A winters day up north with the boys.
In an attempt to beat the bloody dog walkers and hooray henrys we hit Holkham first. Refusing to pay the ridiculous 8 pounds parking fee on Lady Anne's Drive we parked in the village carpark and walked. Unfortunately the Shorelarks were not to be found in the newly fenced-off area but we did have a flighty group of 13 Snow Buntings and a Chiffchaff in buckthorn behind the beach before we turned our attention to the sea. Here we eventually winkled out 2 Slavonian Grebes amongst good numbers of Eider and Red-breasted Mergansers with a few Goldeneye, Red-throated Divers and a Razorbill also loafing about. We set about leaving the site when we spotted 3 birders intently scoping an area of saltmarsh on the west side of the gap. Sploshing across to them (wet feet all round!) we were glad we did as c15 Shorelarks were on view. Despite being flighty due to constant dog and people distrubance they gave some great views. A brief sortie into the dunes behind the roped-off area revealed some old cracked specimens of Dusky Puffball
Next up was Thornham, scooping 2 Red Kites and a Common Buzzard at Burnham Overy on the way. At Thornham we quickly found 14 Twite including at least 3 colour-ringed birds plus a few Linnets, Goldfinches and Rock Pipit.
Titchwell was our final destination of the afternoon where we decided a look at the sea was a good idea. The tide was well out and the sea choppy but with perseverance we winkled out 4 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Great Northern Diver, a couple of Red-throated Divers and then a mega Black-throated Diver showing rather well. When was the last time I saw all 3 diver sp in Norfolk in a day?! Also there were Red-breasted Mergansers, Goldeneye, Common Scoters and Guillemot. The usual waders were on the beach including big numbers of Knot plus Bar-tailed Godwits, Sanderling and a summer-plumaged Dunlin. On the way back a Water Rail was showing at point blank range in a ditch by the main path opposite the visitor centre.