The light was stunning today and the weather was dramatic with serious downpours, strong winds and brilliant sunshine – an excellent day for photography. Started the day off at Hunstanton and checked the Boston Sensory Garden out, nothing there apart from a Blackbird. On the bowling green opposite, there were several House Sparrows feeding, a Pied Wagtail and a Wood Pigeon. Several Swallows skimmed over west.
At Holme I found a Spotted Flycatcher perched on a large hawthorn, a short distance east from the NOA car park – I managed to photograph it badly from the car window. Parked the car up and walked back to get a better photograph, but the Spotted Flycatcher had vanished. Only one Wheatear seen on the horse paddocks, no sign of any Whinchats or Ring Ouzels on the opposite side of the road. Walked to the observatory to pay my yearly NOA subscription to Sophie. A torrential downpour had me scurrying back to my car, but it was too late, I was drenched! Then the sun came out! Moved my car to the NWT car park and sat watching the big sycamore for any signs of birds. A Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were singing. Hung my coat up to dry on the NWT fence – 15 minutes later after a coffee and snack, the coat was almost dry! Saw a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel here and Swifts, Swallows and House Martins graced the skies. Marsh Harriers over the marsh and Little Egrets.
I knew I should have started at the other end of the coast, with news of what seemed like the biggest number of Golden Orioles seen in Norfolk ever today and yesterday and also news of Grey-headed Wagtails at Cley NWT! I left and headed east along the coast road. Half way along the Firs Road, I bumped into Robin Joliffe and Gary H. who had found a lovely Spotted Flycatcher opposite the 'standing caravan' as its known, but is no more! Managed to get some record shots and then left.
Tried to find some migrants at The Greenway, Thornham, but failed. This area can be a good area for Spotted Flycatchers, but no luck today. 2 Marsh Harriers seen, a Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were singing. Spent a short while at Titchwell RSPB to try and see or hear the recently arrived Turtle Doves, but failed miserably. More rain, so had my lunch in the car.
The time seemed to be whizzing by and I couldn't stop anywhere else, as had to get to CleySpy before they closed at 4pm. I made it just in time at 3.42pm! Andrew very kindly fixed up my replaced Swarovski Phone scoping kit, bought a sack of bird seed and left. Went to Coastguards and took some pictures in the sunshine and glorious blue skies.
Next stop, Gramborough Hill at Salthouse. Walked to GH and bumped into John F. (surprise, surprise)! Apart from a nano second viewing of a Cuckoo and some Linnets, there was nothing else in the scrub. There were a few Wheatears on the marsh, Meadow Pipits and skylarks. Walked back to my car.
Stopped at Walsey Hills NOA car park to find Eddie's car there and then joined him at the southern end of the bottom path to see my first Garden Warbler this Spring! Also a couple of male Blackcaps seen. From the carpark there was a few Barnacle Geese on Arnold's Marsh, a Yellow Wagtail and a Spoonbill.
I then went to the sewage works in Cley and saw a lovely Grey Wagtail, Great Tit and a Chaffinch. Drove along the road to Glandford Ford and spent a while here, trying to find something exciting like a Golden Oriole or another Spotted Flycatcher, nothing of note. Returned home. Early start in the morning.