Saturday, 26 February 2011


This week I was being paid to birdwatch in Norfolk. Absolutely awesome stuff. What it entailed was watching the Snettisham high tide roost from a car monitoring some some stuff. For obvious reasons I cant say exactly where I was or what I was doing but rest assured it was alright. 3 days of sitting in a car staring at waders can however get a little dull - thankfully my colleague was my equal in wittering shite and thus we whiled the hours away. At high tide, due to springs we shutdown for a couple of hours affording us a chance to explore and we had a decent amount of success.

We travelled down on Tuesday and stayed in Hunstanton. As we arrived mid morning I made the first of 4 unsuccessful attempts at Golden Pheasant at Wolferton triangle. Of this we shall no longer speak but rest assured I will never try again. Until I'm next in Norfolk. We spent the afternoon checking out Titchwell on the premise that I was running a wader workshop for my colleague. Here before we had even reached the fresh marsh we managed to stumble upon a Water Rail in a ditch. It was extremely secreted so you guys get this Moorhen instead.

Not a Water Rail

We pushed on to the freshmarsh allowing me to year tick Pintail and Shoveller. Further scrutiny also revealed a Little Grebe & Dark-bellied Brent Goose (a.k.a. high arctic pale-bellied brent goose according to some tee hee).

Best looking duck. No questions. Smew? pah
The brackish marsh held lots of passerines with plenty of Skylarks and Twite in the vegetation plus rather bizarrely, two Grey Partridge. My first Avocets of the year were pratting about in a ditch. A pipit bobbing about proved to be a very pleasant Water Pipit, my first for a couple of years.

'I told you Geoff, the sign said left!'
Argh! Grainy
The saltmarsh held little of interest and we checked the beach out. Apart from being followed by a tame BHG we managed a handful of Red-breasted Mergansers and a massive flock of scoter but no obvious Velvets as they were pretty distant. Shame.

Time was pressing so we bugged out.

Next installment tomorrow.


Alan Whitehead said...

Nice report James. Agree about the Pintail

James said...

forgot we also got a Cetti's singing as we left the reserve...

northernloon said...

Surely Teal take the serious biscuit as a looker

James said...

Teal...are you serious :#. Just joking - super birds but I gotta say its the elegance of Pintail added tot he striking plumage that does it for me. Maaybe I'm a duck perve.

How brains and birds become mutually exclusive