15th January – A Yank in Norfolk

Posted: January 20, 2012 in Bird Watching, Rochdale, Twitching
Tags: , , ,

The Western Sandpiper in Norfolk began to “draw at us” to see it over Christmas, but it was put off till the New Year. Second week into the new year it was time to go and with Steve K driving and me as passenger off we went at 6-00am last Sunday. The journey down was interesting with icy fog patches and temperatures down to  -minus 5 degrees but as the sun began to wake up a Buzzard and lots of Grey Partridges were seen. Reaching a cold east bank at Cley a small group of birders were assembled, but, as yet no sightings of “the bird”. A male Hen Harrier, Marsh Harriers. Bearded Tits, Kingfisher Spotted Redshank, Grey Plover and a steady supply of waders including very unseasonal Avocets were observed. At about 11-00am the Western Sandpiper flew onto Arnold`s Marsh and gave views down to 20 yards for over 30 minutes, cracking little yank wader!

20 Snow Buntings were seen at the end of the “iron road” in Salthouse and a bit of seawatching followed with Red Throated Diver, Guillemot & masses of Brent Geese moving about in really large flocks. After a refreshment break and rubbing shoulders with Eddie Myers and Steve Gantlett (name dropper) we made our way towards Titchwell after stopping to twitch a small flock of Lapland Buntings near Wells. At Titchwell we tried to get onto the Cooue`s Arctic Redpoll that had been showing prior to our arrival, without success, but, we saw Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Long Tailed Tit, Linnet, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit and close views of a Muntjac Deer made up for it. At the sea watch end of the reserve we saw 4 Long Tailed Ducks, Common Scoter, Bar Tailed Godwit, Red Breasted Merganser, Eider, Sanderling. Time was pushing on but Spotted Redshank, Pintail and Red Legged Partridge were seen as the light began to fade. We left for home at 3-45pm and our driver has to be thanked for his efforts behind the wheel as we reached Rochdale by 7-45pm. An excellent trip all around and 27 year ticks in the bag for 2012!

Video :

Regards,
Dave O.

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