Garden Drove, Warham Greens
I started my search at Garden Drove, Warham. It was a beautiful sunny morning and it felt like something good would turn up. There were already four cars parked up on the concrete pad. I made my way along the hedge-lined track and found a tit flock, which included a Lesser Whitethroat (not eastern), a Chiffchaff and several Goldcrests. Blackbirds seemed to be in abundance – a Brambling was calling and big flocks of Redwings and Starlings headed west throughout the morning. I spent a good while in the copse at the north end, but no joy. Nobody I spoke to had seen yesterday's Great Grey Shrike. Another birder had seen two Woodcock here. Back at the concrete pad I watched Pied Wagtails around puddles on the pig field and several Goldfinches were seen.
Stiffkey Campsite Wood
I really enjoyed the walk through Stiffkey Campsite Wood, it was a bit windy but managed to see a few birds. In the trees just south of the wood in the campsite, there were a few Goldcrests, a Robin and several Blackbirds. I flushed a Woodcock out of the eastern most end of the wood and there were several Goldcrests feeding high up in the trees – a Great Spotted Woodpecker was half way along the top path. Sadly, nothing more colourful was found. I returned to the car and headed east and stopped to look in the scrub at The House on The Hill at Blakeney, but nothing was seen here at all.
I stopped here to have lunch in the carpark. The sea had tailed off now really and there wasn't much excitement. Chatted with Andy J. for a while, not seen him for a long time.
Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
There was a lot of water on route to Gramborough Hill from yesterday's storms. I sat on a large stone under the sycamores with my hood up and remained as still as I could and sat there patiently for a long time. I hoped that something exciting would drop in front of me. It was fascinating sitting here, as birds did drop in and had no idea I was here! A Goldcrest fed yards away throughout my time here, a female Blackbird dropped in and drank from a small pool, a Wren, Robin and Chaffinch were also really close. Then a rain cloud exploded and I huddled in my little spot with hands in pockets and pulled my hood right down. I didn't get very wet sitting here at all and was sheltered by the trees to some extent. It was quite exciting, what would the rain drop in? Nothing, nothing at all. The rain continued and my stone seat was now seriously uncomfortable, so had to get up and I meandered back to my car. This resulted in a drenching, I should have stayed where I was! At 4.12pm the pager bleeped up with a message that the King Eider which was found earlier at Sea Palling, then seen at Mundesley had been seen at Salthouse going west at 2.44pm! That mean't that it had sailed past me, whilst I had been sitting at Gramborough Hill! Chatted with John F., Pete and Bethany Balmer in Beach Road, before returning to Coastguards, Cley. Bumped into Steve G. and compared notes, neither of us had seen anything spectacular today. Nothing much doing on the sea, so left.
Friary Hills, Blakeney
It was freezing cold now, but wanted one last search before heading home. I was watching five Grey Partridges in the field close to the entrance gate – they all stood still and appeared to be watching me, it wasn't me they needed to be watching, as suddenly out of nowhere a black and white cat sprung into action like superman and flew at top speed, towards the unsuspecting partridges!!! It was a nano second away from pouncing on one of them. I made a hell of a racket and waved my arms around just in the nick of time. Thankfully all partridges got away and the cat looked most put out! Good!
I was very disappointed to see that someone had attempted to rip the 'No dogs Allowed' notice up by the gate. Why can't people respect and follow notices?! It is the ONLY public space along the coast, which does not allow dogs, why can't we keep that – not much to ask is it! The lady that owned that piece of land, left it to the NT in her will, only on the understanding that it remain dog free. Anyway, no other birds seen, so headed home to King's Lynn.