birdwatching Sheringham Cley and lady Anne’s Drive Holkham


We decided to make use of the dry weather whilst it lasted and therefore we were out bright and early Before we had left the flat we had seen a Greater Spotted woodpecker in the garden and 4 Jays. There was also a Black Phesant probably just a colour morph but very distinctive. We headed for a walk at the end of Lady Annes Drive and were there by 8 am. On the lake by the path were a pair of Little Grebes calling to each other. A spoonbill flew over us and on the marshes a mottley collection of geese consisting of Greylags, Canadas, a pair of Egyptian Geese together with a Mute Swan were busily feeding. In the field beside the drive were Wigeon and Teal both quite close to us and very colourful. A male Ring Ouzel was feeding with the blackbirds at the end of the drive. This was a lovely surprise as it is a few years since I had seen one of these birds. Early migrants were everywhere, Chiffchaffs appeared to sing from every possible bush or small tree Robins, Wrens, Dunnocks. Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Long Tailed Tits were abundant.  A Goldcrest darted about an ivy covered tree. A stoat ran in front of the hide whilst we were sat there and a muntjac was seen lurking in the hedgerow. As we made our way back to the car a Red Kite flew over us and we managed to see a total of 4 Marsh Harriers some came very close to the hide.

Having started the day and just seen a Sparrowhawk  fly in front of us, we pressed on towards Cley nature reserve where we immediately saw Brent Geese feeding on the marsh. Two Spoonbills were engrossed in sleeping on a lagoon in front of North hide. We found two bright male Pintail ducks. We also picked up Shoveler, Pochard, Mallard, Gadwell and Tufted Ducks. We found 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls on lagoons in the centre of the reserve. Outside on the boardwalk we stopped and waited and found serveral Bearded Tits and heard a Cetti’s Warbler.

Our waders included Oystercatchers, Avocets, Golden Plover 3 summer plummage adults were on the eye field with a group of Lapwing, a Snipe was lurking in the edge of the reeds whilst Black Godwits, Redshank and Curlew fed in the ditches. On the sea we saw small groups of Sandwich Terns passing through. On the Eyefield we found 2 Wheatears a sure sign of spring alongside some Linnets and Meadow Pipits. Suitably refreshed and happy we drove on towards Sheringham for a bit of seawatching.  On the front were crowds of people with picnics and ice creams and cycles, scooters, pushchairs. nevertheless we settled down to watch and soon saw a few Turnstones amongst the rocks  we had picked out most of the common gull species  ( Black Headed, Herring, Common, Lesser black Backed and Greater Black Backes and were just getting weary when another star bird a first winter Glaucous Gull can close to the shore and settled on the sea where we could all easily see it. The colour of a milky cappuchino with streaks it was another lovely surprise. So another successful day with  77 species of bird seen and 6 new species seen for the year making the total at 136.

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