Why a red letter day I hear someone ask? Well for two reason, firstly today we made it over the one hundred mark for birds, our one hundredth bird was a bullfinch and as so often is the case once we had seen one we saw a couple more later in the day.
The second reason is that four new birds where ‘red’ Redwing, Redpoll, Mealy Redpoll and Black redstart!
Beginning at the beginning, it was a very wet morning and one we could have easily decided to spend at home in the warm but we stuck to the plan we had and went off to Blakeney, hoping to get the birds we missed yesterday.
We ploughed through the mud and saw the usual gulls, waders and geese but not what we had hoped for. On further investigation it seems we had misunderstood where they are but decided that today was not the day to trek out for them.
We decided to drive down the coast to Sheringham detouring on the way to try to see a reported Mealy redpoll, success in among a small flock of Lesser redpolls…two for the price of one!
By the time we arrived at Sherringham it was beginning to brighten up so we went for a stroll to see what was on the beach. We were pleased to get our first Ring plover alongside Oystercatchers and gulls.
We called in at Whelks Copper, one of the rare cafes on the front that is open all year and got a really warm welcome.
Whilst drinking our coffee we got chatting to another birder who was telling us that his sister had seen a Black redstart in the cafe garden yesterday but he hadn’t seen it. Seconds later it was there, on one of the outside tables. It stayed the briefest of moments, time for one click of the camera (very blurry sadly) it hopped on to the wall then flew. We lingered a while but decided to be satisfied with the brief sighting we had over our coffee.
After a lovely walk we had lunch by the sea keeping our eyes open to see what might arrive. Amazingly not till we had broken through the hundred barrier did we see a Pied wagtail, we often have them in the garden but not this year we had to wait for a seaside one!
Just as we were keeping our eyes open for birds the gulls kept an eye on us as we ate but they were out of luck, no chips or bread to throw for them, we were armed with yummy food in our trusty flasks.
What a good idea Sherringham have had to brighten up the necessary walls.
I am sure the chap with a red hat and white beard is someone that lives in our village!
Our last port of call was Sculthorpe moor, a hawk and owl trust reserve and one we hadn’t visited for some time. We were very impressed, friendly helpful people, a well kept and improved site and one special bird for us too! We saw lots of small birds which another day I will try to photograph but not today as we only had a short while there. We got chatting to Norman a volunteer there and as we were leaving the hide at the same time he said he would show us the nest box used by a Tawny owl. He said he never sees it but would show us the position so we could keep an eye out for it. The box is sensibly set deep away from paths and through lots of trees but oh yes it was there sitting in the entrance to his home. The distance really tested the little camera I had with me but I do have a picture, far from sharp I know but I can’t resist sharing it with you.
We will be returning to Sculthorpe before long on hopefully a brighter day. Today has been a lovely day with eight birds added to our number.
If you don’t like lists stop here as I have listed what birds we have seen thus far! (I have listed them in the order they appear on my record bird list and not the order in which we saw them.)
Great Crested Grebe
European Golden Plover
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Shore Lark (horned lark)
107 birds so far I wonder what the years total will be