Not to be deterred though, myself and Nick Watmough met up at 8am this morning in Norwich and headed for the coast to look for migrants.
First stop was Bure Park in Great Yarmouth where a Garganey had been reported the previous day. British summer-time had officially started but it still felt Baltic as we got out of the car.
As is customary at this stage, a Barn Owl put in an appearance hunting along the ditch in front of the car park. Norfolk really seems to be a stronghold for this species. Within five minutes we had located a Garganey pair sleeping along the edge of a small pool along with some Pochard. A summer migrant at last. The bird got a little spooked as we approached, I got a few snaps before leaving it be. On the way out of Bure Park I noticed a row of Daffodils with their heads still closed, hard to believe on the 1st April.
|Garganey, Bure Park, Great Yarmouth - 1st Aprl 2013|
I stopped briefly along the road out of Winterton to snap this Red-legged Partridge in a ploughed field, Nick assures me I'll grow tired of them in time but for the moment they're nice to see.
|Red-legged Partridge - near Winterton, Norfolk|
We drove on to Sea Palling where a large gull flock in recent days had included Med, several Glaucous and Caspian Gull(s). When we got there the flock had spread out, many of them were loafing out on the water with some on the reefs. The best we could pick out was a 1st winter Kittiwake. Not a bad bird for the area I'm told, but Caspian would have been nicer.
|1st winter Kittiwake, Sea Palling, Norfolk - 1st April 2013|
We parked at the train station and walked up to the hide, three Ruff, several Dunlin, two Redshank and two or three Ringed Plover were the best here. Sadly no sign of any LRPs. Wigeon numbers are still high in the fields either side of the road though.
|Eurasian Wigeon - Buckenham Marshes RSPB - 1st April 2013|
|Lapwing, Buckenham Marshes RSPB - 1st April 2013|
So that wraps up my Easter birding. The winter weather continues but I had two lifers (Grey Partridge and Tawny Owl) and several additions to my UK list (Great Grey Shrike, Red-legged Partridge, Garganey and Water Pipit). Hopefully the spring migs will start to trickle in soon!