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

Migrant hunting

2nd May 2010
Despite the northerly winds and showers, I had agreed in advance to a trip to the North Norfolk coast looking for newly arrived migrants. I met Gary & Adam in Sheringham after they had been on an unsuccessful ride round listening for Wood Warblers. Following a very brief stop at Salthouse, where we abandoned seawatching before our telescopes got coated in salt. Seeking out somewhere sheltered, we sat ourselves down amongst the alexanders overlooking Stiffkey Fen. The standout bird was a first-summer Kittiwake, presumably blown inland. We also saw 2 Arctic Terns, a Sandwich Tern, Common Sandpipers and LRPs. A Lesser Whitethroat was singing from along the coastal footpath.
Next stop Burnham Norton, a place where "rarities are born" apparently. Today they'd clear gone to visit relatives, but left behind 10+ Wheatears, some if not all Greenland race birds. It actually wasn't that bad, a couple of Little Terns dived in the creeks, a Yellow Wagtail flew over and some Bearded Tits pinged in the reeds. A late Pink-footed Goose flock flew past some Swifts, which seemed wrong somehow. On the way back we stopped to look at a Snow Goose wandering along the marshes. The noise of a pen on paper was heard distantly, probably a yearlister crossing out the Holkham bird...
We had lunch at Titchwell, generously leaving the one sausage roll that gets cooked every day for Gary. The Woodpigeons have got so tame that one sat on the table, and looked like it was going to nick some of my cake. Once I'd finished it ate crumbs from my hand, then wandered off. Whilst this was going on, Gary's pager went off - Wood Warbler on the Meadow Trail. Was this to be my first Wood Warbler? No. We did a lap then sat and listened for a while, but no sight or sound of one, nor of anybody that had seen one. Strange. We did see the two summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebes on the freshmarsh though.
We finished the day at Cley, waiting in Bishop's Hide in the rain, hoping that the Garganey would show. It didn't, but the waiting made me look at the gulls, picking out a 1st winter/summer Yellow-legged Gull. Also during the day, but at mysterious secret places we watched a pair of Montagu's Harriers, Firecrest, Garden Warbler and still didn't see or hear any Wood Warblers. The final hurrah of the day was looking for a Turtle Dove near North Walsham, but it hadn't read the script and wasn't showing.

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