Sunday, 30 September 2007

Kent - Norfolk

An early start, arriving at St. Margaret's at Cliffe shortly after first light with heavy overcast skies and rain. Accepted weather conditions in this case as these factors are the reason why the Paddyfield Warbler probably stayed overnight. We enjoyed close views 300 yards north of the monument for a short period of time, before leaving.

Just a record shot of the Paddyfield Warbler in very dull conditions, therefore a slow shutter speed used. (c) Ashley Howe

Heading for Corton where a Red-flanked Bluetail had been reported the previous day, we stopped at Landguard to hear news....collecting a now elusive Barred Warbler after visitors were walking too close around the bushes. The Bluetail didn't turn up, though another had been found in Norfolk. My Dad and I headed North as soon as possible. But after being released the Bluetail had cleared off.

However there was a very showy Sabine's Gull at Cley Coastguards, which was a very welcome addition to what was becoming a fine day. It showed well on the beach and allowed birders to get very close. A Bonxie flew west very close inshore and 2 Arctic Skuas flew East.

Juvenile Sabine's Gull showing well on the shingle along Blakeney about along from the Coastguards, and then feeding over the surf. (c) Ashley Howe

On the reserve a remarkable count of 3 Grey Phaloropes and a Red-necked Phalorope together from the hides. Also 6 Little Stints were frequenting the mud between being flushed by Marsh Harriers.

Red-necked Phalorope (left) with a Grey Phalorope (right) on Cley reserve, excuse the poor quality becasue they were a fair way away. (c) Ashley Howe

Moving to Wells, reports had it that the Red-breasted Flycatcher hadn't been seen for hours now, so I was going to check out the area just encase, when i got a text from Steve Menzie of a Wryneck at Holkham. Before long we were there watching it from the end of Lady Ann's Drive. A unusual sighting in the form of a juvenile Gannet which passed over the freshmarsh.

A confiding Little Grebe along the track into the hides at Cley. (c) Ashley Howe

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