Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Birding in January part 1

As the month draws to a close I thought I'd sum up what's ended up being quite a birdy month. Spending New year's with the in-laws in the midlands, I returned to Norfolk a few days into January.

North-west Norfolk - 6th January

Water Pipit at Titchwell
Keen to get a bit of a yearlist underway, a plan was made to head up the coast and have a bit of a blitz of Titchwell and nearby sites. I'm by no means a crazy all-out year-lister but it's gives me a bit of energy to get out birding in the early part of the year. Without trying (and rather frustratingly) we tallied up 99 species for the day, including an impressive 85 species at Titchwell. 


Barny with Pinks at Thornham

Nothing unexpected to right home about, a Water Pipit, a Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Ducks at Titchwell, Twite and a Barnacle Goose at Thornham were some of the better things. If only we'd known we were on 99 species we'd have tried harder as we missed loads of common stuff feral pigeon, House Sparrow, Goldcrest etc. 

North-east Norfolk - 8th January

With a Hume's Leaf Warbler at Waxham, it would have been rude to ignore it, especially having only seen one before in Norfolk, and appallingly at that. So three of us planned to meet outside Will's house at West Earlham at 10:30am. As I left my house I messaged Will to put the kettle on, he'd been watching the flood all morning and only left his window at this point, cue Phil arriving at 10:29 and finding a Glaucous Gull right outside Will's window on the floods! Oops, sorry Will!

We eventually got out to Waxham and found the Hume's Warbler within a couple of minutes of arriving, though it quickly disappeared. It was another 20 minutes before we relocated it in the woods North of Shang-rila. Pleasantly the other twitchers weren't moving away from the garden where it had been regularly seen, and we weren't leaving the bird to go find them, so we had it to ourselves for a good 30 mins plus. Once we'd had our fill we went and got the other twitchers and put them on the bird before we left. Despite prolonged and good binocular views it was very difficult to photograph amongst the tangle of weeds it was feeding in just off the floor. It was only rarely calling while we watched it.


After some lunch and 6 Purple Sandpipers at Sea Palling we finished off at Stubb's Mill for the roost. 3 Hen Harriers (2 males) and 11 Cranes were the highlights.

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