20th March 2011
The downside to my increased focus on local birding so far this year has been that I haven't got out to North Norfolk much. I decided to remedy this with a trip to Weybourne and Kelling Heath. This proved more problematic than it needed to be as the train to Sheringham was replaced by a coach service (taking an extra 35 minutes) and this meant missing the 2-hourly Coasthopper by a couple of minutes. Rather than wait I decided to walk to Weybourne along the clifftop path. I failed to find Wheatears or anything other than hundreds of Skylarks on the gold course, and the buntings at Weybourne were too far away for me to convince myself that they were definitely Lapland.
Having drawn a similar blank looking for migrants on Weybourne Camp, I walked up the hill to Kelling Heath, where the first hour was similarly bird-adverse. The lizards got so used to me wandering about they stopped bothering to run off after a while. My luck finally changed when I talked to a birder who had seen two Dartford Warblers earlier in the day. With an area to focus on and some bursts of sunshine I finally got a good look at a male Dartford Warbler, sat up on some gorse. It vanished as quickly as it had arrived, and I only got one flight view in the 20 minutes or so after the initial sighting. After walking back to Weybourne I found I had an hour until the bus , which I divided between a quick seawatch and trying Woodfordes Best Bittern at the Ship Inn.