Saturday, 16 January 2016

2016 a start

Following a deficit of birdwatching and photography since Oman in November I had a day out yesterday with Oli on a bright sunny but very cold day. In fact it was bitterly cold and the combination of high tides and wind had most of the coastal sites underwater, no creeks for any waders and hence no photographic chances.

We started off at Flitcham for the ever reliable 8.15am Pallid Harrier. By 9am it was a no show. Just a flock of Linnets and some very cold birders.
There were a couple of Twite in this flock of Linnets a few days ago but without a scope and with hardly any of the birds calling it was impossible to tell

We moved to Thornham Harbour to have a look for the Twite that had been seen recently, but only managed distant views of a handful of birds, probably Linnets and so far away that we didn't even have the chance of stringing them as Twite. A Little Egret stood by the car park as some consolation.

From our double dip we decided to try the area just east of Cley for some Water Pipits that had been frequenting a Sugar Beat pad. En route and given the high tide we drove along the quay at Wells and the long staying Shag was sat near the Quay, but by now the weather had turned and the light was impossibly grey and dismal. Still a Shag in Norfolk is always a rare event:

It felt cold enough for one of these !

Onto Cley for the Water Pipits then - again no luck. A combination of tidal breach and flooding had presumably changed their habits.... so far three dips

As ever though a Little Egret was present.

With poor conditions on the coast and few birds to see we called a halt to bird photography.... well sort of.... now where exactly could we go to see some birds ? that we could photograph, some nice birds like.... Bearded Tits

What a stroke of luck the Bearded Tits were showing, and more......Black-tailed Godwit

and Avocet

Yup Pensthorpe !

A final call in at Flitcham as the day ended to look for the Pallid Harrier that had never been reported there much after midday did of course provide us with another dip. Even the Little Owl which had been present half an hour previously had disappeared and we were left with some distant Thrushes as darkness fell.

Not a great day for birding or photography, but nice to be out with a whole day at my disposal. Made more enjoyable with Oli's company and lots of bird and photo chat all day.

Here's looking forward to the next sunny Norfolk day which coincided with a day off (hopefully before May !)

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