Saturday, 12 November 2011

Finally managed to get out and do some birding today and start on the slippery slope of bird guiding. Stuart had asked me if I could help out with a large group he had so day 1 of the weekend was spent in the Holme/Titchwell area.
The day didn't get off to the best of starts with low cloud and a fairly stiff southerly breeze. Before meeting up with the group I spent an hour looking for the rough legged buzzard around Choseley but no luck.
Met up with the group and decided to head for Holme and the desert wheatear. The walk out produced big numbers of starling and lapwing moving west, a couple of flyover Lapland buntings and a male stonechat on the edge of the broadwater.
The wheatear wasn't hard to find (follow the crowd) and was showing really well feeding and resting on the tideline. Unfortunatly I didn't get great photos, not the done thing when guiding, but it was cracking bird and nice to see with a northern at one stage.
By this time the weather was improving and the clearer conditions and flat sea produced a few additions to the list. Highlights offshore were a juv pom skua west, 4 long-tailed ducks and a drake velvet scoter. The walk up to Gore Point added a cracking short-eared owl to the list and a large flock of pinkies on the grazing marsh but unfortunatly the hoopoe was found too late in the day for us. Back to the Titchwell Manor for lunch and then onto Titchwell.
No sign of the waxwings that had been present earlier in the day but Stuart did manage to pish out the yellow-browed warbler in the picnic area. The idea was to watch the harrier roost which didn't leave much time to do the reserve. With the sun now out the golden plover looked fantastic and we added goldeneye, female scaup and spotted redshank to the list. Final stop at the harrier roost gave us good views of at least 8 marsh and a single hen harrier. Barn owl on the way home was the final bird of the day.
Tomorrow's destination is Holkham for shorelarks and geese...fingers crossed.

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