Thursday May 21
This was due to be a day birding with Aileen and Bridget. Unfortunately, the rain had delayed the completion of A's new flat roof so they had to cancel. We went anyway. Not as early as usual, it was gone eight before we set off. First stop, our usual Spotted Flycatcher spot, they didn't let us down. Two of the little delights fed and perched in the car park.
Choseley eventually obliged with a single Corn Bunting before parking at Titchwell. We're trying to get our May Norfolk list up to scratch. The Fen Trail had the usual Reed Warbler but it wasn't singing much. The first Coot chicks scooted about the pond, a Cuckoo called in the distance.
The rough meadow is resplendent with Southern Marsh Orchids, most of them in full fresh flower. Lovely.
Pam's back was feeling very sore to-day, benches were welcome.The freshwater marsh had dozens of Avocets, a single Pochard. a few Black-tailed Godwits and blaspheming male Shoveller. I tried holding my Ixus up to the scope lens in Scptland for the first time. I tried again to-day and took this photo of a Shoveller. I think it's worth persisting......
Ray Kimber was on duty at the big pool nearest the Centre. I stopped to see what was going on. I just managed to scope a female Red-crested Pochard-and her scurrying ducklings-before they disappeared behind a reed island.The first time they've bred here. Pam had walked on and missed them.......There was also a Little and a Great-crested Grebe and a pair of Ruddy Ducks there.
Two lovely summer plumaged Grey Plover and a small flock of Ringed Plover plus one Ruddy Turnstone at Brancaster Staithe. Lunch at Holkham Park was pretty birdless, apart from two handsome Barnacles among the Greylag.
The Triangle at Cley had parking space for us to shorten the walk to Daukes. We met Richard the Hat on the way out and he always stops for a chat. He's a mine of local information too. A Spoonbill flew past, disappearing into a ditch but we still went on to the hides, despite being told that was all there was there. No it wasn't. We added another two Spoonbills, one Little Ringed Plover, a dozen Dunlin and.... the Collared Pratincole flew in. It landed on the mud in front of Daukes but was very restless, changing position frequently. I gave up trying to photo it. A pair of Garganey showed on the wash behind the left hand pool - Richard had gone off to try to see them on Billy's Wash. That's birding.