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Monday, 31 August 2020

Bank Holiday Monday Birding!

68 Little Egrets on Patsy's Pool this evening!!!
Titchwell RSPB

Whilst eating my breakfast, the traffic sounded horrendous – a continuous stream of vehicles and I decided I didn't want to join it. This resulted in missing out on an incredible day of birds found in Norfolk, but I didn't want to face what would probably be, the busiest bank holiday on record. I should have got up early before the traffic got bad, but I haven't felt too good this weekend – I simply feel exhausted. Later on I gave in, when a Greenish Warbler was found at The Green in Thornham.

As I drove along the A149, the queue of cars to return south, was stationary from Heacham to the Knight's Hill Roundabout in King's Lynn, so I knew I wouldn't be returning home early this evening! With some of the schools returning tomorrow, it was obvious there would be more returning traffic than normal on a bank holiday Monday.

I parked up at 'The Green' in Thornham and only had to walk 50 yards to the spot where the Greenish Warbler had been seen, but my instinct told me that I hadn't got a hope in hell of seeing it and I was correct! It had been seen briefly just before I arrived, but not many people had seen it from what I heard. Nice to bump into James H. here, can't remember the last time I saw him, must be years ago! He kindly highlighted there was a Lizard sunning itself at the base of a tree stump a few yards away, which I saw. Pat and Geoff also here, Sue B. and John G. and Andy B. amongst others. Lovely views of a Pied Flycatcher on a dead tree, also Great Spotted Woodpecker seen, Chaffinch, Blue Tit and a Heron flew over. I left the small crowd and walked further along the path, but found and saw nothing else apart from a few Black-headed Gulls on the marsh. I could see and hear the tide coming in. From here you can see the Thornham Boat house to the west and Thornham Point to the east. I returned to the now smaller crowd of three birders. Two different dogs annoyed me whilst here, one off a lead which attempted to jump up at me and another scary looking dog appeared in front of me with no owner in sight. Meandered along the path west for a while and tried to avoid the piles of dog sh*t – nothing else seen, so gave up and returned to my car. Chatted to a lovely elderly couple sitting on a seat, who pointed out a distant Barn Owl to me sitting on a fence post. The scary dog I had encountered early was now having a fight/altercation with another couple's dog and I could hear the lady owner saying 'sorry' – had it been on a lead, it wouldn't have occurred! Dogs on leads? – whatever next!

Parked up at Titchwell RSPB and walked to Patsy's Pool and the East Trail. It was bliss, as there was NO ONE else here! Not a dog or a person in sight! The highlight of the entire day was the setting red sun over the pool, whilst counting Little Egrets – they stood in a line, preening and chilling and the sight was stunning. Initially I counted 40, but more Little Egrets kept landing to join them and in the end I counted 68!!! I took several pictures with my iPhone, but several birds had flown off towards the trees when I took the pictures. There was also a Mute Swan on the pool, but no sign of any Great White Egret, which had been seen earlier today. Several Swallows along with 4 Swifts graced the skies and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard and seen on a dead tree stump. A Marsh Harrier glided over the reedbeds and a Chiffchaff called. There was a chill in the air and the midges started to descend, so it was time to leave!

Drove home via Choseley Drying Barns. A Common Buzzard flew above me as I drove to the barns and a Red-legged Partridge was on the side of the road as I ascended the hill. I stopped for a couple of minutes to eat a scone and a Hare lolloped past my car door, oblivious to my prescence. I continued through Docking, Flitcham and onto the A148 with no traffic issues, to the Knight's Hill Roundabout and home. I love walking Burnham Overy Dunes and obviously missed out on Wrynecks and a Barred Warbler, but it would have also entailed far more dogs and people than birds and it wouldn't have been that enjoyable. So instead I opted for Titchwell RSPB and to be honest, I'm glad I did – watching all those Little Egrets in the pool as the sun was setting, was an image that I will never forget! Good night!

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