Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Shorelarks and Great White Egret at Holkham: day two of my birthday minibreak!

Being resident on the North Coast for a couple of days, even a leisurely breakfast didn't prevent Linda and I being among the first cars at Lady Anne's Drive! A brisk walk out to the east of the gap soon produced reasonable views of a flock of nine Shorelarks (despite the inevitable unleashed dogs!) As we walked back we bumped into Chris and Justin Lansdell - I don't recall ever seeing the two brothers together before! Great to chat...

With half an hour still on the parking ticket, we carried on through the pines to the Washington Hide, where a distant Great White Egret gave reasonable views (especially when it was being harassed by a Grey Heron!)

From Holkham we continued westwards to Hunstanton, where Linda and I enjoyed some of our first birding excursions together over thirty years ago: hardly anything has changed! A walk  into town along the cliffs gave us excellent close-ups of the Fulmars, while on the sea were dozens of Red-breasted Mergansers and a few Great Crested Grebes.

Following lunch in the excellent 'Tina's Cafe' we retraced our steps to Titchwell. Not much to add to Saturday's birds, but Grey Plover, Goldeneye and Water Pipit were new. The Water Rail was still in his ditch!

On Monday morning we checked out of the Nelson and revisited Thornham Fruit Farm: the staff had kindly said we could help ourselves to as many windfall apples as we wanted (for our garden birds!) In the event we braved the wind and rain and went away with three bags-full, as well as some terrific fruit and veg for us!

We drove home along the North Coast, adding to the list Barn Owl at Burnham Thorpe, Snow Buntings at Salthouse and a couple of Bramblings in the carpark at Felbrigg.

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