Thursday, 12 November 2009
Monday dawned cold but bright and we spent a delightful morning at Titchwell Reserve followed by an afternoon at Holme Dunes. We saw great crested and little grebe, little egret, greylag, brent and pink-footed geese, plovers, lapwing, ruff, skylark, meadow and rock pipit and snow bunting. Cetti's warbler was heard and some of our group were lucky enough to see a barn owl later in the day. An enchanting sight for me was watching sanderling scampering back and forth at the water's edge.
Next day we went to Cley-next-the-Sea where we enjoyed a clear sighting of bearded tit from the hide and, although still conditions meant there were less sightings at sea, gannet and red throated diver were spotted. In the afternoon at Holkham some of the group saw barn owl and short-eared owl and even a fleeting glimpse of a yellow-browed warbler. From a spectacular hide with woodland on one side and wide panoramic views on the other we saw treecreeper, pied wagtail, great spotted woodpecker, wren and stonechat.
My favourite visit of all was Snettisham which, at first glance, appeared to be just a long and wide stretch of mud reaching out to the distant Wash. But looking through binoculars revealed a wealth of birdlife including ringed plover, greenshank, knot and a large group of golden plover beautifully displaying their muted golden brown. Common and velvet scoters, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, water rail and woodcock (at Dersingham Bog) were seen too. It was also a day for huge flocks of starlings and geese to come flying in from colder lands - it was a stunning sight.
Snettisham offered a peaceful wilderness and a perfect ending to a very enjoyable holiday. In four days we saw 134 species, although without Sean's keen eyes we felt the total was likely to be lower!