A trip to Norfolk

Birders on the beach

Yesterday I had a trip to Norfolk on an SBSG field trip. As usual when I spend the day doing a bit of heavy-duty birding I tend to forget to take any photos, so you’ll have to put up with this photo above of the rest of the group squinting at scoters on Titchwell beach to illustrate this post…

The trip down was fairly uneventful, with me managing to completely miss any of the many groups of grey and red-legged partridges we passed along the way. Our first stop was Holkham, where many thousand pink-footed geese were an arresting sight, along with a flock of several hundred wigeon. A walk looking for a firecrest doing the rounds there was fruitless, with just one member of the group gripping off the rest of us by managing cracking views of it! There was much to see though, with snow bunting, little gull, black-tailed godwit, rock pipit, barn owl and marsh harrier among the birds seen. We stopped on the way out to get another vantage point of the marsh to look for the snow goose that’s spending time there, with no success, but did manage to add white-fronted goose (a lifer for me) and Egyptian goose to the day’s tally.

Next stop – Titchwell. Brent goose and curlew were added on the way in to the reserve, and before long a couple of us found the reserve’s mealy redpoll that was hanging round the picnic area – compensation for me missing them at Longshaw last week! This bird was particularly snowy white, with its red “poll” contrasting on its pale head, and completely unmistakable for a lesser.

A walk through the reserve to the sea turned up a load of year ticks on the way down, including little egret, dunlin, spotted redshank, knot, snipe and ruff. Off the beach a small group of velvet scoter were great to see, with a large raft of common scoter bobbing around a bit further out, and a couple of eiders around too. More waders on the beach included grey plover, ringed plover, turnstone and bar-tailed godwit.

Finally on the way out of the reserve, Titchwell’s stupidly tame robins were singing in bushes les than a foot away, reminding me I actually had a camera in my pocket…

Robin

A brilliant day all in all, with 80 species seen, including a couple of lifers and 31 year ticks. Full list below, year ticks in bold.

Pink-footed goose
White-fronted goose
Greylag goose
Canada goose
Barnacle goose
Brent goose
Egyptian goose
Shelduck
Wigeon
Gadwall
Teal
Mallard
Pintail
Shoveler
Pochard
Tufted Duck
Eider
Common Scoter
Velvet Scoter
Goldeneye
Pheasant
Little Grebe
Little Egret
Marsh Harrier
Buzzard
Moorhen
Coot
Oystercatcher
Ringed Plover
Grey Plover
Lapwing
Knot
Sanderling
Dunlin
Ruff
Snipe
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit
Curlew
Spotted Redshank
Redshank
Turnstone
Black-headed Gull
Little Gull
Common Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Barn Owl
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Skylark
Meadow Pipit
Rock Pipit
Wren
Dunnock
Robin
Stonechat
Blackbird
Fieldfare
Goldcrest
Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Magpie
Jackdaw
Rook
Carrion Crow
Starling
House Sparrow
Chaffinch
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet
Mealy Redpoll
Snow Bunting
Reed Bunting

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Pete

My name is Pete

7 thoughts on “A trip to Norfolk”

  1. Hi Pete

    It was a great day out wasn’t it. Sorry you missed the firecrest but it was more like fifteen seconds than fifteen minutes!

      1. He was probably trying to wind Paul up as he missed it by about a minute. It did show pretty well for about five seconds and then flicked about just out of full view for bit.

        Where did you see the Little Gull I missed that.

        I think I ended up with 87 species for the day

  2. 80 species – that’s pretty damn good for a day out in January!

    Have they finished the sea defence work at Titchwell yet? It was very disrupting when we visited last September – very few birds to be seen on the scrapes, but plenty of blokes in hi-vis jackets.

    1. Some of the scrapes were still pretty bird-free, but thankfully no men at work while we were there. We got quantity species-wise, but many species of wader were only there in small numbers.

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