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.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Ring Ouzels galore

I thought the SW wind forecast last Thursday might produce some good vis mig so headed up to Burnham Overy early, walking out in the dark to get to Gun Hill by first light.  Despite the darkness I could make out the shape and action of a Spoonbill feeding in one of the pools next to the path, and I could hear at least 7 Sedge Warblers and a single Reed Warbler singing as I headed down.

Vis mig was really disappointing at dawn - a single Yellow Wagtail west and 2 Carrion Crows in were the only passerines I could clearly put down as being on vis mig in the first couple of hours.  But there was plenty of action.  There were flocks of Scoter constantly flying west - some may have been on vis mig but a lot of them seemed to be coming out of Holkham Bay so I assume it was mainly a local feeding movement.  Anyway, I ended up with 3020 Common Scoter and 8 Velvet Scoter.  There were about 100 Sandwich Terns passing by and over the estuary a group of 5 Whimbrel (2 more flew west later) and I heard a Greenshank calling.  A female Hen Harrier appeared briefly, flying west through the saltmarsh.

I could hear the odd chack of Ring Ouzels now and then and after a while 3 Ring Ouzels flew west off over towards Scolt Head.  I suspected they'd come up from the Sibe Thrush bushes from where another 2 Ring Ouzels headed off towards the east dunes.  There were still 2 Ring Ouzels there when I started headed off to the east dunes myself.  The first of 15 Wheatears were also near Gun Hill.

Ring Ouzels, Burnham Overy, 20th April

Stonechat, Burnham Overy, 20th April

As I walked through the dunes it became apparent that the vis mig I'd hoped for had now started, but it's hard to get a handle on what's happening in the east dunes - birds are moving on too broad a front here and you don't get a good view across the whole front.  There didn't seem to be vast numbers but a reasonable passage of Meadow Pipits, Goldfinches, the odd Yellow Wagtail (I had 5 in the end) and Swallow.  I also had 3 Tree Pipits move through and noticed several Redpolls (most heard only so hard to know how many - at least 12).

From one vantage point in the east dunes I could see a group of at least 7 Ring Ouzels one way and 3 Ring Ouzels another way.  Later on the seven moved round and I walked through finding another 2 Ring Ouzels.  Allowing for the possibility that the two from Gun Hill were among the ones I saw in the east dunes I must have seen at least 17 Ring Ouzels this morning - one of my best counts ever.

One of the Holkham Great White Egrets was on view for a while and a pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls flew over.

Whimbrel, Burnham Overy, 20th April

Nothing much to report from the rest of the day which included Blakeney Friary Hills (nothing better than a Lesser Whitethroat) and local patches.

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