17th May 2014 – The Burnhams

Day 1 of a two day tour today. The brief was to visit some different sites, and avoid the main nature reserves, so we focused on the central North Norfolk coast. Another gloriously warm and sunny day, it was a pleasure to be out again.

A gentle walk out gave us a good opportunity to study the differences between such tricky species pairs as Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, and Reed and Sedge Warbler. We heard a Bittern booming and were then delighted to see one flying back, and later forth, over the reeds, and on our return another long flight away to feed. A real delight to see so well. Small groups of Bearded Tits were zooming around the reeds as well. Several Spoonbills passed overhead, enabling us to compare them in flight with the many Little Egrets, and one landed briefly nearby, though tantalisingly out of view. Out in the dunes, we found a Wheatear and a single Yellow Wagtail flew over calling. We spent some time watching Little Terns on the beach and a good selection of waders. Lots of butterflies were out today as well, with Brown Argus, several Small Coppers and lots of Small Heaths now on the wing.

We got a bit carried away with the walk in the morning, and ended up coming back for a late lunch. It didn’t leave us as much time to explore in the afternoon. However, we still heard another Bittern booming, saw several more Spoonbills including one which stopped to feed, and found a Greenshank feeding on a small pool on the grazing marsh. We walked back to the sound of a Cuckoo calling, suitably tired from a long day out in the field.

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