Had a ''Family'' weekend to Norfolk, staying at Thornham, managed a few hours birding in (of course would be rude not too!)
A walk out to Holme dunes at dawn, and with a fairly brisk Northerly it was time for a quick seawatch which produced a good number of Skua's early on before the skies cleared, a flock of 17 Bonxies flew high over the dunes and seem to head inland !a few Arctic's thru on the sea and a Leach's Petrel flew west was the highlight, otherwise it was plenty of Gannets and Auks with the odd Red throated diver past.
Yesterday's 1w R B Fly is still showing in the lone sycamore at the eastern end of the pines, and was also lucky enough to see the Yellow-browed warbler in the hand after being trapped just moments before, both superb little birds and the start of the first wave of eastern migrants to reach our shores.
After a day out in Hunstanton it was back to Holme where the Barred Warbler showed fairly well.
A much calmer day, tho an easterly breeze was looking like it was going to produce some good birds, so a walk out to Holme again produced both Spotshank and Ruff over, lots more Pinkfeet arriving and also Brambling inn off along with Siskin and two Great spot woodpeckers were fresh in.
Mipits and Chaffinch streaming overhead, and both R B Fly and Yellow brow still present, and great to see a male Brambling in the hand, thanks to the wardens.
A visit to Wells quay for lunch produced a close immature Gannet, and a filthy twitch to Burnham for the BOOTED WARBLER was surely the star bird of the weekend.
So not bad haul for just a few hours in the field.
It was a second consecutive blank with the NTGG (north thames gull group) today ! as in the birds just didn't want to know, we laid a nice bit of rotten, smelly Rainham rubbish, but birds just lazed about being non-cooperative.
Anyway it was good to see great numbers of Yellow-legs, with probably 30 birds of various ages on the tip.
Other birds of note were several Yellow Wagtails, with a steady stream of Meadow Pipit and several Reed Bunting over.
A juv Peregrine caused a bit of panic with the gull's, until seen of by a local Kestrel !
Having missed the Baillons Crake by a milli-second Today (saturday), and i mean we were in the hide as the bird disappeared into the reed's !! myself and the Dip Monkey was in for a unplanned sit and wait.
So we sat and we waited, waited some more, got some lunch, sat and waited, before we knew it it was 4pm, a whole fucking 10 hours of our lives waisted starring at reeds!! pretty much reminded me of my first Baillon's at grove ferry that took 3 attempts and almost 18 hours..........
So we left for home with our tails between our legs, and began hatching a plan to come back Sunday.
juv Marsh Harrier
Londons top (less) birder aka Kev Mcmanus
Kev says his not leaving till he see's the bird..........
So different plan, I pick Monkey up at 05:10 and we arrive at Rainham RSPB for 5:30 and soon after we are back in the hide, this time before it gets light !! at 6am Roy Woodward picks up some movement in the closet reedbed, Bingo its the bird, but only a few of us get on it, Monkey is slow of the mark, he was swinging on some bars so missed it !!!!
So a great London tick, and I'm sure its not the last we will see of this small elusive bird at this site.
a busy butt's hide.
A big Thankyou to Howard, RSPB staff and VBR's for opening early and late locking's
STOPP PRESS: Monkey ticks bird on third visit this lunch time.. wooop woooop
Myself and Mo arrive at 06:30 at Barking, already the sound of Yellow Wags over with a few alba's, a flock of c40 Meadow Pipit got up and amongst these was a single Tree Pipit (107) calling, a welcome patch yeartick.
Middle ditch held several smart Lesser Whitethroat and a Grey wag over, 3 Whinchat in the scrub was the best we could muster up, let's hope the prevailing westerlies change course!