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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Gramborough Hill, Walsey Hills, Sarbury Hill, Blakeney Point & Gramborough Hill at Dusk!


Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Photographed the sunrise on route to Gramborough Hill, Salthouse and saw a Red Kite and a Common Buzzard along the A148. Arrived at Salthouse by 6.30am! Only two or three birders there before me and someone had already seen the Booted Warbler. It took me until 8.05am to see the Booted Warbler properly and even then I didn't get a picture. I saw it again at around 9am for a nano second, perched on a dead elder stem, but it didn't even allow me time to lift the camera, never mind press the shutter button! No pictures obtained of the Booted Warbler in the three hours I was there until 9.30am, very disappointed with that. Saw 2 Yellow Wagtails by an iron gate in the middle of the marsh. Sand Martins flying round the hill – not alot else seen. Very strong SE winds, that gathered in force throughout the day.
Shortly after sunrise at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Walsey Hills NOA
Walsey Hills NOA, looked hard for the reported Pied Flycatcher, but didn't find it. Searched for ages to find my own birds, but only turned up a couple of Chiffchaffs in the back willows.

Sarbury Hill, Salthouse
Sarbury Hill – this looked good for a Barred or Icterine Warbler I decided. I skulked around here and worked hard, but found nothing. Whilst here, the pager bleeped up with Icterine Warbler, then another message with Wryneck, Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers and ALL at Gramborough Hill!!! Should have stayed where I was!

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Re-located to Gramborough Hill. The cars, 4x4's, Campervans etc along Beach Road were nose to tail, but I boldly drove to the top and got lucky with a space. Walked to join a big crowd of birders. Pretty sure I had the Booted Warbler again at 1.30pm in a small elder, just east of the main scrub and it then flew back into the main scrub. I waited forever to see the Icterine Warbler, which I did see eventually at 1.50pm, thanks to a man in front of me, who picked it out shortly after finding a Willow Warbler. I didn't see the Wryneck, Pied Flys or Redstarts though. John F., had a nice picture of the Wryneck on his camera!
Glorious day at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Coastguards & Blakeney Point
Coastguards, Cley. A Wheatear flew in off the sea and landed by the parked cars at 3.15pm. Had a late lunch and coffee and packed my bag up to walk Blakeney Point! Set off at 3.45pm. I didn't feel like walking Blakeney Point at all, but it had to be done with all these migrants around. I had a very disappointing walk and only saw 2 Wheatears, 1 Starling and a pale, slender Acro sp.,which was either the Marsh Warbler or Reed Warbler of which both had been seen at 'The Hood', Andy Stoddart told me when I bumped into him and Robert Yaxley. See my Norfolk news list for the BP list for the day. I didn't see a single Pied Flycatcher or Redstart and I had my eyes peeled I can tell you! After spending ages trying to nail the Marsh Warbler and failing, I decided to walk back at this point. It was now raining at 6pm and I just couldn't see the point of continuing to The Plantation. I headed back along the beach in driving rain and got back to Coastguads at 6.50pm. Everything was dripping wet, but the pager and phone were dry as a bone in my new special bag! As was the camera.

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse Again!
Re-located to Beach Road, Salthouse to wait for the rain to stop, which it was supposed to, so Eddie told me earlier. I was the only person here, funny how rain removes so many people! Changed my wet top (my paramo coat is not waterproof anymore, need to get this sorted!) and enjoyed a well deserved coffee with my cheese roll. The rain was even heavier now. Half an hour later, Eddie joined me – he had the same idea as me, to go and look for new birds at Gramborough, once the rain had stopped. It didn't stop exactly, but with only light rain we headed for Gramborough at just after 7.35pm.

Gramborough Hill was DRIPPING with birds – mostly little LBJ's because of failing light, but in the gloom we managed to pick out a Reed Warbler which was ringed, a Garden Warbler, A Spotted Flycatcher and at least 3 Pied Flycatchers and I'm pretty sure I had the Booted Warbler again – all at 8pm. I attempted to take a picture of a Pied Flycatcher, but the light was so rubbish, the camera just wouldn't focus. This was absolute torture – all these birds to ID and now it was dark, I could have cried. Why the hell didn't it rain and then leave off earlier!!! We trudged back in the dark to our cars and left.

I drove home with water filled trainers, wet trousers and a car full of wet crap to sort out, arriving home at 10pm. Work in the morning, mortified that all these birds will be surfacing whilst I'm at work!
Walking back from Gramborough Hill

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