much, which made me feel slightly better. I was glad I had only put £3.50 for two hours in the ticket machine! Back at the car I had an egg sandwich and cup of tea. My tooth extraction is still very painful and I am now on antibiotics for 'dry socket' (bone and nerves exposed) – I have had pain in my ear and head all week and feel pretty rough.

Headed east and parked up at the concrete pad at Garden Drove, Warham Greens. This proved slightly better with a single Redwing, Blackbird, Robin and a Kestrel. I skulked for ages in the copse at the far end, but nothing emerged from the leaf mould. Throughout the day I felt sad that I was not able to chat with my mother – I always rang her when out birding, to tell what I had seen and what I hadn't seen! She would also ring me to find out if I had seen anything good – all gone and nobody to ring with exciting news now.

Stiffkey Campsite Wood – parked up and fell asleep! Abandoned going up to the wood, as the wind and rain was pretty intense and decided I wouldn't see anything anyway! Headed east.

Friary Hills, Blakeney – I have not been here for ages, it was lovely walking up to the top of the hills, even though it was raining. Beautiful pink Fuchsia bushes brightened the mood, but sadly no birds seen at all.

Snipe's Marsh, Walsey Hills NOA – wonderful views of two Jack Snipes bobbing up and down on the far edge of the pool – too distant for photography though. Could have got some phone-scoped video, but raining too hard. A Little Egret was feeding in the centre of the pool too.

Coastguards, Cley – stood seawatching for about an hour with others. I had just missed a Leach's Petrel (story of my life) by about 20 minutes. Lots of Brent Geese, a few Bonxies, small party of Dunlin, one Arctic Tern, Gannets. The sea was extreme to say the least – good for the soul! My extracted tooth/face started to get painful, so had to leave.
Snipe's Marsh, Walsey Hills NOA

I returned to Snipe's Marsh, Walsey Hills NOA – lovely views of a Scaup, just yards from the road! Mark G. texted to say I had missed a second Leach's Petrel!

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse – flushed a Wheatear on route. Bumped into John Furse and we sat just east of the hill to watch for Leach's flying past the gap in the shingle bank, but no luck. John left and I walked up along the sand cliff edge and sat to watch for Leach's Petrels flying through the breakers – again no luck. It was freezing cold when I started to walk back and the light was fading fast. Just past the main bushes/scrub and alongside the fence line, I saw a pipit on the ground, scurrying away from me along the little grassy path – it stopped a couple of times for a nano second, then continued scurrying and then vanished, I didn't see it fly off.... I wonder? Pechora maybe?!!!! I had the briefest of views, but it had a very upright stance, that's all I can say really!

Paused at the car park for Walsey Hills for a last cup of tea and spoke to Ian, who said he had just had a Leach's Petrel from Coastguards!!! That's THREE I have missed this afternoon! It was a very tiring drive back to Holme and took ages to sort all my wet gear out. No rain clothes required tomorrow! Sunshine all day and lots of good birds? Maybe!

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