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Biggest Twitch
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Nightjars and Turtle Doves top the bill

Cley village

Our mid-summer birdwatching trip to Norfolk was a wonderful experience with so many great birds. Our very first stop, at Welney WWT Reserve on the Ouse Washes set the tone for this four day break. We found a Wood Sandpiper on one of the pools, a scarce migrant and always a real thrill to find our own good birds. At least seven Green Sandpipers showed off and it was great to compare these birds with "our" Wood Sandpiper.

Corn Bunting 2 Spain

On the bumpy fen roads we stopped to watch Corn Buntings on roadside wires a real treat for us to these fast declining farmland birds, we have none in Wales sadly.

In the Breckland we watched the weird and bizarre Stone Curlews, including a pair with a well grown youngster. At least eight of these large-eyed waders were on the carefully managed area. A family of Marsh Tits here was a nice bonus.

Med Gull and Herring Gull

Up on the north coast we timed our arrival perfectly for the in coming tide and enjoyed lots of waders being pushed up the rising waters. Both Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits stood with Curlew and Little Egrets on the marsh. A fine adult Mediterranean Gull swam close to the waders. A Barn Owl thrilled us all - you can never see enough Barn Owls!

Titchwell RSPB Reserve at dawn

RSPB Titchwell is a superb reserve and we made several visits to this bird filled location. Our lovely hotel was situated just a few minutes from the reserve - ideal for pre-breakfast birding. We enjoyed very close views of Bearded Tits along with Reed and Sedge Warblers right by the main path. Red-crested Pochards were amongst a throng of wildfowl and we even picked out a juvenile Garganey amongst the flocks of Teal. Marsh Harriers were a constant companion and we could even watch them from our table in the hotel, pretty special! Up to 13 Spoonbills could be found on the fresh-marsh with Little Egrets and masses of waders. Good numbers of Spotted Redshanks were on show, some birds still retaining much of their black breeding plumage, lovely. Ruff showed off and again some still having much of their amazing breeding plumage. Hundreds of Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits were a delight to see and amongst them we enjoyed picking out Knot, Grey Plover, Greenshank, both Ringed and Little ringed Plover and more!

At Titchwell beach we marvelled at huge flocks of Common Scoter flying off-shore. Gannets and three species of tern were feeding and a gang of Mediterranean Gulls flew west along with Sanderling, Grey Plover and Knot. Amazing to think these waders will have started their long journey in Arctic Canada! Common Seals bobbed in the water off the beach. We had the best ever views of Little Terns fishing in the lagoons just behind the beach. A huge Great white Egret flapped slowly east over the reserve, fantastic bit of luck!

One evening we headed out to a heathland for a truely remarkable experience! It was a calm and warm evening, perfect conditions, and we did not have to wait long. A strange churring calls floated over the heath, Nightjar! Over the next hour we were treated to an amazing show by at least six Nightjars, churring, wing-clapping and displaying all around us! Magical birdwatching and we were all just amazed by how close the birds came as we just stood silently in the dusk. One of the Nightjars landed in a dead tree and soon had it in the scope and everyone enjoyed great looks at this rare nocturnal bird, wow!

We also headed out on to heathland during the day and enjoyed some very special birds indeed. Purring Turtle Doves were a joy to see and hear, given how rare these lovely birds have sadly become. Dartford Warblers played hide and seek in the heather and Wood Lark sang. A Tree Pipit also sang and this particular bird was a real show off and posed for ages giving perfect views. A Hobby hunted over the heathland, a dashing small falcon and always quickens the heart when one comes in to view.

Glossy Ibis 1

On our way home we stopped off at the RSPB Ouse Washes and were very lucky indeed to enjoy a gorgeous Glossy Ibis showing off in front of the Kingfisher hide. This rarity fed, bathed and preened in the sunshine - what a thrill to see. Lots of other great birds here of course, a Green Woodpecker climbed a telegraph pole, Marsh Harriers drifted over the washes, Little Egrets strode through the shallows where Ruff and Little ringed Plover fed. Our last new bird for the trip list was a Mistle Thrush at Welney WWT, we had enjoyed over 125 species in four fun filled days.

Of course we enjoyed lots of other wildlife along with the amazing birds -

Butterflies :
Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Common Blue, Comma, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Large White, Small White

Dragonflies :
Azure Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Common Darter
Thanks Sonia for these records.

July 2014 birding group

A huge thanks you to Andrew, Brian and Helen, Chrissie, Sonia, Chris and Mel for their company, we hope to enjoy lots more birds with you soon!

We have two places on our September Norfolk House Party and would love you to come and join us for lots and lots of great birds.

Norfolk House Party Saturday 6th - Saturday 13th September

To book your place or for more details simply drop us a line here...

September is the perfect time to be in Norfolk to experience great bird migration and of course all the special resident birds.

Little Stint Oct
Waders will be a real feature in September - good chance of Little Stint.


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