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.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Minsmere, Titchwell and Stone-Curlews

Saturday 2nd September saw a group of us at Minsmere hoping to find some interesting birds.  As usual we started off at Bittern Hide moving on to Island Mere Hide where up to 3 juvenile Hobbies were watched.  This Bittern gave a lovely close fly-past when we were in Island Mere Hide.  Some of us also glimpsed a juvenile Water Rail.

Bittern, Minsmere, 2nd September

Most of the waders we saw were from West Hide including Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers and 3 Common Sandpipers.  Later on we saw Spotted Redshank too.  The next hide along was where we saw the first of several (at least 5) Yellow Wagtails.  We had a good look at various wagtails but didn't see anything resembling a Citrine Wagtail despite reports a week later that the Citrine Wagtail identified on 7th September had been present since 2nd.  We also saw a single Wheatear.

Yellow Wagtail, Minsmere, 2nd September

Back at the centre a different Hobby (an adult this time) flew over - would have made a nice photo if my camera hadn't been on completely the wrong setting.

Hobby, Minsmere, 2nd September

Robin, Minsmere, 2nd September

I didn't see anything else worth mentioning until Friday 8th September when I headed up to Titchwell.  A Hobby dashed over the bank as I headed up to the marsh and when I neared the sea I found a rather damp Short-eared Owl on one of the posts next to where the boardwalk used to be.  It allowed quite close approach, though not by the more brightly-clad visitors who were following me up the path.

Short-eared Owl, Titchwell, 8th September

This Woodpigeon was sitting on a post right next to the path, singing away while allowing me to approach to within inches of it.  It was still singing there as I walked back down past later on.

Woodpigeon, Titchwell, 8th September

There had been 9 Spoonbills on the freshmarsh as I walked up and they were still there when I returned to Parrinder Hide (or whaterver the new hides are called now), but flew off east pretty shortly after.

Spoonbills, Titchwell, 8th September

Waders included at least 32 Avocets, 56 Grey Plover and 300 Golden Plover.

Golden Plover, Titchwell, 8th September

There were at least 2 Yellow Wagtails showing on and off.

Yellow Wagtail, Titchwell, 8th September

As I walked back down to the centre these Ruff were feeding close to the footpath.

Ruff, Titchwell, 8th September

Next day I headed down to Great Cressingham early on (not quite dawn but soon after).  There had been excellent numbers of Stone-Curlews here recently and I fancied having a gander.  I immediately found about 12 in the field one side of the road and at least 5 in the pig field the other side of the road, but tiny numbers compared to what I was expecting.  Then out of the blue a flock of 53 Stone-Curlews arrived, seemingly from the NW, and dropped in before my eyes.  Still considerably lower numbers than others had been seeing recently but an impressive sight nonetheless.  Sadly I failed to get any flight shots that were worth keeping but I managed to digiscope a few once they'd settled.

Stone-Curlews, Great Cressingham, 9th September

I couldn't find anything unusual among the 55 Lesser Black-backed Gulls but a Red Kite flew over.  Later on there was a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper on the patch at Bittering.

Seawatching conditions saw me up at Sheringham on Thursday 14th but there was nothing very remarkable.  At least 4 Puffins were nice and other seabirds included Sooty Shearwater, 24 Manx Shearwaters, 50 Arctic Skuas and 35 Great Skuas.  Wildfowl included 115 Wigeon, 13 Pintail, 180 Teal, 4 Tufted Ducks and a Velvet Scoter.  There was also a scattering of waders and probably 2 Hobbies (the second I didn't see well enough to say that was what it was but I think others did).

Great Skua, Sheringham, 14th September

Other than the odd Barn Owl and hearing Grey Wagtail there wasn't much to report from Ryburgh over this period, but as usual a few birds posed for photos.

Blue Tit, Ryburgh, 15th September

Chaffinch, Ryburgh, 15th September

Wrens, Ryburgh, 15th September

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