A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Quiet day at the coast

Dave and I arrived at Burnham Overy at first light.  As we walked down a Kingfisher flew past and then I picked up a large diver flying in through the gap between Gun Hill and Scolt Head.  It looked like it was going down in the harbour so we hoped to see it again when we got round to Gun Hill.  Probably a Great Northern Diver, but too brief and too distant to be 100% sure.  A shooter walking out into the middle of the fresh marsh may have been responsible for far lower numbers of Pink-footed Geese sticking around than usual but a Chinese Water Deer gave good views there - I couldn't remember seeing them here before but checking my records now I see that I have done.

As we approached the dunes 4 Red Kites appeared low over the dunes, flying west towards Gun Hill.  Among them 2 Rough-legged Buzzards suddenly appeared - all six were in the same field of view at one point.  Last week I saw five kites appear suddenly low over Gun Hill at dawn and I'd wondered if they'd roosted there.  Perhaps they had, but seeing these slithering in almost below the dunes made me wonder if they could have snuck in last week without me seeing them until they'd arrived.  They certainly hadn't roosted on Gun Hill last night.

Red Kite, Burnham Overy, 24th January

Rough-legged Buzzards, Burnham Overy, 24th January

We spent a while at Gun Hill looking over Brancaster Harbour for the diver (no luck) and also keeping an eye out towards the golf-course and Scolt Head just in case a Snowy Owl might be lurking there somewhere (not completely random - someone apparently described a bird seen on the golf-course earlier in the week that sounded like a Snowy Owl).  The best I could manage was 4 Goldeneye and 7 Red-breasted Mergansers.  In fact the rest of the four-and-a-half hours we spent at Burnham Overy was pretty uneventful.  A Fulmar, a Bullfinch, and, well, nothing else really.  It really was very quiet indeed.

Teal, Burnham Overy, 24th January

East Hills and Holkham Bay, viewed from Burnham Overy Dunes, 24th January

As we returned to the car we took the opportunity to photograph some waders starting to become active as the tide dropped.

Dunlins, Burnham Overy, 24th January

Grey Plover, Burnham Overy, 24th January

Bar-tailed Godwit, Burnham Overy, 24th January

Wigeon, Burnham Overy, 24th January

A little disappointed with the morning's showing we decided to pop along to Wells to see if the Red-necked Grebe would perform any better.  It didn't, though the Shag was in channel beyond the dock.  After a while it flew towards us and dropped in to the dock.  Interesting how it kept calling just before it dived - I noticed one doing that here last winter too.

Shag, Wells, 24th January

Curlew, Wells, 24th January

Ringed Plover, Wells, 24th January

We then drove around aimlessly for a while in the hope of bumping in to something interesting, but apart from a Greenshank at Moreston we didn't.

Greenshank, Morston, 24th January

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