Four intrepid souls risked another 24 hour birding trip,well it was only 23 hours really! An 11pm start after a gripping European Cup Final with Bob K at the helm. We had a little rain through Lincs and as we arrived at Dersingham Bog a little “sea fret” was in the air. Down into the bog we descended using two torches for company, ta Bob K, where a Grasshopper Warbler was “reeling” away, then a Nightjar was heard and as we got nearer to the sea a few mammals eyes were caught in our torches,quite an eerie feeling that was. A good number of Woodcock were around and a few more Nightjars & Grasshopper Warblers heard made up a good hours dark birding. Our next call was at Weeting Heath were the Stone Curlew were expected, but, only Rabbits & a Barn Owl were seen! At another spot a Stone Curlew was seen,but it took a bit of effort to find one. A dashing by Hobby was then seen as it chased its breakfast without much joy. Next stop our favourite reserve RSPB Lakenheath. Since the area was taken over by the RSPB the Golden Oriole population has fallen every year, probably too much disturbance by visitors. Having said that the reserve has come on greatly with Bittern,Crane,Hobby & Marsh Harriers enjoying a breeding boom! To see 2 Bitterns flying for a good 10 minutes then another flew past us and one carried on “booming” was a spectacle to behold, no Cranes or Orioles were seen though. Lots of warblers were singing in the reedbeds as we made our way back to the car and some refreshment, it was still only 9-30am! Back to the coastal area now and a new area to visit on Kelling Heath. We met a gentleman birdwatcher, who very kindly gave us a grand tour of his “patch” and what a thrill it was for us all, with Dartford Warbler, Turtle Dove & Woodlark all successfully located. His knowledge extended to the insects & plants of the area and the general history of the site, a real chance meeting for us all. A walk along the East Bank at Cley and seeing the damage caused to the area was very sad to see, only Little Tern was seen and an almost complete lack of any waders due to the high water levels. A tour of the North Norfolk “Hills” only revealed highish numbers of Marsh Harriers, they are doing well now that they have adapted to living amongst crop areas.A call at Choseley drying barns and then down to RSPB Titchwell were a Red Crested Pochard and 2 Little Gulls were seen, lots of birds and people were present (the day after a Slender Billed Gull would drop in) We had a needed cup of tea, then headed of to Whisby near Lincoln. We reached Whisby and it took us a while to locate a singing Nightingale but when we did it was a really good rendition from the bird! No sign of the Med Gulls at the site though, it was time to head for home as we were all becoming tired. About a 100 species were seen with us all getting between 12 – 20 year ticks. Its a hard trip but always very rewarding!

Dave O.


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