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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Burnham Overy Dunes, Death Roll at Garden Drove, Titchwell RSPB & Thornham Point!

Burnham Overy Dunes

Burnham Overy Dunes
It was freezing cold when I arrived at Burnham Overy this morning and had to wear my coat to walk down to see the Icterine Warbler. It was so cold, that I even stuffed gloves into my pocket! Very little seen on route. Bumped into Stuart White leaving as I walked down, who kindly informed me that the Icterine Warbler was still showing. There was only a handful of birders on site, which surprised me – the Icterine Warbler showed beautifully and we watched it skillfully catch several flies in between preening sessions. I met Viv Connett there (unknowingly at the time) – nice to meet you and another birder who reads my blog. There was also a Common Whitethroat and a few Linnets. I sat by the apple tree for quite a while and did see the Icterine Warbler close by this for a nano second, but not long enough to press the shutter release though!

David A. had searched the dunes east and also west to Gun Hill and only found a Willow Warbler – this did not inspire me to search myself! So I stayed to watch and photograph the Icterine Warbler. The sun came blazing out and it quickly became very hot indeed – I now regretted putting my coat on! I trudged back to my car in the heat and bumped into John F. just before reaching my car. I discarded some layers and had my lunch. Eddie then turned up to walk to the dunes.

Stoat In Death Roll With Large Rat!
Last Moments of Life

 The End

Garden Drove, Warham
I decided it would be nice to find a Barred Warbler and Garden Drove is a good place to potentially find some migrants. On arrival at the concrete pad, there was a terrific squealing and screaming noise going on! I quickly realised that a Stoat had a big fat rat in a death roll! The rat fought hard as they rolled over and over in a frenzied combat, but the Stoat eventually won. Fortunately I had the camera on the seat and got some very cool, but gruesome shots of the murder!!! The rat was huge and far bigger than the Stoat – at the finish, the Stoat dragged the rat off into the long grass! Phew!
Long-tailed Tit juv. along Garden Drove, Warham

Party of Long-tailed Tits along the track, but nothing else of note bird wise really. Lots of insects though – dragonflies, bees, butterflies: including Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Comma, Red Admiral and Common Blue. Kestrel on the roof of the farm building. I left and headed west along the A149. I had a 20 minute power nap in a field entrance just before Burnham Deepdale and also stopped to buy a Cornetto ice-cream – new flavour: peanut butter and dark chocolate – this was scrumptious, highly recommended!

Titchwell RSPB and Thornham Point
I didn't take my telescope as I wanted to walk to Thornham Point and couldn't face carrying the tripod etc all the way there. The light was beautiful this evening. The fresh marsh was alive with birds. I photographed a Ruff, a Little Egret fishing and a Black-tailed Godwit on route to the beach. Also I was amazed to watch a Chinese Water Deer walk across the shallow water amongst all the waders to the far side of the scrapes!!! Walked west along the beach to Thornham Point, but I could see a couple with two large dogs on the loose, so headed over the dunes (what's left of them) for a bit until they passed, and then crossed back onto the beach.
Ruff at Titchwell RSPB
 Avocet at Titchwell RSPB

Black-tailed Godwits at Titchwell RSPB

Little Egret fishing at Titchwell RSPB

Titchwell Beach

Lots of gulls catching flies at Thornham Point, a couple of Magpies, a Redshank and 5 Little Egrets on the marsh. Sadly no sign of any hoped for migrants in the dense sea-buckthorn though..... until I walked round the far side and had a brief flurry of excitement, when a small bird got up from the sand and dived into the bushes, but saw it long enough to ID it as a Chaffinch! So.... I had walked all this way for a bl**dy chaffinch!!!

Trudged back along the beach and saw several Sanderlings feeding along the shore with at least 8 Ringed Plovers. The tide was very high and had covered the concrete boulders completely. The setting sun mirrored on the wet sands, looked so beautiful and I took lots of pictures on the phone.
Titchwell beach looking towards Thornham Point

On the main track back through the reserve I counted 16+ Spoonbills and a massive count of 60 Little Egrets roosting in the dead trees! 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Reed Buntings in the bullrushes and 1 Reed Warbler. Common Whitethroat in the sueda, west of the path and lots of gulls roosting, Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets, Ruff, Dunlins, Shelducks, Redshanks, ducks etc. It was almost dark as I reached my car. Drove home via Ringstead, but didn't see any owls this evening.
Sunset from Titchwell RSPB

My youngest sister Vivien popped in to see me briefly, to borrow some things for a wedding she is going to – she had just been to the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton to watch The Michael Jackson Show starrring Navi who is officially recognised as The World’s No. 1 Michael Jackson Tribute and who was the only one chosen by Michael Jackson himself – I have seen him perform before, he bears an uncanny resemblance and is also the same height and has the same voice!

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