On Saturday 27th my destination was Norfolk in the hope of catching up with Two Barred Crossbill and to visit Cley and Titchwell for some wader watching , my first stop was at Lynford Arboretum where a juv Two Barred was seen recently however i drew a blank but i did add a single juv Common Crossbill to my year list , i then headed off to Kelling heath where i was more hopeful of seeing a two barred crossbill as one had been seen early morning .
Well to cut a long story short it was seen at 6.10am and not seen again , real shame as i have not seen one of these smart birds for a number of years , i put in a good couple of hours here and enjoyed some wonderful butterflies including , Gatekeeper , Small Copper , Small Skipper , Silver Studded Blue and the star of the show a really smart Purple Hairstreak . I also had a brief view of a Common Lizard .
Silver Studded Blue underwing.
I cut my loses and headed to Titchwell for some much needed grub and then onto the reserve for some really top quality birding , i connected straight away with a family party of Red Crested Pochard on the first lagoon on the left of the path and then saw all the Spoonbills , there where 17 birds which is an incredible number and the most i have ever seen together in the UK , there was also a single Little Egret amongst them .
There were waders everywhere , Avocet , Black Tailed Godwit and Ruff seemed to be everywhere i looked and i counted at least 20 Spotted Redshank in various states of plumage from almost grey to jet black , quite amazing to see , there was a scattering of smaller waders including 2 Curlew Sandpipers which was another very welcome year tick .
Record shot of Curlew Sandpiper.
I added both Green and Common Sandpipers from the hides and the wader list just kept on growing with Whimbrel , Curlew and Knot joined the party , if you love waders this is the place to come .
I had a very good birding session here and then I decided to head to Cley and was on my way out of the hides when all of a sudden everything got up and there were hundreds of birds in the sky , the reason for this was 3 Arctic Skuas flying over the lagoon being mobbed by Common Terns , how good was that ? 2 dark phase and one light phase bird , these were really impressive birds to see and the detail was amazing on these birds , sorry i never took any photos of these as i was just enjoying watching them so much .
Family party of Shoveler .
I reached my final destination of the day at Cley and added Common Snipe and Greenshank to my ever growing wader list , i spent about an hour here before i decided it was time to head home .
I have had a very good response to the " Just for Fun Quiz " this week and you still have time to try and guess the mystery bird , i will reveal the answer and correct entries this coming Saturday .