The previous evening saw at least a 3 hour period of heavy, violent thunderstorms over my home area of Watton, however, other reasonably local areas missed these altogether. Despite this grey and misty conditions were met with at the coast and it remained dry with a light northerly wind.
Dave and myself then walked the path north for about a mile and a half until we reached the dunes. On route we saw a splendid Barn Owl on one of the fence posts beside the path. A little further along a Grey Wagtail was heard to be followed shortly after by the first migrant, a Wheatear.
Having arrived at dunes it was clear that the first small patch of dense Bramble/Hawthorn scrub was playing host to a calling Yellow-browed Warbler.
My intention this morning was to sit and wait at this fantastic area of scrub to watch what it had on offer, especially as this sheltered area appeared to have all the right qualities for tired, hungry migrant birds. It transpired that I had actually been sitting on a slight slope, overlooking the area for some 3 hours or so, but it was worth it.
The following is a list of the bird species seen within this small area of Bramble, Hawthorn, Dog Rose, and Elder habitat:
1 Sparrowhawk over east
Meadow Pipits over
6+ Swallows over east
1 Redstart (male)
2 Yellow-browed Warblers
4+ Garden Warblers
1 Willow Warbler
1 Lesser Whitethroat
1 Red-breasted Flycatcher
|Yellow-browed Warbler at Burnham Overy Dunes 20/09/14|
|Red-breasted Flycatcher at Burnham Overy Dunes 20/09/14|
|Garden Warbler (one of 4) Burnham Overy Dunes 20/09/14|
At least 4 Garden Warblers were seen in this small area, often seen in Hawthorn and Bramble, they also were frequently seen hanging on tall weeds jus above ground level, to feed. This behaviour and habitat choice is somewhat different from it very arboreal needs during the breeding season. Often described if field guides as somewhat non-descript, a tell-tale feature which is useful when comparing to other similarly marked Warblers is the pale grey patch on the neck-sides.
Also seen in close association with the Garden Warblers was at least 3 Blackcaps, a stunning Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, and on the periphery, a single male Redstart. A single Whinchat made a brief appearance on a bush top before moving off again.
Although the Yellow-browed Warblers and Red-breasted Flycatchers were the highlights at this patch of habitat, these and the commoner species here, all more or less sociable and with one aim, all provided a very memorable event, an event which is what bird migration is all about.
I had to drag myself away at some point to make my way back to the parking area, although hard to do, the memory of this morning will stay with me.
On the walk back the highlight was 3 Spoonbills which flew together west.
At the time of my arrival at the parking area first thing at 0600, I was the only car there, however, when I got back, the parking area was full and cars lined the lane leading north to Burnham Thorpe.