On an early morning stroll in the glorious sunshine I spotted a Collared Dove perched on an aerial, I know not a rarity but for me they are nowadays as my garden is devoid of them, so it was nice to see and hear the cooing Dove. Two pairs of Shelduck plus two Herring Gulls were on the Lake this morning whilst B H Gulls and calling Oystercatchers flew overhead.
Burnham Overy Staithe was the first port of call today. A distant Spoonbill was spotted in the marshes opposite the car park, it was my first UK Spoonbill! The view along the long footpath to the sand dunes and sea looked a treat in the sunshine though it was a cool wind that was blowing. Curlew and a couple of Egyptian Geese flew over and Red-legged Partridge, Greylag Geese, Lapwing, Jackdaw and oodles of Woodpigeons were feeding in the meadows and a Mallard family also in the meadow, my first Ducklings this year, ten of them! A pair of Hares were frolicking about in the meadow, they were the first of several Hares to be seen throughout the weekend. Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler (heard), Wren, Lapwing, Little Egret, Redshank and a couple of Grey Plovers made up the remaining birds seen! I think B O Staithe is a super area and one day I will make time and walk down to the dunes and the sea, there are never enough hours in the day.lol!
Choseley Drying Barns was the next stop, my first visit here. Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Pied Wagtail were seen straight away and not long after a Corn Bunting was spotted perched on a soil bank by the barns! Unfortunately it didn't stay long enough to get a photo but great to see this delightful Bunting especially as it was the target bird. A couple of Yellowhammers bathed in a puddle on the road and then one posed for a photo in a tree! Also seen here were Blue Tit, Red-legged Partridge, a Sparrowhawk flew speedily and low through a field and a distant Marsh Harrier was spotted. This is another area that I would like to spend more time at on a future visit.
On to Titchwell and the first bird seen, as is the norm I find at reserves, a Robin. The usual birds were around the feeders, Blue & Great Tits, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blackbird and Woodpigeon. Chiffchaffs were singing, lovely to hear them whilst walking around, Meadow Pipit and Skylark were also noted. A couple of female Wheatears were feeding in the grassy marsh opposite the feeding station along the main beach path, a Blackcap (m) was also seen further down the path. Willow Warbler was heard (also in Wells wood) but unfortunately not seen, a Cetti's was also heard but again not seen. Good to hear these birds nonetheless, especially the Cetti's after such a cold winter! On the Freshwater Marsh were in no particular order, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Teal, Shoveler, Little Ringed Plover, numerous Avocets, Shelduck, Pintail, Gadwall, Wigeon, Redshank, Mallard, Little Grebe, Ringed Plover, and great views of splendid looking Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Garganey and Grey Plover! Pied, Yellow and White Wagtails were on the islands and shingle, super little birds and the latter two being UK lifers for me! I was delighted to see c30 Brent Geese feeding on a grassy marsh along with Greylag Geese and Curlew. The star of Titchwell for me were the two Spotted Redshanks that were in the pools on the far side of the Freshwater Marsh! A Lifer and two beauties, one being almost in full summer plumage! On the shoreline feeding along the reefs were Oystercatchers aplenty, Knot, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin, offshore were a raft of Common Scoters and a Long-tailed Duck, the latter being a Lifer!!
The early evening was spent at Holkham in search of Owls in the fields on either side of Lady Anne's Drive! Only a very distant Barn Owl seen but still good to be back in such a special place! A Toad was present and a few Pipistrelle Bats flew close by. A wonderful sunset was enjoyed, a fitting end to what had been a superb day.
Burnham Overy Staithe
Sunset at Holkham.