|The beach at Titchwell|
Best bird was a 'possible/probable' Pallid Swift at Cley on the Wednesday. Given the strong southerly airflow and birds present elsewhere in the country (and indeed, county), this was a species I thought I had a shot at finding. I was therefore actually a bit disappointed to be sat in North Hide at Cley to see that a 'probable' had been seen over Dauke's Hide half an hour earlier! After a bit of scanning, a swift sp. materialised over the landward side of the reserve, which I watched for maybe 40 minutes or so as it cruised back and forth over the visitor centre. Always distant, it appeared dark against the bright sky, but did drop down below the horizon several times, where it appeared more promising as a Pallid, in particular showing pale secondaries and inner primaries contrasting with darker fore-wing and outer primaries, and a paleish body. The bird then went missing, and we walked on to the coastguards carpark, where several of Norfolk's birding glitterati arrived at pace, saying that they had been watching the bird over North Hide - and there indeed it was. As before, the bird was difficult against a bright sky, but it again showed the wing pattern described above, as well as a hint of a dark mask, and possibly a fairly large pale throat patch..? It was only ever put out as a 'probable' at the time, but is listed as a definite Pallid on a few websites/blogs... Shame I just didn't quite get good enough views!
|A probable bird at Cley|
Aside from this bird, other nice bits and pieces included a Lapland Bunting on the West Bank at Cley, 4 Long-tailed Ducks on the sea off Titchwell, several Crossbill (or should that be Crossbill sp.?) heard and seen in flight in Wells Wood, Great Northern Diver and Red-necked Grebe on the sea off Brancaster, and 3 Swallows at Holme.
This site, which we called in at briefly on our way home on Friday, also yielded a long-anticipated self-found tick (and a species I'm hoping will one day grace Collingham Pits with its presence), in the form of 2 Great White Egrets flying west over the sea. I managed to grab a few hand-held digiscoped shots of these, but you have to squint a bit to make them out...
In terms of dips, we managed to walk past a Western Bonelli's Warbler in Holkham Woods on the Thursday during a nice walk from Burnham Overy Staithe to Wells, which must've been found just a few minutes after we passed. I take comfort from the fact that it was on the north side of the George Washington hide, which we didn't call in at. Being 'not a birding holiday', we didn't double back for it. It was also a shame not to see any Shore Lark.
|The dunes at Burnham Overy|