Sunday 28th December 2014

28 Dec

What a fantastic day, a hard frost last night followed by hours and hours of blue sky and sunshine. The breeze was biting this morning as Lynda and I made our way along the shoreline at RSPB Snettisham in Norfolk. We had left home at 06:15 to ensure we arrived on the Norfolk coast in time to watch the pinkies leave their roost on the Wash  We were not disappointed, leaving in waves and stretching out over the sky like scribblings from a calligraphers pen nib (do calligraphers scribble?). We must have easily seen upwards of 30,000 birds all heading off to feed inland on sugar beet tops on any suitable field.

After the spectacle of the geese we walked and looked at shorebirds, though they were spread far and wide due to the fact that the tide was well out leaving a vast expanse of mud.  Lots of Dunlin, maybe 200, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank and Oystercatcher all interspersed by hundreds of Shelduck.

From here we called in at the Thornham Deli for a most agreeable Deli Breakfast then on to RSPB Titchwell. A quick top up of Christmas cards, well they were 50% off and I bought the 2013 Norfolk Bird Report. Dumped these in the car then we set off for the beach and some more birding.

2014-12-28 12.58.14    The beach at RSPB Titchwell looking towards Brancaster

With just an initial quick scan of the scrapes we made our way to the beach to check for shorebirds and sea duck. There were a few Sanderling and a couple of Dunlin and approx 50 Oystercatcher on the shoreline as we walked towards Brancaster. A small flock of Goldfinch were flitting about along the dunes with 3 Linnet in amongst them.  The only birds scopeable on the sea were a couple of Goldeneye.  As we turned to make our return journey the tide was a bit higher and a few more shorebirds were gathering, more Sanderling and a few Turnstone.

We now continued along the beach in the opposite direction walking towards Thornham and Holme Dunes. The sea appeared to be more fruitful with a small group of Long-tailed Duck, more Goldeneye and about 50 Eider. Now on the shoreline we had Turnstone, Sanderling and 30 Bar-tailed Godwit.

2014-12-28 13.10.38 The beach at RSPB Titchwell looking towards Thornham and Holme Dunes.

As we approached the creek which feeds Thornham Harbour there were about 200 Dunlin roosting on a raised sand bar. Gulls included Great Black-backed and Herring.

Re joining the main footpath we walked back past the scrapes this time giving them a more thorough going over. 20 Avocet, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, lots of Redshank, some Lapwing and about 100 Brent Geese.

Full list for today as follows:

Pink-footed Goose 28,000+
Greylag Goose 100
Canada Goose 10
Shelduck 200
Wigeon 150
Mallard 50
Teal 350
Goldeneye 8
Grey Partridge 8
Pheasant 12
Little Grebe 8
Cormorant 30
Grey Heron 1
Little Egret 1
Oystercatcher 350
Grey Plover 6
Golden Plover 200
Lapwing 50
Common Redshank 20
Curlew 100
Dunlin 400
Black-headed Gull 20
Barn Owl 1
Little Owl 1
Jay 1
Magpie 1
Great Tit 4
Blue Tit 6
Wren 1
Robin 1
Blackbird 4
Bullfinch 2
Goldfinch 30
Linnet 8

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