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Sunday 7 October 2012

Viz Mig at Hunstanton and trek out to East Hills!

As I left King's Lynn it was thick fog, but cleared by the time I reached Hunstanton. Parked the car and I was first on site - just! The sun soon came out and this created perfect viewing conditions. The Jay migration continued – it was awesome to watch and incredibly exciting. I wish now I had got a deckchair and sat there all day! Other birds of note were a spoonbill flying over the cliffs, a great spotted woodpecker right over our heads, 2 crossbills chipping away, again over our heads, fieldfare sitting on a pine tree, merlin and a massive passage of gannets! Most people had left by 10.15am and I stayed with two other birders to continue logging jays until 11am. At the finish I had seen 351 Jays!!!

I heard later that another 145 jays had been recorded later that day at Hunstanton bringing the total to 537 including the ones I missed this morning!!!

Hunstanton Cliffs 6.55am-11am
with Andy Brown, Gary Hibberd, Frank Branch, Dave Hawkins and then later Billy and Connor Rand and another birder joined us.

JAYS  351
Magpie  14
Jackdaw  22
Rook  7
Carrion Crow  1
Spoonbill  1 (8.45am)
Great Spotted Woodpecker  1
Crossbills  2
Brambling  2
Chaffinches  67
Greenfinches  40
Goldfinches  24
Siskin 1
Robin 1
House Sparrows  10
Redpoll sp.  2
Skylarks  14
Reed Buntings  5
Long-tailed Tits  3
Blue Tits  2
Redwings  25
Blackbirds  2
Fieldfare  1
Starlings  200+
Marsh Harrier 2
Merlin  1 (10.45am)
Swallows  3
Curlew  1
Rock Pipit  2
Pied Wagtail  5
Grey Wagtail  2
Wood Pigeon 150+
Lapwing  13
Eider  2
Great Crested Grebes  2
Gannets   181
Cormorant  4
Brent Geese  2

Went to my parents and cooked breakfast. My plan this afternoon was to walk Blakeney Point, but when John F. phoned me to say he was going to East Hills, I changed my mind!

As I parked on the concrete pad at the end of the West Track, John and I watched 16 Jays (3 parties) flying west, making my total Jay count for the day 367!!! We didn't see anything of note walking down the track. On the way out to the hills we saw a grey heron, 2 little egrets and a few skylarks.

A small copper butterfly was seen in the dunes. In the sycamore glade we saw 2 chiffchaffs, a few goldcrests and wrens. A great spotted woodpecker dropped in later. That was it!!! How disappointing! I could tell it was dead as soon as we got out there, mind you I shouldn't complain, I saw more birds out there, than the last time I trekked out! There were hundreds of brent geese in Wells harbour. As we left a greenshank landed in the pool. I was in absolute hysterical laughter when I fell down a massive great hole in the dunes, I was laughing so much I could hardly get out! John also fell over on the way back! John picked up a lapland bunting on the marsh, as the sun was setting. Thousands of Pink-footed Geese flew over us as we walked back up the track. Back at the concrete pad, just after John left I could hear a fieldfare 'chacking'.

Only pictures taken today were of distant specks of Jays flying over!


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