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N.N. Coast with bonus lark

28th August 2010
Friday night a Booted Warbler was seen on Blakeney Point. There was no chance of me being able to get there at the time, so I decided to head to the coast on Saturday. Predictably it had cleared out overnight, so I turned to my secondary target of Icterine Warbler. Arriving at Walsey Hills there was no sign of the warbler, and no-one there had seen it either. Maybe it was going to be one of those days. Paul W introduced me to John Furse, who offered to give me a lift to Wells Woods, as long as I could deal with his puns. I agreed, and we set off for Wells.
We reached the beautifully maintained and reasonably priced carpark at Wells after a short stop at the Stiffkey Scarecrow Festival (for John to buy Jam). We went a long way in before finding a single bird, and lunch in front of the Dell produced one Wren. Finding nothing in the woods we looked around the scrub on the landward side, seeing what was probably a Garden Warbler dart into cover. Shortly before this a phonecall had told us there was a Greenish Warbler at East Hills. Why there and not here darnit.
Following this complete lack of success, it became us vs. migrants. Warham Greens, Friary Hills, Cley beach carpark and Gramborough Hill were all checked, giving us one Whinchat. It was at Gramborough that John got a "no further sign of Short-toed Lark" message. Having not got the first one this was a surprise, but it also meant that whilst we were at Cley it had just been found. We went back, determined to see something half-decent. The lark had gone to ground when we arrived, but I saw it fly up and west. Most of the group missed it, so we walked further along, only for it to fly again. At this point no-one could find it, and after walking much further along the shingle and a couple of false-starts we were beginning to think "sod it". Luckily the Short-toed Lark was relocated as we walked back to the carpark, and showed nicely running along the shingle near some yellowy-green vegetation. Ending on a positive note we left, and I managed to get a lift back to Norwich. Many thanks to John for an entertaining day!

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