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Saturday 18 February 2012

Lots of miles walked for little return!

You know there's not much around when RBA only have 12 messages for Norfolk!!! Coues's Arctic Redpolls at Titchwell and Kelling, Rough-legged Buzzard at Dersingham, a Great White Egret at Colney and an Osprey at Marlingford were the highlights in Norfolk today.

Arrived at Holme via the Coastliner bus to drop shopping at my parents. A dull, rainy day. Walked through the village, across NOA Redwell Marsh and only saw 2 Egyptian Geese on route. Walked to Gore Point and saw a single oystercatcher - continued through the NWT Forestry - where I saw a meadow pipit – yep that was the only bird! I have never seen so few birds around! Walked down to the NWT Firs and continued walking through to H.B.O. and sat in the Dell Hide having my lunch - birds seen at the feeders and around from the hide were: 3 blue tits, 1 great tit, 1 coal tit, 3 hedge sparrows and a song thrush feeding under the brambles in the now pouring rain. Walked into the observatory and had a nice chat with Sophie and then continued my walk along the coastal path along Thornham Bank. Several tufted duck and shoveler on the broadwater. Walked up to Thornham harbour where there were 3 skylarks, one of which was singing away high up in the sky, which made me think of summer days – 3 curlew, 3 shelduck, 4 redshanks and 3 red-legged partridges. Also 14 bar-tailed godwits by the sluice. Loads of distant brent geese, gulls and waders by Thornham Point. Walked past the coal barn and then turned east along the path through the reed beds and over the wooden bridge by the big copse – here I saw my first snowdrops. Continued along the road to the bus stop at Thornham to catch the coastliner bus to Titchwell RSPB arriving at 3.20pm. Loads of snowdrops on the path near the picnic area and the usual robins. On my arrival at Titchwell the sun came out and everything looked beautiful – this cheered me up, as the day had been pretty dismal up until now. At the beginning of the main path a barn owl sat on a fence post close to the path and a water rail was under the main feeders. Further along the path a great crested grebe was in one of the channels and a marsh harrier glinted with gold and bronze as it glided over the reed beds. A nice surprise on the tidal marsh of a pair of goldeneye and also several more on the sea. There were loads of waders on the shore in beautiful light, including sanderling, redshanks, ringed plover, oystercatchers, gulls etc. Apart from goldeneye and gulls I couldn't see anything else sitting on the sea. Several other birders here and no one could see any long-tailed ducks whilst I was here, but they had been seen this morning. I wanted to go into Parrinder hide on the way back, but alas I had to speed walk to catch the 5.11pm bus as the next and last bus was 6.23pm and I didn't fancy hanging around Titchwell in the dark!

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