Very chilly first thing, but warmed up by mid morning.
Arrived at Holt at 9am to go to Bakers and Larners, which is an amazing store that sells everything. I only went in to buy a gas lighter for my mother, but came out with 2 hot cheese scones, Rick Stein's Oat Cakes (my fav. oatcakes), box of coffee creams (for father) and the gas lighter!!! I'm having a binge this weekend before the diet starts on Monday (again, boring, boring). To help Sarah at work to give up smoking, I promised I would diet, she has now been 10 days (I think now) without cigarettes, so I need to keep my promise - WHY did I say that!!!
Went straight to Walsey Hills NOA. Tons of butterflies here, the most I have seen on one day this year so far! Mostly Red Admirals, approximately 30+, 1 Tortoiseshell, 2 Commas, 3 Peacocks, 3 Small Coppers, 2 Common Blues and loads of bees and hoverflies buzzing around the Ivy at the end of the bottom path. Dragonflies also whizzing about. Chiffchaff calling and a male Blackcap was seen, but little else here. All the paths have been cut which is good, ready for autumn migration. A good job has also been done of cutting back the vegetation just below the seat at the top, so that we can have better views of any rosefinch that may appear again on the ground!
Went to the Cley NWT Visitor Centre briefly and chatted with two lovely people who asked after my father. Bought a card for Pete S. (his birthday tomorrow). Walked to Bishop's Hide and had wonderful views of marsh harriers fairly close and got some pictures and also a fly by heron. 1 Spoonbill on the scrape along with loads of greylags, brent geese, redshanks, teal, wigeon, mallards, godwits etc. 2 bearded tits were bombing around too.
Went to Salthouse for my picnic lunch and sat with Eddie and John F. on the shingle - felt like a holidaymaker rather than a birder sitting here! Very few birds were seen although E. and J. had good views of some bikini clad 'birds' and we all unfortunately had VERY good views of a grotesque builders bum, which was squashed into a much too small deckchair and much too close for my liking whilst I was trying to enjoy my lunch! Eddie escaped.
John and I walked round Gramborough Hill. The walk up to the hill produced nothing but dog crap (CLEAR IT UP PEOPLE!!!) A couple of goldfinches and linnets in the brambles at the end and a couple of Sand Martins over. On the way back we were rewarded with a Wheatear on the shingle bank not far from the carpark. John then departed.
I went back to Walsey Hills and had a snooze for half an hour. Walked round Walsey again to see loads more Red Admirals, but no birds of note apart from the chiffchaff again.
Parked up at the bottom of Old Woman's Lane and walked to Teal Hide NWT. Several bearded tits pinging on route to the hide. R.M., A.J. and E.M also joined me in the hide. 5 Spoonbills on Pat's Pool and then another 5 came and joined them later – all 10 Spoonbills were still there when I left at 7.10pm. 2 Yellow-leg Gulls were found. Tons of gulls here, all having a wash 'n' brush up in beautiful light. Couple of pied wagtails, ruff, redshank, shoveler, greylags, teal, wigeon etc. I left before the others as I needed to go to Holme before returning home.
Highlights in Norfolk Today:
Barred Warbler remains at Holme
Pectoral Sandpiper at Cley (found by E.M)
Pectoral Sandpiper still at Titchwell (am only)
Pectoral Sandpiper at Hickling
2 Common Cranes flew NE between Heacham and Hunstanton
Sabine's Gull, Balearic Shearwater, 2 Little Gulls and 12 Arctic Skuas at Overstrand this evening
10 Spoonbills and 2 Yellow-leg Gulls on Pat's Pool, Teal Hide NWT, Cley
PICTURES TO BE ADDED