Tuesday 11 October 2016

A quick round-up

Saturday 8th October
Birded Happisburgh all afternoon. Lots of birds around in a cold easterly blow with a leaden sky. Tonnes of Goldcrests, Robins and Thrushes (incl. Redwing and Fieldfare). Felt 'rare' but best I could dig out were two Brambling within a small Chaffinch flock. Still felt like a proper autumn day on the east coast. Great day to be out.

Happisburgh, Norfolk

Sunday 9th October
Birded Happisburgh from 9am onwards. Better conditions (less cloudy, less windy and sunnier - so no good for migrants). Clear-out of Goldcrests - still some but less than yesterday. Heard a Brambling, saw a single Tree Sparrow (a good bird for Happisburgh apparently) and found two Firecrests in the willows opposite the paddocks.

Firecrest in Sycamores, Happisburgh, Norfolk

Bumped into Richard Moores and chatted with him for a while. Headed over to Eccles and found a Yellow-browed Warbler in the sycamores at the entrance to Eccles Beach Caravan Park. My first mainland UK Yellow-browed Warbler.

Yellow-browed in Sycamores

Heard later that James Gilroy found a Pallas's Warbler on the dungheap at the coast-watch.....ouch!! Great find but just hope I didn't miss it earlier in the day.

Monday 10th October
Happisburgh again. Met Richard Moores at 8.30am. We re-found the Pallas's in the nettle beds around the coast watch buildings. I left to fetch my heavy lens from the car and when I returned the bird had vamooshed!!
I headed over to Horsey Gap. Walked to the pipe-dump and found a female Common Redstart at the cattle pens. Nothing else of note.

Common Redstart, Horsey Gap, Norfolk

Stopped off at Great Yarmouth Cemetery en route home and twitched Tommy Corcoran's excellent Pallas's Warbler - my second in one day and a well deserved find for Tommy. Goldcrests galore, Firecrest and Yellow-browed in there also. Many Chiffchaffs too.

Pallas's Warbler, Great Yarmouth Cemetery, Norfolk

Tuesday 11th October
Happisburgh from 8.30am but very quiet save for a male Yellowhammer near the coastwatch and a Merlin buzzing through. Decided not too waste any more time searching in vain for migrants so did what I said I would avoid doing this week and chased other people's birds.
Had brief yet tickable views of the Dusky Warbler at Cromer lighthouse. A UK tick and only my third ever Dusky.
Quickly pushed on to Well's Wood for Olive-backed Pipit. Spent four hours in vain, flushed what was probably it but for a lifer I need better views. Arctic Warbler also present (didn't see this) but a second Yellow-browed there too.
Only one day left to dig something out. There's always a chance but this is not turning out to be a vintage birding year for me so hopes are not high!!

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