Monday, 29 July 2013

Norfolk .... never disappoints

Gatekeeper.

 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 .

Gatekeeper underwing.

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 .

Spotted Redshank.

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 .

Close Knot.

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 .