Saturday, 9 October 2010

Norfolk day 3 – that’s more like it!

Saturday saw a link up with the SOS trip to the area but my early arrival meant I’d had time to do my homework and book a couple of pubs for the following two evenings. A pre-breakfast seawatch didn’t produce any excitement and unlucky timing at Holkham meant that we couldn’t get over to the dunes (no chance of Shore Lark yet again then!!) The falling tide and water laden channels meant feet got wet for nowt!

Apart from 'record shots' just a Wheatear posing nicely.....

The afternoon saw a ‘coin’s toss’ between a marathon mud yomp for Olive-backed Pipit versus Holme and a few good migrants - Holme won! Literally the first bird seen got the adrenaline racing…..

As I was unloading the boot near the visitor centre, a cry of ‘Harrier’ went up. I turned round, camera poised as the Harrier briefly dropped on prey unseen, before flying towards the trapping area. Blimey, or words to that effect – that was a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier! Despite the few seconds the bird was in view, I managed a couple of shots and whilst it clearly isn’t a Hen Harrier, the id has proved to be inconclusive as (at the time with forums buzzing) Pallid Harrier had not been ruled out. Whilst I'd love it to be a Pallid, my money is on a Monty having checked out references and images of juveniles online. The pale collar is quite striking there's no striking dark 'boa' behind this and the barring on the primaries (which should be bold) isn't.....

This was more like it! The recently reported Great-grey Shrike eluded us but as we trudged through the dunes to where a likely looking gallery of birders had formed, we finally got amongst a couple of ‘specials’ Firstly Yellow-browed Warbler in a bramble thicket and then a brief glimpse of Wryneck, which was the reason everyone had gathered there!

It was brief, the views were clear enough - no images possible but... nice one Norfolk - that’s more like it!