I met my very good friend Richard Farrow at 0700 on the A149 coast road, our plan, to walk north along the track to Burnham Overy Dunes and then walk east through the dunes to as far as Holkham Pines. A spot check, and food, at one of one of the many deep, habitat-filled depressions in the dunes was followed by a long walk west back to Gun Hill, before making our way back to the path which led back to our starting point.
There was little evidence of passage seen today, however, migrant species were found, despite one other birder we met stating "Not much about, just Meadow Pipits", there was in fact plenty to see with notable species as follows:
Pink-footed Geese - thousands moving at dawn
Cormorant - hundreds west all morning
2 Marsh Harrier
4 Black-tailed Godwits
1 Bar-tailed Godwit
34+ Golden Plover
400+ Starling flock (including an albino bird)
Meadow Pipit - very common
Skylark - including one south
Song Thrush - several migrants present
2 Redwings over south and heading inland
My arrival on the A149 coast road coincided with a truly fantastic Norfolk spectacular of thousands of Pink-footed Geese flying against the Orange dawn skies. The sight and sound of this phenomena is one of the main Ornithological events which attracts so many to the North Norfolk Coast in autumn and winter.
|Pink-footed Geese at dawn over Holkham, Norfolk 3rd October|
High on one of the taller dunes sat a Kestrel surveying its surrounds, it attracted the attention of several mobbing Meadow Pipits.
|Kestrel sitting on one of the taller dunes 3rd October|
Probably one of my highlights of the day was sitting down and overlooking a deep depression with a variety of thick habitat for cover. It was clearly evident that the number of Song Thrushes present were migrant birds, also, several Robins were seen here. Late Warblers included small numbers of Blackcap and Chiffchaff.
It was here that 2 Redwings passed overhead calling and continuing their journey inland.
|Overviewing a deep depression in the dunes. Here, a few Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, several Robins, Song Thrushes, and 2 passage Redwings were seen.|
Gun Hill was fairly quiet although 3 Stonechats were found wandering around some low-growing cover.
|Redshank 3rd October|
A large flock of 400+ Starlings wandering the dunes and nearby grazing included a highly conspicuous albino bird.
Finally, back at our cars, a lovely female Marsh Harrier showed well in good light above the marsh.
As always, my thank goes to Richard for his company on our mornings/early afternoon birding.