I’ve just spent a week and a bit staying at my grandad’s house up in Norfolk, he’s a bit of a birder so was keen to go to places!
Just from the garden during the trip I saw Coal Tit, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swift, House Martin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and my first ever Hummingbird Hawkmoth which I was fascinated by.
Cley Marshes NWT: A visit to Cley Marshes to see the Spoonbills paid off although they were asleep, all ten of them… although we did see 3 distantly in flight later on. Aside from the Spoonbills though we saw plenty of good birds including a eclipse male Garganey, Little Gulls, Ruff, a stunning black Spotted Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, constant Marsh Harrier activity and Sandwich Tern a bit further along from Cley Marshes.
Pensthorpe Natural Park: Being only 5 minutes away from my grandad’s house it’s only reasonable to go and visit Pensthorpe, I’ve been a few times before and it still feels like a strange place, before you can start birding properly you have to come out of the building and make your way through groups of Barnacle Geese, Nene Geese, Red-breasted Geese, Smew, Ferruginous Ducks, Ruddy Shelducks, Red-crested Pochards, Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, White-cheeked Pintails and more species I can’t remember, but there’s something about seeing Smew (my favourite duck) so close up you can see every feather detail on a hot summers day that makes them seem less special than seeing them distantly during a freezing day on the local reservoir. Once we made our way through all the captive duck and made it to the scrape we managed to see Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Lapwing and Oystercatcher. Further along in the woodland hide we spent a while watching Nuthatches coming to the feeder along with a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker. And last but not least I was surprised to find a Mediterranean Gull on the walk back to the start.
Titchwell RSPB: It was so hot the day we went to Titchwell and to be honest we didn’t see too much. The Spoonbills there were asleep as expected and we saw Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Little Ringed Plover, among the usual and I’m pretty confident I had a very very high up Peregrine circling on thermals along with some Gulls.
Sculthorpe Moor Hawk & Owl Trust: Sculthorpe isn’t far from my grandad’s house either so we had a quick walk around there too. We saw Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Swifts, House Martins, Chiffchaff, and my first ever Watervoles, two just in the river next to the boardwalk minding their own busines, was nice to see them finally.
Here’s a few more pictures from my trip including the biggest surprise while I was there, finding two Arctic Terns at Morston on the walk back from Blakeney.