Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Norfolk Weekender - 17.10.15

My Dad's birthday had come around again and so I took my son Tom up to Norfolk to see him via a few hours on the north coast! We made it in good time but as we pulled into the car park at Wells we found that half the car park was closed for repair so I had to squeeze into a gap and make do. Having not been to Wells Woods for a couple of years I wasn't entirely sure as to where certain places were so I just followed the crowd and luckily stumbled into the right places!

First stop was the drinking pool where after a couple of fleeting glimpses and a fly over Woodcock I finally had good views of my 5th Red-Flanked Bluetail in the UK. Amazing to think how rare this species was less than 10 years ago and also amazing as it was the 4th one I'd seen on the 17th October! I guess my dads birthday has its plus side!

A bit further along the track we joined a group of birders staring into some bushes and Sycamore trees hoping to see a Hume's Warbler. Lots of movement was seen but they were all Goldcrest that were still present from the earlier mass fall of the species a couple of days earlier. Every now and then the bird we were looking for would call and show briefly but eventually we had good if brief views when it popped out onto the top of a Hawthorn bush.

Another couple of minutes up the track and I heard the call of Long-Tailed Tits which in Autumn means potential good birds in with them! And sure enough the first I picked out was a Pallas's Warbler! I alerted a couple a few yards away only for them to say yes we have one here! A couple of minutes later and both birds were in view along with a Coal Tit and Chiffchaff.

After that success we got back on the road and headed to the wonderfully named village of Little Snoring! Parking up near the airfield I stepped out of the car into a cold strong wind which didn't help searching. After speaking to a local I had one last scan and picked the Great Grey Shrike dropping out of a tree onto the floor then back up to the tree. 20+ Golden Plover were in the adjacent fields.

Isabelline Shrike
The last stop before heading to my dads was Beeston Common. Never having been here before I somehow managed to find my way to the spot where a couple of other birders were stood. Just then the rain came down so we found shelter and waited. And waited! The rain stopped and suddenly out of a bush popped the Isabelline Shrike! It the proceeded to show well for the next 15 minutes before we had to leave.

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