Birding Norfolk

My second trip to Norfolk turned into a fairly short two-night stay, which meant i only found a fraction of my long list of targets. After leaving later than planned I decided to stop off en route at Lynford Arboretum near Thetford to see the Hawfinches. However, what I thought would be a banker turned into a dip as there was no sign of them, which may have been due to disturbance from the forestry work going on. 


On Wednesday I started at Holkham in search of Shore Lark and Red-necked Grebe. As I arrived at the car park I heard the fantastic sound of thousands of Pink-footed Geese as they came flying over. I walked out onto the huge beach, and despite it being high tide the sea was a long way off. I changed tack and followed the directions for the cordoned off area where the Shore Larks had been seen regularly. A lady was there watching the c100 Snow Buntings, but hadn't yet seen the Shore Larks. I was worried this would be another dip, so I headed to the beach to see what was on the sea. As I did, four birds came over the dunes calling and landed in the cordoned area. It was the Shore Larks, and they stayed feeding nice and close. I could only find four, but five had been seen regularly. Bouyed by having found one of my lifer targets I carried on to to the beach, where the target was another lifer. It was one of the first birds I saw when I scanned the sea. A large grebe with a relatively dark neck was close in, and from the beach I could see yellow on its bill confirming it was a Red-necked Grebe. 

Shore Lark

Shore Lark

Shore Lark

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Holkham Beach

Holkham Beach

Holkham Beach

In the afternoon I want to Titchwell hoping for a Siberian Chiffchaff or Water Pipit, but alas found neither. There was a good selection of waders, however, including at least 300 Golden Plover. On the sea were five each of Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser. 

Golden Plover

Golden Plover

The next morning I set off early for Holme Dunes, having had such a great time here on my visit last year. The main visitor centre was closed so I walked over the dunes to get a good view of the sea. It was pretty productive producing an Eider, a Long-tailed Duck, 3 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, and a Guillemot. There were 2 Marsh Harriers hunting on the meadows. 

Great Northern Diver

Holme Dunes

In the afternoon I went to Cley, but the weather was squally and visibility was poor. Just a couple of Guillemot and a Red-throated Diver were spotted on the sea, but I did see the Iceland Gull which had been around here a while. 



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