I was up very early this morning and felt so excited to be going birding along the coast, FINALLY!!! I didn't sleep very well, so didn't quite get out at dawn. It was a beautiful, sunny and very warm day. On route, I drove along Hunstanton clifftop – I often search here for migrants, but I wanted to be on the beach at high tide, which was 8.27am, so I didn't stop. It was simply a joy to see somewhere different. There were very few people about in Hunstanton – too early for most 'normal' people!
When I reached the beach, it looked magical – the sea was only a few metres from the dunes and apart from a birder walking in the very far distance, there was not a single person or dog on the beach. It was silent and all I could heard was nature, it felt so special. Its rare to be anywhere in the countryside nowadays and not hear either a barking dog, dog whistles, owners shouting for their dogs or anything else that clouds the wondrous sound of birds singing, of surf crashing on the shore, bees humming and the wind gusting. I felt so incredibly lucky to be here with no one else around. I meandered along the beach to Thornham Point. I watched 2 Ringed Plovers and a Sanderling further along, feeding happily along the shoreline. Even looking at shells made me feel happy. I didn't see any birds of note flying along the sea, but there were a few Cormorants flying through.
I crossed over the dunes and walked to Thornham Point. My plan was to find my own Black Redstart, Wheatear or some other newly arrived migrant, but alas this didn't materialise, after much searching around the buckthorn/scrub area. But, I did find a stunning solitary Greenshank sitting on the marsh, immediately south of the scrub, along with 4 Oystercatchers, a few Shelduck and also a Pied Wagtail feeding along the sandy edge by the buckthorn and a Robin. A Wren was singing and a Med Gull flew over calling. A small flock of Linnets were also flitting around the scrub. I sat for a while to rest and then ambled back along the beach. There were a few people around now, one family and a handful of birders scoping out to sea.
Walked back along the main path, where I had a nice catch up with Warden, Lizzie Bruce then shortly after this, I passed Keith Tinworth, Ray Kimber and some other birders. I then headed around the Fen Trail and to Patsy's Pool on the East Trail. On route I saw my first Brimstone butterfly of the year! A Sparrowhawk glided overhead, a Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler were singing and saw a Blue Tit and a Wren. From the side of the Fen Hide (hide closed as are all hides currently) I could see a pair of Gadwall, a Coot and a Peacock butterfly was seen. The highlight here, was a wonderful male Blackcap singing away in a tree close by – too obscured by branches to photograph though. From Patsy's Pool I saw Marsh Harriers, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Greylag Geese, Med Gulls, Carrion Crows flying through west, Mute Swans, Curlew, Common Buzzard, a single Bearded Tit in the reedbed, Coots and also a Greenfinch flew from the willows by the path. Chatted briefly with Sue Bryan working in the new reception hut and then returned to my car.