24 September 2005

Red-Necked Phalarope and other Norfolk delights

Norfolk in September is reckoned to be about as good as it gets in birding terms, so I've been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time.

We arrived Friiday lunchtime and headed straight to the RSPB reserve at Titchwell. Bang - straight into my first Red-Necked Phalarope and the weekend's off to a flier!

Along with this very rare wader there was also a Temminck's Stint, some Curlew Sandpiper, a Marsh Harrier, Golden and Grey Plover, six female Pintail and two Little Egret. A lifer, some reasonably rare waders and an assortment of other favourites. Could the day get any better?

Well yes, it did. We popped into the Mariner pub for a pint on the way back to teh B&B, only to find a Barn Owl patrolling the field opposite. I even managed a rushed photograph as a record.

Thank you, birding gods. Dinner certainly went down well last night.

Today (Saturday) was still better in once sense at least - the weather was glorious. We headed off to a couple of places we'd never visited before - Wells Woods and then Holme. Wells was a lovely walk, but nothing too exciting on the birding front. Loads of Goldcrest (sadly no Firecrest or Yellow Browed Warbers among them), more Jays than I'd ever previously seen in one place, Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Long-tailed and Coal Tits and a Great Spotted Woodpecker represented the highlights of the morning.

So off we headed to the Holme reserve. We were expecting a lot, but to be honest, the less said about the birding here the better. I've rarely encountered fewer birds.

So it was back to Titchwell to round the day off with something a little more interesting. This we acheived with Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and a long spell watching a Sparrowhawk flap-flap-glide high over the pools.

Time for a well-deserved curry.

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