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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Burnham Overy Dunes!

I felt exhausted this morning, which is hardly surprising after being at work for five days, then spending the day with Lucy and arriving home late. It was a beautiful day with no wind at all compared to yesterday, but with a small window of easterly breeze late afternoon! I was so tired and didn't get out of the house until mid afternoon.

My 'Gardener's Delight' tomatoes have at last decided to turn red – so nice to pop outside to pick home grown tomatoes. I have had a couple of handful of runner beans so far, but they have not done as well as I expected – maybe because they have been pot grown. Anyway, I headed east to search for Autumn migrants at Burnham Overy Dunes. I couldn't remember the last time I walked out here to be honest. My visit was way overdue!

Saw a Bearded Tit briefly in the reeds lining the pool east of the sea wall and a Great White Egret on Holkham Freshmarsh. Several Linnets around and a Common Buzzard sat on a post in the middle of the marsh. I bumped into a couple with binoculars who said they had seen a Whinchat, a Spotted Flycatcher and several Goldcrests 'near the bushes'. My spirits lifted on hearing this news. I continued to the main scrub at the end of the boardwalk, but was surprised to find no birds here at all, not even in the apple tree!

Just east from here was like a different world! In the brambles just south of the fence line, it was alive with birds! I found a lovely Pied Flycatcher, 2 Whinchats, a Stonechat, a stonking Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat, a Hedge Sparrow, Reed Buntings, House Sparrows, Goldfinches and lots of Linnets! I didn't see a Spotted Flycatcher or any Goldcrests though. A Swift flew overhead and there were huge numbers of Swallows and House Martins skimming over the dunes, as the path descends towards Holkham Pines. A Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and a single Wheatear were also seen and a Wren exploded out of a bush as I walked towards the pines. Several Cormorants flew south east to roost. Huge skeins of Pink-footed Geese flew east towards Holkham – a sure sign of Autumn! A huge Linnet flock erupted from the dunes and I also saw a few Meadow Pipits. My time had run out – the sun was setting. I turned, retraced my steps and saw the Pied Flycatcher again and then continued back along the sea wall to my car.

14 Little Egrets flew east in the pink skies, along with 4 Curlews and flock of Starlings. A Barn Owl sat on a post east of the track, just before the stile. It was very chilly now as dusk fell. As I drove along the Burnham Thorpe road, I stopped to watch another Barn Owl on the edge of the road, who had caught a vole – I waited to watch it fly off with its supper. A lovely afternoon and worth the walk out! South east winds and rain tomorrow whilst I'm at work all day, bother!

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