31st August 2013 - Norfolk

Having seen many reports of excellent birds in Norfolk, we went slightly mad and headed up there for the day.  It’s not really a day trip for us, so possibly was a little silly!  It also turned out that all the cool birds have moved on and we didn’t get anything spectacular, although we did have an excellent day out.

Nuthatch
It started at Lyford Arboretum, looking for the Two-barred Crossbill.  It didn’t show for us, but we did add Crossbill to our year list and got a few shots of a couple of very sweet Nuthatch.  I was on top Treecreeper form, with Stuart jokingly asking me to find him one and 3 seconds later, one zooming onto the tree next to us.  I am a Treecreeper goddess.  (Although it has been suspected that I carry a wind up one and stick it to trees when people aren’t looking).  There was a tree filled with Goldcrest and Coal Tit which kept distracting from looking for the Crossbill and a rather large flock of Jackdaw flew overhead, filling the sky with a black cloud briefly. 
Wheatear
We hadn’t heard of Holme Bird Observatory before, but it was recommended as a good place to pop along to.  On the way, I managed to persuade Stuart to take a quick detour into the biggest beer shop in the country, Beers of Europe.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  I bought far too much interesting beer and could have bought many bottles more.  Definitely recommended.
Small Tortoiseshell
Holme was a delight and provided a new, if distant lifer, Arctic Skua.  We also saw flocks and flocks of Sandwich Tern, which we somehow hadn’t managed to pick up this year yet.  I think they’re a great little Tern with a bit of attitude, but Stuart finds them boring.  Boo.  A lone Shelduck flew past and Sanderling were doing their little jogging down on the shore.  When we returned to the office, we found out that a Wryneck had been seen on the adjacent NWT site, but this unfortunately proved a fruitless search.  It did turn up a Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart and Wheatear though, so not all was lost!
Black-tailed Godwit
It was then back on the road to Titchwell for lunch and a wander.  We added a lot of the more common species such as Coot, Canada Goose and Mallard to boost our day list.  A great memory of the trip there were 13 Spoonbill flying over in formation – gorgeous.  We had another Little Stint incident – ‘Stuart, is that a Little Stint.’ ‘No, no!  You’re rubbish at waders!’ 3 minutes later, a guy wanders over to point out a Little Stint.  No prizes for guessing which bird it was!  That was also a year lister and a lovely little bird.
Lapwing

 A great day, although not as bountiful as expected.  Certainly won’t be doing a day trip to Norfolk again in a long while unless something super special arrives!
Trip list: 75
Year list: 181
Lifers of year list: 23

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