SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER
Another day of rain, but it was quite bright and sunny first thing. I started at the Boston Sensory Garden on the cliff top at Hunstanton, which held several Blackbirds zooming around, Redwings, Robins, a Chiffchaff, Blue Tits, Hedge Sparrows and Goldcrests. In the play area opposite and the bowling green, there were House Sparrows feeding, along with 15 Pied Wagtails, more Blackbirds, Redwings, Robins and Hedge Sparrows.
Another birder had some good birds in here yesterday, so I decided to stop here in case any of them remained – they didn't, but whilst on the phone, I found a very brown and striking Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of Eastern form) in the trees alongside the stone wall by the road – annoyingly it disappeared after much searching around the area, so no photograph obtained. Found some Robins and Redwings and one Goldcrest in the holly bush, but nothing else seen.
Diverted to the village car park/toilet block area to look at the scrub that runs around the car park, which can often be a very good spot for migrants, but other than Robins, a Song Thrush, Redwings, Hedge Sparrows and House Sparrows, nothing else seen here. There was a Cormorant sitting on the golf course, which must have taken off, as it wasn't there when I looked a short while later.
Titchwell RSPB and Thornham PointParked up in the car park and immediately had lovely views of 4 Bullfinches perched in a tall tree just east of the toilet block, they flew off moments later. I have not visited the reserve since the new information centre has opened up, which is a wooden building situated just before the seating area, next to the visitor centre and cafe. You have to wear a mask to go into the info centre and produce your RSPB card, give your details for track and trace and then you can go onto the reserve. You exit from the side of the info centre.
Song Thrush at Thornham Point
Newly arrived in the rain and resting before heading into the sea-buckthorn
I headed straight to Thornham Point. On route I counted 8 Spoonbills on the freshmarsh and saw a few Swallows and House Martins flying over as the rain started. The beach was strewn with razorshells, sea urchins and lots of shells – its the first time I have been on this beach since before lockdown! At Thornham Point I was the only person there for a quite a while, until a young birder joined me (couldn't remember his name, sorry). Every time I walked around the scrub (and I lost count of how many times I did this) there were more birds to see! As I'm sure some of you know, the scrub here is quite dense and I'm sure there were many birds in there, that didn't appear! Birds seen: lots of Blackcaps, both male and female, lots of Goldcrests, a Garden Warbler, a Chiffchaff, Hedge Sparrows, Linnets, Goldfinches, Robins+++, Blackbirds, Redwings, a Song Thrush sitting on the sand looking exhausted. A Wheatear appeared once only from the sea buckthorn onto the sand and dashed back into the scrub! A Great Spotted Woodpecker was on the dead stump in the middle, but must have moved on quite quickly, as didn't see it on my next circuit round. Several Swallows and House Martins flew overhead and a couple of Reed Buntings were seen in the suaeda bushes. I spent at least a couple of hours here, in hope of finding something big!
Ambled back along the beach and felt very tired. A lovely Wheatear was perched up on the concrete slabs opposite the main path to the beach and also a Pied Wagtail was feeding along the tide line that seemed to have a slightly yellowish face. Lots of gulls and waders feeding along the shoreline. On the freshmarsh I saw 3 Dunlin and 3 Avocets amongst all the usual ducks and waders and 4 House Martins flew over. I was slightly disappointed that the cafe was not doing any hot food to take away, take note – they are only selling hot drinks to take away currently. Back at my car I felt very cold, which is unusual for me. Sat and had a sandwich and tried to warm up with a coffee and duly fell asleep in the car for a long time! A Hoopoe came up on the pager, but didn't have the energy to drive that far and wanted to find more birds myself.
In rain at Greenway, Thornham
Thornham – Greenway
Spent the end of my day at this fabulous little spot. Parked up on the grass by the seat and walked along the little path that leads past mature trees, marsh and scrub. This was the highlight of my day when I found a gorgeous Redstart, then a second one AND another Eastern type (possibly) Lesser Whitethroat within yards of each other in the now heavier rain, along with a few Robins at 5.15pm! I managed to get some pictures of the whitethroat. I was surprised to watch a Swift overhead, that lingered for a while (sadly not a Pallid) along with a few more House Martins flying through. Back at my car I watched the local Barn Owl hunting over the field and a Song Thrush landed in a hawthorn next to me briefly. I was amazed to watch hundreds of Redwings arriving and piling into the trees at dusk! Drove home and had to sort all the wet gear out again – this becomes tedious several days running! Fell asleep at my Mac, whilst writing up the RBA bird news!