Back out to the east coast this morning to check some migrant spots with Nick Watmough. At Horsey Gap we walked north from the car park passing two or three Common Whitethroats as they sang from the tops of various patches of briars and brambles. We stopped above the caravan park at Waxham Sands and scanned for Pipits and Wagtails. A ground feeding Common Whitethroat threw me for a second or two. In the background I could hear a distant purring sound, interesting and vaguely familiar too. Then the penny dropped, Turtle Dove. I scanned the trees on the opposite side of the caravan park and there it was sitting atop, singing away. Nice...............clearly his one had managed to dodge the hunters guns!
We continued to scan the short grass around the caravan park and picked up four handsome Yellow Wagtails, possibly the same group from last week. And before we moved on we noticed a nice alba Wagtail consorting with two Yarrelli's.
Along the southern path we came across a male Northern Wheatear. This was my first of the year, couldn't let the spring finish without one of these. Yesterday evening it seems that large numbers were grounded by rain on the east Norfolk coast but clearly they had moved on by first light? However, further up the path we came across a few more and at one stage we had up to eleven birds. One or two posed beautifully for photos, but I had been lazy and my camera was back in the car.......bugger!
From Horsey we moved on to allotments at Winterton, best there was a Common Whitethroat, several singing Blackcaps and two female Blackcaps. We checked the dunes very briefly at Winterton but decided fairly quickly, that it was dead.
For lunch we stopped at Ormsby broad, there had been no report this morning of the Purple Heron but maybe no one had checked? As we ate lunch a Cetti's gave a few bursts of song and a Blackcap sang from further down the path. We walked through the woods to the viewing platform, amongst the phragmites along the bank I could hear at least one Reed Warbler singing, a Sedge Warbler sang also but a little half-heartedly. Just before we reached the viewing platform we had views of a small falcon overhead, long wings, shortish tail........Hobby. Out on the broad though there was no sign of the Purple Heron but four Common Terns dropped in for a short spell and a Goldeneye was still present.
With time ticking on, we continued back towards Norwich, stopping at Buckenham Marshes where the best was three Wheatear, four Avocet and a Yellow Wagtail.