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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Barred Warbler highlights the day!

Had my first full night's sleep last night since my tooth was extracted a week ago! Got up very early – beautiful, sunny morning and not a cloud in the sky. Delivered newspapers to my parent's and then continued to Titchwell at just after 8am.

Titchwell RSPB
Parked the car in a nice shady spot in preparation for the heatwave later. A couple of chiffchaffs were in the picnic area and some greenfinches were on the main feeders at the beginning of the Meadow Trail. Just past the Fen Hide along the new boardwalk to the new trails, I discovered an Otter spraint! I passed Richard who works at the centre on route who said that the spraint wasn't there when he had walked out to the trails this morning, so an otter had been there this morning! 8 Egyptian Geese flew over the pool. 2 Sparrowhawks were seen and I could hear a Cetti's Warbler. Mute Swans, coot, mallards and teal were on the pool and also a grey heron. At the furthest viewing point that looks over the fresh marsh I enjoyed fantastic views of loads of Spoonbills including babies begging for food - soooo sweet! Because of my height I couldn't count the spoonbills accurately, but someone else counted 19 whilst I was there. At least 8 Bearded Tits were whizzing around 'pinging', but did not stop for the paparazzi! 2 Little Egrets flew over. A juv Shelduck was close to the viewing point, also a reed warbler was seen fairly close as were goldfinches feeding on thistles. Other birds seen here: at least 6 Golden Plovers, a single Sandwich Tern, loads of black-tailed godwits, redshanks, dunlin, teal etc etc. I would like to make a request for this viewing point please? Although there are many beautiful seats on route on the trail, one is really needed for this viewing point as this is where most people are spending their time, as its such a beautiful view – after a while you just wish you were sitting down! You can't sit on the ground as the screen would then be in the way. A birder standing to my right pointed out a bittern flying low over the reeds, but I was being blonde and couldn't pick it up! I wasn't the only one, which made me feel slightly better! Ray Kimber then joined me and not long after he arrived he got a message from the office at Titchwell RSPB to say a juv. Sabine's Gull was going west from Titchwell!!! I didn't panic, there was no way I was going to get to the beach in time from here!

It was incredibly hot now and still only about 10am. I walked back to the centre and was just about to buy breakfast when I heard from staff that someone had seen 1, possibly 2 Spotted Flycatchers on the Meadow Trail from the new clearing. I knew exactly where this was, I had just passed it moments ago! I returned to the spot, quickly found where they were and enjoyed distant views of 2 Spotted Flycatchers flicking about, from the very top of a dead section of tree – wonderful! Back at the centre I enjoyed scrambled eggs on toast and a cup of tea in the shade.

Went back to my car which was still in the shade and had a glorious nap for over an hour!

Holme - Firs Road
Parked the car up just past the NWT pay hut and stood with others to attempt to see the Barred Warbler. I could see Steve G. here with camera, so went to join him, as this was obviously the best spot to view the bird! Unbeknown to me at the time, I had walked straight passed Sue who had been sitting in their car - sorry Sue! Steve and Sue gave me the lastest issue of Birding World which had in the photo of my Alpine Swift, taken at Beeston Bump, Sheringham. Anyway, shortly after I arrived, I spotted the BARRED WARBLER sitting in a elder for a split second and then it bombed into another bush. Steve said that was the best views he had seen. We all waited and we waited. Every now and again, well I say every now and again, it was anything between 30 minutes or more before you got another glimpse of a head, beak or tail of this very mischievous bird! Even Steve only managed to get a picture of 'its eye'!!! I obtained no pictures whatsoever, not even a smudge on the lens!

Now, I am pretty good at remembering people's faces, but rubbish with names and I saw someone here who I recognised, but just couldn't place them – all was revealed later when Rob Lambert came up to me and introduced himself along with his beautiful girlfriend/wife (I presume), Lucy – Rob was one of the four contestants in 'Wild Brain of Britain' at Rutland Bird Fair on Day Three. Nice to meet you both. I'm trying to remember how he knew who I was, oh yes, something to do with my blog!!! My first Pink footed Geese, 26 of them, flew overhead west.

Struggling to write now, very tired.

I decided to leave and went to look around the NWT Forestry which produced absolutely nothing! Returned to the Barred Warbler, where it was not showing! I walked round onto the coastal footpath, the otherside of the elders where the Barred Warbler favoured and stood and watched from here. I had a brief view of the Barred Warbler along with much longer views of a beautiful, Lesser Whitethroat. A man then joined me who questioned my Barred Warbler sighting with 'are you sure it was?' 'yes' I replied. As he stood there I then pointed out a male Blackcap to him. I was chatting to someone else to my left, when I just caught the man saying to his friend who had just joined him 'can you see a blackcap there?' Obviously females can't ID Blackcaps never mind a Barred Warbler!!!!!!!!!! So obviously I saw neither! This made me determined to obtain a picture and slap this bird on the net this evening in full frame – BUT this was not to be! Although I did have some much closer views later on (up until 7.30pm), as it bumbled about in the elders and generously showed off bits of its body including the eye. Pity it didn't show all the bits in one go – that would have been helpful! 46 more Pink-footed Geese flew over west just before I left.

Redwell Marsh NOA
Common Sandpiper right in front of the hide, set against pink, streaky skies to end the day.

Main Highlights in Norfolk today – RBA
Caspian Gull, Pectoral Sandpiper at Cley NWT
22 Common Buzzards at Cley
Roseate Tern reported off Thornham Point
Barred Warbler at Holme
Sabine's Gull (juv.) seen at Titchwell, Holme and Hunstanton.
5 Turtle Doves and a Whinchat also seen at Holme
469 Med. Gulls!!! at Breydon Water
Quail at Winterton


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