6th May 2014 – Spring Migration in NW Norfolk

We started at Snettisham Coastal Park. The early morning rain was slow to clear, but Swallows and House Martins were streaming overhead from the start, together with a few Swifts. As the sun finally came out, several Yellow Wagtails were moving south over the beach and two Greenshanks flew over calling. At the north end, a group of Whimbrel fed in the short grass, together with a couple of Wheatears. Flopping around in the hawthorns, a female Cuckoo put on a good show. Butterflies were also much in evidence, the highlight being a single Brown Argus. We had hoped to get a good look at a Grasshopper Warbler, but they had been strangely silent all morning. We were almost back to the car when one finally started reeling and, with a bit of careful manoeuvering, we had it perched up in front of us.

In the afternoon, we moved on to Holme. The Hirundines were still pouring through overhead, in even greater numbers than they had in the morning, with a much larger number of Swifts as well. A delicate purring in the paddocks revealed a delightful pair of Turtle Doves, which we watched while two Cuckoos chased around in front of us as well. A Hobby flashed through overhead, another Grasshopper Warbler reeled from the bushes and a distant Whinchat perched on the brambles over the grazing marsh. We were almost ready to leave when a message alerted us to an Osprey heading our way, which duly passed over the marsh to the south of us. Still we were not done, and while we were driving back out of the reserve, we stopped to enjoy a stunning drake Garganey on a small pool by the road.

A cracking day out!

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