Sunday 14 June 2015

Return to Narborough

An early exit from work on Friday evening never materialised so I cancelled my plans to go again to Narborough for the Marsh Warbler. Instead I hit the hay early on Friday night and rose at 4.30am on Saturday morning. By 6am I was parking up at Narborough village.
I was joined by photographer John Pringle and we both proceeded to the spot along the Nar Valley Way where one other birder was present and the Marsh Warbler was singing and showing well.
I spent the next three hours there. Despite covering up well I was still devoured by mosquitoes. They even bit me through my gloves and trousers, I need to take up smoking or start wearing some industrial strength insecticide to deter them. I have ten or eleven bites on my left hand that are driving me nuts!
Anyway, all worth it because unlike Thursday evening, the bird showed very well. A little tricky for photos in poor light and moving reed stems, but I managed some nonetheless.

Marsh Warbler, Narborough, Norfolk - 13th June 2015
And of course, an obligatory video!

Youtube clip of Marsh Warbler singing

The mimicry of the song is incredible. I recognised Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Swallow, Nuthatch, a very convincing blast of Blackcap, Reed and Sedge Warbler and even mewing Buzzard. 

From Narborough I headed up towards the north-east coast, stopping for the first time at the excellent Holme dunes NWT reserve. It was a bit windy and wet but a very fine reserve as anyone who visits it on a regular basis knows. I searched around the dunes for Lesser Whitethroat (which breed there) but to no avail. You could see though why the spot can be so good for scarce migrants such as RB Shrike, Wryneck, Ring Ouzel, Redstart and so on. As I drove back out the rough track I came across this rather pretty Grey Partridge - not so common any more and not a bird I've seen too often in my lifetime.

Grey Partridge, Holme Dunes, Norfolk - 13th June 2015
I took the A149 coast road to Cley and half-thought about yomping down Blakeney Point  for the Paddyfield Warbler. But to be honest, unless it was giving decent views, I didn't feel any push to go to all that effort just to add the species to my life-list. Some would disagree with that mindset, but brief flight views may not be tickable for me and to really appreciate a bird like that I would need to have a proper look at it.
A quick coffee and bacon buttie at the impressive new Cley visitor centre and then I turned south and headed back to Norwich.

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