Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Norfolk Break - 29.8 - 1.9.09

Gulls on Yarmouth beach, Woodpigeon and Linnet at Winterton, storm clouds over Hemsby and a Herring Gull at Caister.

An early morning start was brightened up with a garden tick in the form of a Ring-Necked Parakeet (heard) at 7am. Then c.3 hours later we'd arrived in Norfolk and immediately over the caravan we were staying in in Hemsby were 10+ Swallows and half a dozen Swifts.

Sunday arrived and being my birthday I decided to relax and do a bit of birding. While sitting on the steps of the caravan my first Tree Pipit of the year flew South then West inland calling as it went. This was followed later by a Sparrowhawk hunting the local Starlings.

An early evening visit to Winterton Dunes provided 2 more year ticks. 4 dark morph Arctic Skuas offshore harrassing the terns and 1+ Crossbill that flew South along the dunes and then evaded me in the dunes themselves. Also noted were 1 Swift, an adult Great Black-Backed Gull on the beach, a manky looking Yellowhammer, 2 Wheatears , a few Gannets at sea and a Grey Seal a few feet offshore.

On Monday a beach cricket game at Caister-on-Sea with my son saw 2 Ringed Plovers interrupt the game briefly as they flew South! While later in the day a wander around Horsey Gap saw 1+ Stonechat, 3 Kestrels and 4 Whitethroats.

Tuesday morning and another visit to Winterton Dunes unfortunately didn't produce any hoped for Spotted/Pied Flycatchers or Whinchats but a Lesser Whitethroat did show very well in the brambles until a dog walker flushed it just as I was trying to photograph it with my new digital camera. A birthday present to myself!

Finally 7 adult winter Mediterranean Gulls were on the beach in Great Yarmouth, again nearly photographed until 2 kids flushed them! Another Ringed Plover over the swimming pool and a Swift over.

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