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For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

West Runton (2)

17th October 2009

With no further sightings of the Pied Wheatear, my attention was caught by a report of a possible Veery. I'm still not entirely sure of the order of events, specifically if there was also a Swainson's Thrush or a re-identification, and also whether it/they were seen later on but not reported, as one BirdForum poster says he saw both birds in the evening. Either way I decided to head for West Runton and hope that any Catharus thrush reports would reach me by word of mouth.
I walked up to the field west of the derelict buildings, where around eight birders were looking in different places, suggesting no-one was on the bird. Having seen about 30 Skylarks, a birder approached me and asked if I'd seen the Short-toed Lark yet. Saying I hadn't, he pointed out an area of the field where he had seen it last, and sure enough as we neared the area it flew up and did a loop of the field. I managed to keep it in my binoculars until it landed, by which point more people had come over and managed flight views the next time it took off. To confuse matters some people got on a Skylark sitting on the fence and thought that was the S-T Lark (it would have been ironic getting that good views, everyone I spoke to had only seen it in flight). I stayed a while, hoping to get a view of it in a furrow, but unlike the Skylarks it seemed determined to remain in the stubble.
I then walked west along the coastal path, past some handgliders towards Beeston Bump. A number of Cormorants were in the shallow foreshore pools, and a Lapland Bunting stopped briefly on the cliff edge before flying off eastwards. A Kestrel and two Meadow Pipits were the only other birds I saw inland, whilst the low tide meant seawatching would have been pointless.
Back in Norwich I went to Trowse Woods to have a look at a fungus known as "Bearded Tooth Fungus." I eventually found it on the end of a Beech log. As far as I know this is the only site in Norfolk, and it wasn't seen last year (it could be that the dry conditions this year have been beneficial for a change!). There were a number of other species , mostly brackets, but also large quantities of Honey Fungus and Sulphur Tuft.

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