A Weeks Highlights


This week has been disrupted, birding wise through the unfortunate weather and through a fortunate camping trip with some great company. This time last week  I was under canvas wondering what delights the North Norfolk coast would hold, only to find out that on the Saturday whilst I was on the coast one of a number of fly through ospreys was  flying through south Norwich seen at Bawburgh and another (possibly the same bird) over the Thickthorn junction.

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Osprey Credit: AWESOMEFOTOS via Compfight cc

Having missed out on this patch tick I had to be satisfied with campsite highlights which were undoubtedly the swallows who even in the damp weather would chatter happily and rocket through the camp at ankle level seeking out insects to fuel their impending migration. The migration is now in full swing and the number of reported birds such as pied flycatchers as recently reported on locally here. The most colourful of all the sightings last weekend was the blue throat that put in an appearance at  Winterton on Sea but not one I could get to before it had gone.

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Bluethroat Credit: sahudeepak via Compfight cc

Winterton and the rest of the East coast of Norfolk 50 years ago was awash with migrants after a once in a life time ‘Great Fall’ my thanks to Peter Allard for the following amazing facts:

Winterton, north dunes on this day 50 years ago. As many as 1500 Redstarts, over 500 Pied Flys, 150 S.Flys, hundreds of warblers everywhere.

Yarmouth Cemeteries was a spectacle with an estimated 1,000 Redstarts, at least 600 Pied Flys along with many other species

Whilst there were the usual occasional drop ins throughout  the week rather than this wholesale once in a lifetime spectacle there were also some Greats with Great White Egret being seen regularly at Strumpshaw but also closer to home at Wymondham and a sign that Autumn is now with us.

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Great White Egret Credit: slopoki via Compfight cc

With Autumn fast approaching and still no kingfisher on my local list I set out on a quiet evening to see if I could catch up with one at Great Melton Reservoir. The walk was quiet with the calls of a late chiffchaff breaking the other wise lone wrens, robins and Lesser black-backed gulls who were heading to roosting sites.

As I approached the ‘pit’ there was the sound of a number of disturbed birds including crows, magpies and a pair of kestrels. It was not clear what caused the disturbance but I was treated to great views of the kestrels as they perched and flew around the woods.

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Kestrel Credit: vijvijvij via Compfight cc

When I arrived at the lake there was only a handful of birds including mallard and moorhen. The woods held roosting green woodpeckers and blackbirds and as the evening closed in there were calling tawny owls and little owls . The final highlight was not the reluctant kingfisher but a couple of hundred jackdaws and rooks which streamed across the night sky heading to the west to some safe roost and reminding me that soon I will be able to take in one of the counties most spectacular birdwatching experiences the corvid roost at Buckenham

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