As light improved it was clear that lots of Robins were present in the hedgerows, an indication of overnight arrivals. Further along the path, a relation of Robin, a male Stonechat, was seen in a Hawthorn. A singing Cetti's Warbler gave its explosive song.
From first light, Starlings were on a westerly passage, some flocks numbering several hundred, however, by the end of the day, several thousand Starlings were involved in this spectacular passage.
|Burnham Overy Dunes, North Norfolk, 20/10/15|
|Goldcrest in Sycamore at Holkham 20/10/15 (Possibly a migrant from Russia)|
Following this productive start in the dunes we then walked east, heading towards the Pines at Holkham Wood. Productivity continued with further Goldcrests being encountered wherever scrub habitat occured, whilst overhead, continuing waves of Starlings continued their westerly passage. These Starlings were often accompanied by Bramblings, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Siskins, Redpoll, and on one occasion 4 Crossbills, all of which were heading west.
An overview of Holkham Marshes produced a single Great White Egret flying east, this stately bird was later relocated within the marsh, and appearing very Heron like compared to the more hunched up Little Egret, of which several were seen. Also on the marsh was Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and at least 3 Kestrels.
A check of a deep scrub-filled depression in the dunes produced a number of Redwings, Song Thrushes, and Robins. Goldcrests continued to dominate, also a smart looking female Blackcap was seen in thick scrub on the side of the depression.
|Redwing at Burnham Overy Dunes 20/10/15|
Having almost reached the eastern end of Holkham Pines, we stopped for coffee and a sandwich when Richard took an excellent shot of an overhead Buzzard.
A brief stop at the northern end of Lady Anne's Drive and then Richard and myself started the long walk back through the pines and dunes.There were quiet times on the walk back, however, Goldcrests always emerged to remind us of their presence and overhead Starling passage continued.
Winter Thrushes continued to be seen in scrub within the dunes and Goldcrests were moving between trees, sometimes in a continuous stream.
|Robin at Burnham Overy Dunes 20/10/15. Good numbers indicated a 'fall'|
The walk back north along the path saw an arrival of Golden Plover, whilst the single Grey Plover was seen almost in the same spot where seen some hours earlier.
Walking between the hedgerows leading up to the coast road produced Robins, Dunnock, and another Goldcrest.
Back at our cars Richard and I reflected upon what was an excellent day for migrant activity. Earlier, whilst in the Holkham Pines we met another birder who stated there was nothing exciting to see. This annoyed me somewhat given the sheer numbers of birds present.
Sheringham, NorfolkHaving had our productive day at Burnham Overy Dunes, I then followed Richard back to his home town of Sheringham in the hope if seeing an Isabelline Shrike which was on common land. Unfortunately, this rarity, a bird I have yet to see, had moved on. A very special thanks to my very good friend Richard Farrow for making this a superb visit to the North Norfolk coast.
Birds seen/heard at Burnham Overy Dunes 20/10/15Mute Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Egyptian Goose, Mallard, Grey Partridge, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret (1), Marsh Harrier (1 female), Buzzard, Sparrowhawk (1), Kestrel (3+), Grey Plover (1), Golden Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit (one, possibly 2 overhead on passage), Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail (1), Dunnock, Robin, Redstart (1), Stonechat (3), Song Thrush, Redwing, Blackbird, Blackcap (1 female), Cetti's Warbler (3+), Chiffchaff (3), Goldcrests (hundreds), Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Bearded Tit, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Starling (thousands on westerly passage), Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Brambling (westerly passage), Linnet, Redpoll, Siskin, Crossbill (4 westerly passage). 60 Species.