Saturday, 12 January 2008

White-crowned Sparrow twitch (and a few others)

Got up at 5 this morning with Simeon, full of anticipation for the day ahead, and somewhat worried thanks to Jyothi who was coming to Norfolk later that day (scary, I know!), but seriously, he was hitching a lift with a guy who regularly drives 130mph on the way to get birds (Unfortunately I called Jyothi later to find that they had broken down in Slough - I hope his day had a happy ending)! Matt, Nigel and Mr Munns had all been unable to come with us, so I had a great opportunity for driving through some huge puddles!
We left before 6 and arrived at Cley shortly before 8 with a crowd of people already gathered. We managed to get a reasonable spot, and an hour later it appeared! A huge surge of people across the road ensued and we saw nothing thanks to some mysterious floating heads which appeared in view. Angry shouts erupted and the bird soon popped back in. A guy near me left as he had decent views and kindly pulled me into his space! Simeon meanwhile was kneeling on the road near the front of the pack. Suddenly it reappeared again!!!! There was less of a surge this time and we both got cracking views, leaving immediately to make space.
Next stop Walsey hills. After going to the toilet behind the obs we quickly relocated Thursday's Firecrest - best views either of us has ever had! We notified a nearby birder and zoomed off for the Laplands at Salthouse. 5 minutes later: score! One with a large flock of snow buntings showed well.
We left at 9:45 for the Great Grey Shrike at Roydon, deliberately via the White-crowned Sparrow to make people behave and move off the road (hehe!). The road seemed a lot longer. We got to Roydon and our luck seemed to be running out. However, after quite a long wait and a chat with a bearded fellow it reappeared some way off on a hill. The views were rubbish, but it was tickable and we'd seen one there before so we moved on to the Richard's Pipit at Terrington Marsh.
A short drive and a long walk later we arrived to find everyone watching Twite. A kind couple showed us where we should be looking, then relocated it for us! It was gorgeous, a much sought-after target for us, and showed very well. Picking up the Twite, we left at about 13:00. Deciding against going to Titchwell via Docking (to look for Ross' Goose) we went to Saddlebow to find ourselves a Glaucous. All the gulls were in the air, so we left immediately and stopped off at Tottenhill on the way home instead.
Tottenhill was not what it once was. No Smew, and few ducks, though we did see some gorgeous Gadwall, a Barnacle Goose and a Whitefront too, and learnt how to identify 1st winter Common gulls properly.
Wow! What a day! Possibly the best day birding we have ever had. And that's used up pretty much all of our 2008 birding-luck quota!

Year lists: James - 93, Simeon - 89

1 comment:

Joe Ray said...

Rub it in, rub it in ;)
4 hours in Slough, then got lost, made it to cley at about 5pm (dark, of course). No happy ending (full report with censored language on my blog).
Glad you go the bird though guys, I'll be up on Saturday, just hope the f*cking car doesnt break down again :O.
Jyothi (Joe's easier..)