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Sunday 24 April 2011


Found by Alan Wooten

Lyle Hide, Welney WWT.

This shot won't win any prizes, but its better than last year's!

Only just home at 8.45pm. What a cracking day!!!

Welney WWT

Along the last section of road before the reserve visitor centre I saw a lovely Yellow Wagtail on the verge. Arrived at 7.50am, much later than I had anticipated! Beautiful sunny morning, but considerably colder than yesterday with a NE wind blowing! In fact it was freezing compared to yesterday. I have been smiling all day as I struck lucky several times. Anyway back to Welney - arrived at Lyle hide and watched pied wagtails on the hide roof, a wren, sedge warbler, reed warbler and also a common whitethroat collecting nesting material (see photo ). No one had seen the bluethroat yet.

Common Whitethroat, Welney WWT.

At 8.25am I saw the White-spotted Bluethroat emerge through the fence panel gaps to the right of Lyle Hide and then sit on the middle of the large hawthorn closest to the hide and sang its heart out - awesome! It then flew out and landed on the fence post, but sadly it was against the sun and was a complete silhouette on my camera. It then flew off down the path and landed in front of the tiny little hide half way down the path - I quickly realised this and got myself into the hide with camera to the ready. It appeared on some dead twigs and yes I did get a picture, but it won't win any prizes and a piece of vegetation is in front, going right across the white spot! BUT its better than last year's record shot! It then flew into the big willow tree and then flew off and wasn't seen any more as far as I know. It was nice to see Rob and Ann Gordon here also, they are a really nice couple and Rob used to be the leader (I think) of the local RSPB group in King's Lynn. I waited and waited to see if the bluethroat would return to get some awesome pictures, but my patient waiting was interrupted by news of a Citrine Wagtail at East Runton!!! I had intended on going to this end of the coast anyway later, honest!

Left Welney at 10.40am and arrived East Runton at about 12pm

East Runton

Between Cromer and East Runton in field with black highland cattle in, opposite Wyndham Holiday Park.

Jumped out of the car and saw the CITRINE WAGTAIL, an unbelievably stunning male at 12.10pm. This bird was just too awesome for words. Also in the field were yellow wagtails, pied wagtails, 2 Wheatears, greenfinches, starlings and linnets. Took tons of photos! The light was horrible though and it was freezing cold and misty. There were not that many birders there really, I think most of the local birders had been and gone. Connor and Billy turned up who luckily happened to be in the area on a 'family day out' - how lucky was that! It was nice to see Simon Chidwick there also (see his picture on Surfbirds) who's local patch this is and was gutted that he had not found it! A man who stays on one of the caravans opposite found it he told me. Update: finder of the bird was Alan Wooten. Met some birdforum members too and several other people I knew. Anyway, the bird disappeared at 1.30pm and was not seen for ages, along with all the yellow wagtails too. I kept phoning RBA with updates as I noticed, when I arrived no news had been put out for a while. People arrived, waited and left disappointed. I walked along the public footpath adjacent to the cattle field to the 'Common' to see if it was over there, but didn't find it. But what a fantastic little spot, I had long tailed tits, whitethroats and chiffchaffs and blackbirds. I ended up down a narrow little road with some wonderful houses and gardens including a seat positioned in a sawn off rowing boat (see pic)! - I was trying to be clever and find my way back to the main road a different way, but got a bit lost, so walked back the same way. Back at the main road, there were still no sign. A couple I know were just putting the scopes in the back of the car as was Pete Snook to leave when I was scanning the field again. I found a yellow wagtail, then a yard to the right there it was again at 3.17pm, much to the delight of lots of people now here and resulted in me being given three kisses from different people! Phoned RBA the same minute. The general public (mostly) were very interested in what us "Twitchers" were watching and I showed several people the pictures on my camera and also let two or three people look through my bins at the bird. At 4pm the Citrine Wagtail flew high east in the mist towards the sea, but reappeared on the grassy clifftop and back again to the cattle field. It then flew west and was not seen again until Carl Chapman picked it up again in the field opposite west of the holiday park right at the back near the cliff edge with yellow wags at 4.40pm. At 5.10pm it disappeared and was not seen any more to my knowledge. Bumped into John F. just back from his hols, but alas he was not in time to see the bird.

Just a few pictures!!!


Birders watching the Citrine Wagtail. Taken with iphone.

Found this when I went off the beaten track. Taken with iphone.

Pete Snook has kindly allowed me to post his video
of the Citrine Wagtail - Thanks Pete!

Beeston Bump

I didn't want to go home yet, so went for scan round Beeston Bump at 6pm. Cuckoo calling, loads of Common Whitethroats, goldfinches, hedgesparrows, blackbirds, two Wheatears and to my delight found a stunning Whinchat at 6.55pm sitting on a bush in the evening sunshine - only managed to get a distant record shot though, before it flew off and I could not refind it again. In the hollow dip with the sallow bush and elder bush etc in (local birders reading this will know where I mean) a rusty brown, thrush (ish) sized bird shot out of the brambly edge and into the bottom of the dip when I squeaked my audobon birdcall - goodness knows what that was?!!!!!! I then went round the bush twice more 'pishing' but what ever it is refused to show itself! A couple of common whitethroats were also around the cliff edge. Left Beeston Bump at 7.25pm. What a day!

View from Beeston Bump - taken with iphone.

Whinchat at Beeston Bump.

Wheatear at Beeston Bump.

Common Whitethroat, Beeston Bump.


  1. The Bluethroat is better than I got last year too - I must get myself back over there again soon when all the kids are back at school.
    The Citrine Wag is a stunner. Seen two females and a few 1W but still need to see an adult male.
    Great shots.

  2. Thank you!

    Good luck with your photos next time at Welney.

  3. Cheers Penny, I've linked your blog. I'd appreciate a link on yours.