Tuesday 30 May 2023

A Norfolk Weekender - Day 1 - 20th May 2023

A www.blueeyedbirder.com adventure:

A relatively relaxed start saw us convene at The Street in Kelling at 8.30 for a late spring wander down the track to the Water Meadows and Quags.  It was a glorious morning but a little cooler than anticipated with Blackcaps and Lesser Whitethroats in song and Rooks cawing overhead.

Down closer to the pools there were Oystercatchers displaying around the margins and engaged in synchronised slow flights and singles of Common Sandpiper and Dunlin feeding.  Gadwall and Little Grebes were on the water with Azure Damselflies around the margins.


A Sedge Warbler put on a fine show from his favourite Alexanders stem and Whitethroat, Linnet, Reed Bunting and three pairs of Stonechat were also seen but the Marsh Harriers failed to flush anything whatsoever from the fields.

Sedge Warbler 

Sedge Warbler 


Marsh Harrier

A stream of sponsored Cancer research walkers strode west along the shingle bank on their way from Cromer to Holkham and we would encounter them throughout the day.  The sea, as expected was dead.

Marsh Harrier

The walk back was in marginally warmer conditions and the shelter of the double hedge had provoked a few insects into live with Wall Browns, Speckled Woods, Green-veined and Small White, Orange Tip, Peacock, Holly Blue and Green Hairstreak all seen along with a few small Bees, four species of Hoverfly and a magnificent female Broad-bodied Chaser.  Brown Tail and Oak Eggar moth caterpillars were seen and the former avoided.

Wall Brown

Wall Brown


Green-veined White

Green Hairstreak

Oak Eggar 

Brown Tail 

Xanthogramma pedissequum

Eupeodes luniger

Pyrochroa serraticornis

Broad-bodied Chaser

Broad-bodied Chaser

Broad-bodied Chaser

Tea at the Old Reading Room was called for and we sat outside in the sunshine listening to the Rooks and Swallows and picking up Sparrowhawk and Cuckoo as they both flew over.  The ginger cake was excellent as ever!

West to the East Bank for a slightly chilly walk down to the beach. Green Tiger Beetles scurry-flew along the path in front and Bearded Tits accompanied us the whole way although it took a while to actually clap eyes on them!  Reed Warblers were more accommodating while the Sand Martins zipped and fizzed around us in small energetic parties.

Green Tiger Beetle

Green Tiger Beetle

The Serpentine and Arnolds Marsh held no passage waders bar a small group of Black-tailed Godwits and out over Cley the local Marsh Harriers were getting severe grief from a cloud of Avocets.

Red Campion

Black-tailed Godwit

On down to the visitors centre passing a flying Bittern on the way, for a picnic lunch with Large Red Damselflies for company.  Marsh Harriers showed incredibly closely and a Spoonbill flew East and appeared to drop in.

Marsh Harrier

A walk out onto the actual reserve was called for and we ambled down to the trio of hides taking I the insect life that was enjoying the sunny shelter of the Brambles.  Tropidia scita was the best Hover but there were many male Andrena bees and quite a few more Damselflies along with a Hairy Hawker and a couple more Wall Browns.

Tropidia scita

Andrena sp male

Wall Brown

Lipara lucens fly gall

A Hobby zipped over and Bearded Tits once again crossed our path. Swallows were nesting in all three sections and posed nicely inside, outside and on the top while Avocets chaperoned their small fluffy youngster and kept an eye out for the marauding Marsh Harriers.  Broods of Egyptian, Greylag and Canada Geese were seen and our hunt for small waders eventually produced results with two Little Ringed Plovers, six Ringed Plovers, two ginger Little Stints and a creeping olive Temminck’s Stint.  It was good to see both pairings together.





Still brooding

On again to North Point Pools to round the day up.  There was a similar collection of birds with Avocets, Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Lapwings amongst the loafing Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls and two Common Sandpipers bobbed around the edges.  The meadows were a carpet of Meadow Buttercups interspersed with pink patches of Ragged Robin and were quartered by several Marsh Harriers of both sexes but they took exception to a low flying Red Kites and there was some noisy interaction between both species send us home with smiles.

No comments:

Post a Comment