We did our annual trip into Norfolk a little bit later than usual this year, but we still saw around 100 bird species. I left home at 10-30pm Friday and got home at 10-35pm Saturday night, a full 24 hours job, it was well worth it. My turn to drive and with nearly a full “A Team,” we left Newhey around 11-15pm. On the way a diversion on the A1 around Clumber Forest saw us see a couple of Barn Owl`s really close to the road, good start. We arrived at our first stop at Dersingham Bog around 2-10am and waited for Martin Q to join us from Rutland. The night was fairly still as we all descended into the bog at 2-30am and as we passed John Denver`s seat, a Nightjar and a Woodcock were heard. On the boardwalks another Nightjar was seen in our torchlight as we stumbled around, it was a male, what a splendid bird. More Woodcock along with a Grasshopper Warbler at the side of the path and then as the first vestiges of dawn appeared a singing Stonechat was heard, it had us stumped for a while did that bird! As we got back on the boardwalk a Nightjar was churring as it sat on top of a tree in full view of us all. We were all then listening to a Tawny Owl, when a Nightjar flew past us and we were treated to an amazing display by the bird as it hunted about 30yards from us for 5 minutes, great! The Golden Pheasant did not put in an appearance, though that is not unusual at the triangle. We headed off towards the Brecks and as we arrived the wind had gained in strength rendering a search for a special species quite useless. Next stop Lakenheath and at 5am as we arrived, around a dozen cars were already present. A male Little Bittern had been present for a while calling / singing trying to attract a female. After the long walk down the river, passing the wood that used to have the Golden Orioles in it, we reached the reed bed were the Little Bittern was still calling / singing. What an unusual sound, its likened to a distant barking dog. A Hobby passed over and a couple of Marsh Harriers were seen. Bearded Tit and Bittern were also seen. What a great reserve this place is. Back up towards the coast we headed for Kelling Heath, now after last year`s resounding success, surely we could not see all target species again, or could we? No, was the answer, it was sunny but very windy so no Woodlark or Turtle Dove anywhere. Now we all like to ask people if they have seen anything of interest and as luck had it, a couple told us where to look for some Dartford Warbler`s. We struggled, but we all managed to see these great little birds, eventually. A Spoonbill had been seen from the Iron Road at Salthouse, but it had gone when we got there and so had the car park that was buried under many ton`s of shingle as a result of the winter storms. We watched the sea and got a few passing terns and we would have all fallen asleep if had been allowed to! Along the East Bank at Cley some amazing plumaged Black Tailed Godwit`s were seen along with the regular breeding birds on Arnold`s Marsh. We called in at Chosely Drying Barn`s but still no Turtle Dove`s. At Titchwell we soon located 10 or so Red Crested Pochard, on a “new” lagoon to us all, but the Garganey that were present tested our skill`s. We saw what we thought was a moulting Garganey and this was later confirmed by photograph, well done Steve B. Then 2 Spoonbill flew over the lagoon, great birds to watch in flight! We said goodbye to Martin Q at Titchwell, it was nice to see him again and enjoy his birding skills. We headed towards home calling at Whisby nature reserve just west of Lincoln. It was a little late in the season for Nightingale but after about an hour one bird burst into song, got to be the nicest British songbird. We headed of home all very tired but a really good day was had with between 10 and 22 year ticks having been seen between us.
Dave O.

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Comments
  1. ateambirding says:

    A mediocre trip – some cracking birds though. Reading..and Weeping.

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