Back to School… but still Birding

Sorry for the late post, the last few weeks have been fairly hectic what with going back to school etc. This will be the first post in over a month, but this happened over the past few weeks.

Visit 1– 4rd September- Pec Sand Twitching

This was a Pectoral Sandpiper hit n’ run just before an induction afternoon at school, so I only had a limited amount of time. Fortunately it was on show when I arrived, although it was incredibly skulking in the wind. Same goes for two Whinchats on Attenborough’s Walk which promptly flew away as soon as I approached them. After a quick sweep of Pat’s Pool, which yielded only the resident Lapwings, I headed home to prepare for the impeding return to school.

Visit 2– 11th September- Wader Watching at Titchwell

This Sunday, I decided it was time for a change of scene, so my dad & I headed to Titchwell to see some waders & possibly even Black Terns.

So we arrived & headed promptly for Island Hide to learn that there were six Little Stints on the freshmarsh as well as two Curlew Sandpipers. Contrary to the birds I’ve seen at Cley, there were actually fairly close in, allowing a few half-decent snaps to be procured.

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One of six Little Stints at Titchwell, two of which were very confiding.
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Stunning Curlew Sandpiper by the West Bank at Titchwell

Then, having seen two Black Terns from the beach (my second & third, horribly distant birds), we made our way back in the gorgeous Titchwell evening light.

Visit 3- 18th September- RB Fly Twitch/Seawatching Failure

I arrived at Cley at 9am to meet up with fellow birder Ben Moyes (moysiesbirdtrips.blogspot.com) for a couple of hours seawatching. We stuck around for a bit, and, although nowhere near the standards of the previous day, I still got three year ticks & seven patch ticks, including two Bonxies (or Great Skuas, whichever way you say it), a close-in Arctic Skua, two Guillemots, one Razorbill, a close-in Kittiwake, lots of Red-throated Divers, five Red-breasted Mergansers (first I’ve ever seen from Cley) and lots of waders & Brent Geese.

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A very obliging Red-throated Diver close inshore

By 12 o’clock however, Ben had gone to Salthouse, I had not seen the hoped-for shearwater or Leach’s Petrel & the wind had dropped, so I gave up and walked into Daukes Hide to day-trip the nine or so Little Stints which had taken up residence on the scrape, only to be flushed by a juvenile Sparrowhawk (only the second bird on patch this year). Then I missed the bus to Salthouse so ended up walking all the way to the other side of my patch (a good few km), not seeing much on the way.

I finally made it to Meadow Lane where a Red-breasted Flycatcher had been showing well in some bushes. Though not exactly showing ‘well’, it did pop out occasionally & this was my second ‘second’ in a week. The same bush also provided me with patch ticks Willow Warbler & Goldcrest, the latter giving me my TENTH patch tick that day.

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Although not exactly the clearest in this picture, this Red-breasted Flycatcher did in fact have a hint of a red breast.

I then made my way back to Cley to head for home.

Just a quick note to say I may not be posting that regularly over the next few weeks as I will be inundated with schoolwork and such things, but will post as regularly as I can.

Thanks for reading, and happy birding!

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