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Biggest Twitch
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Norfolk sunshine and shame

With the strong winds finally dropped hopes were high that more migrants could be found. Pre-breakfast birding at Holme Golf Course but very few migrants were in evidence despite the warm, sunny calm morning. The tide was high and the beach was packed with waders, and just offshore a mass of Knot were swirlling over the sea, wow! To see thousands of waders in a tight flock, twisting and turning in perfect formation was simply breath-taking! The flock morphed into amazing shapes against the early morning sky, just magic. How many birds in the mass flock? Difficult to say but perhaps 30,000?!

Snettisham waders 1

Scanning the sea out beyound the Knot spectacle produced an Arctic Skua moving slowly west, a gang of five Mediterranean Gulls also flew west as did a lone Black-throated Diver. Hundreds of Common Scoter were way out on the horizon and Gannets were moving east.

Turning inland and checking the area for migrants was hard work! A lone Northern Wheatear on one of the fairways but the bushes were silent and empty! Strange to be on the Norfolk coast in October with so few migrants in evidence, everyone we met had the same tale to tell - hardly any migrants.

After a great breakfast we were out again in the very warm sunshine. Holme Dunes NWT reserve and we were greeted by a Green Woodpecker by the entrance gate. This lovely bird was in the mood to show off as it hopped about on the verge. The trees held few birds, Goldcrest was the highlight! The beach was much better with great views of waders, plenty of dark-bellied Brent Geese, six Eider floated on the calm sea.

In the fields just south of the reserve a flock of Pink-footed Geese were feeding. As we watched the geese a group of shooters arrived in the field. It was sickening to see two of these "wild-fowlers" trying to shoot Pink-footed Geese that were way too high above them! No geese fell but is very likely that some were hit by shot - shooting at high flying birds often results in birds being "pricked" by shot. They're hit but not by enough shot to bring them down, a totally unnecessary injury to the birds. Before taking up a shotgun these idiots should have learned the capabilities of their weapons. Shooting birds way above them is disgusting and does "wild-fowling" no good at all. The killing of thousands of migrant birds that arrive here to escape the Arctic winter is very sad indeed, but if it has to happen then it should at least be done by people who know how to shoot, not trigger-happy idiots like those at Holme, disgusting!

Next stop was a location we had visited the previous day, in high winds when we had seen nothing. What a difference a day makes! Calm and sunny equals lots of birds! We soon located a small group of Corn Buntings sitting out in the sun giving scope-filling views. Three gorgeous Yellowhammers showed off, what stunning birds in the sunshine. Pink-footed Geese and Golden Plover flew overhead calling to add to our pleasure.

Yellowhammer Choosley

Last stop on our special custom tour was RSPB Titchwell, no better place to finish a trip, packed with birds! Avocets, Bearded Tits and Marsh Harriers, all classic Norfolk birds, were amongst the huge number of species we enjoyed in the sunshine.

Well, not quite the last stop, we called in at Cafe Blah Blahh in Hunstanton for some very fine food to set us up for the drive home to Wales. A brilliant custom tour at the pace our clients wanted, so happy people! If you would like a custom tour perfectly tailormade for you or your group, do drop us a line and we can tailor make the trip for you. Contact us on

We look forward to enjoying great birds and great fun with you soon!

Mill evening

We are back in Norfolk for our House Party later this month, a whole week of top class birding, we can't wait! And in January we are back again for another week of wonderful winter birding, so do come and join us for the best possible start to your 2014 birding year.


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