Norway, Varanger and the Arctic North - Trip report by Tormod Amundsen

Back in May this year I was lucky enough to join a trip to Arctic Norway organised to promote birding in the Varanger area. I've already posted a trip report within this blog but the organiser and guide Tormod Amundsen has produced a great trip report himself and here it is:

We intend running a trip to Varanger(aka the 'Accessible Arctic') in the near future so if anyone is interested please drop us a line.

Horsey, Norfolk, 27 October 2011

Some point blank views of a very confiding 1w Daurian Shrike beside the coastal track between Horsey Gap and the Nelson's Head Track this afternoon. The bird paid no attention to the small group of birders and passing walkers as it fed actively on wasps from the top of brambles. At times showing down to just 4 yards!
The only down side was that I didn't have my camera with me! 
This was the 1st county record since 1996 when there was one in almost the same spot.

A Common Buzzard was also seen over a copse by the coast road near West Somerton.

Boyton Marshes, Suffolk, 6 October 2011

I could afford to be relaxed about this one having seen the South Ronaldsay bird 2 years ago but a Sandhill Crane is a Sandhill Crane after all so it would have been criminal to have let it pass by!
Upon arrival on Boyton Marshes it had flown south along the seawall so a 20 minute stomp later I arrived at the spot a few people were watching it from only for it to fly back past us and into the distance to the north. Eventually and after another even longer walk I managed to get within about 200 meters of this fine adult bird. High winds hampered photography but I managed to get a few passable record shots. Nothing much else of note there except 40+ Skylarks, Little Egret and a dodgy Bar-headed Goose. The latter no doubt a vagrant from the Netherlands!