"For now we are young let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see" Neutral Milk Hotel.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Great Birding - the power of the sea!

I headed out via my mountain bike at dawn & following Andy's tip stopped off briefly & successfully nr Old Hunstanton church, 5 minutes knocked off Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch & Coal Tit! 

I then headed to Holme, halfway down the beach road I slewed to a halt, the Short-eared Owl was hunting over the horse paddocks, good start to the day. 

I spent an hour at Gore Pt, 1 & then 2 Redpolls (claiming these as Lesser, boys!) flew over head, good bird considering the paucity of birds around.
The sea from here was still heaving with Red-throats, Great Crested grebe, Red-breasted merge, a dozen Eider flew by, auks, Kittiwake, 6 Long T Duck, but no year-ticks!

I tried off the Firs & met up with Robert, we then scanned for 30 mins, plenty of birds & eventually another good bird - Velvet Scoter, female flying east. With a report of Great N Diver & Slavs off Gore Pt from another birder I hot-fotted back to there. En-route I heard the "chu" call overhead & managed to bin a flyover Lap Bunt!! It was heard again by a few people at Gore Pt a while later. 

Back at Gore Pt, we met up with Andy & Robin. More action with a Black-throated Diver, then a cracking female Merlin went cruising through the creek. More red-throats & eventually a big lumpy Great Northern Diver  flew west. Birds were moving continuously, Red-throats, Mergs & at least 6 Long-T-Duck, plus Andy caught up with several Kittiwake.
I then picked up a cracking male Goosander flying east, another really good patch bird, fortunately year-listers 7 visitors all nailed it. Also a lovely flock of c70 Snow Bunts were on the beach below us.

We headed back to the Firs & tried the sea from here again! No new year birds, but lots of good stuff, 1 Black-throated Diver, 2 Red-necked Grebe, 15+ Red-throated Diver, 4 Goldeneye, 1700 2 flyby Long T Duck, more Mergansers, auks & GC Grebes.

By now it was gone 2pm so we all headed for home, I cycled back along the River Hun. I stopped off & scanned c400 Dark-bellied Brent, locating 1 juv Pale-bellied Brent. 

I topped off a good days birding on the patch with a Stock Dove on fields just before reaching Hunny.

74 species recorded today. Year list moves on to 101 (new year birds in bold!)

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