Thursday, 3 March 2016

Lapland Buntings at Blakeney

An early start found Brian and me at a freezing Blakeney Harbour by 8.15. As we walked out towards the sea, we met a couple of returning birders who told us "Don't waste your time: the Laps have gone!" Thanking them for their advice, we carried on anyway, and within five minutes were standing within a couple of metres of a small flock of around ten of these lovely birds!

Looking at the photos, you can easily see why the species is occasionally referred to as 'Lapland Longspur'! While we enjoyed close views of these (by the simple expedient of standing still and waiting for them to come to us!) other birds dropped in: half a dozen Twite, lots of Reed Buntings and good flocks of Linnets, Skylarks and Mipits.

After an hour, we headed back eastwards to Cley, more for a warming coffee than in the hope of adding to the day's tally! A walk along East Bank revealed the terrific new shelter, from where we added Little Egret, Brent and more Linnets to the list. A few Red-throated Divers headed west, but little else was available...

Last stop was Kelling Heath, where - despite the bright sunlight - no Dartfords or Woodlarks came out to play. Best birds were a pair of Ravens circling with a Buzzard (one of several we saw there) and a few perky Long-tailed Tits.

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