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…
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.
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Spotted Woodpecker