Norfolk rares, 21 May 2017

My weekend began on Saturday with a long walk in the Gorleston/Hopton area but with little to report. Despite looking I failed to locate the odd/eastern Starling that Jeremy Gaskell had found a couple of days previously. The only things of any note were plenty of Common Whitethroats and Sand Martins along the undercliff and 2 singing Lesser Whitethroats along Warren Lane. It was however pleasing to note just how common House Sparrows are in Gorleston, simply everywhere!

House Sparrow

So, fast forward to Sunday and a day out with Jus and Andy. We began at a 'secret' location and despite fearing we'd have to wait ages we were watching a male Montagu's Harrier within minutes. Initially on the deck but then some great flight views as it showed off its radio transmitter aerial before disappearing miles into the distance. Also there we had a Barn Owl, Common Buzzard and a curious record of an adult Mediterraneam Gull that flew through!

Choseley Drying Barns was next and with some effort we eventually located 3 Dotterel in the stony field west of the barns. We got sufficiently good views to id them as a female and 2 males.  As there wasn't much else of note there we retired to the cafe at Titchwell for a cuppa before heading east to Cley where the boys were keen to see the Iberian Chiffchaff, especially Jus as he'd dipped it when I saw it in the week. It proved a real pain but eventually some adequate views were obtained and it also responded half-heartedly to a tape. Other than common warblers and a Little Grebe on Snipes Marsh that was about it. Simmonds Scrape and Pats Pool at Cley were a waste of time with no migrant waders apart from 4 Dunlin plus a late drake Wigeon and Stock Dove - yawn!

We saved the rarest thing for last with some good directions leading us to a lovely flowering clump of the uber-rare May Lily at what is thought to be it's only wild UK site. We finished with a roadside Red Kite

May Lily

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