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Sunday, January 27, 2008

An American Visitor

The phone rang at 4:50 this morning!! It rang once and no number was left, I would be a "bit" miffed normally but today I was off to Norfolk (I left the camera at home).

I rolled up at Dave & Joy's at 7 and we were off. We were soon seeing nice birds, within about 5 minutes of each other we had seen 3 separate Barn Owls.

But lets be honest our real target was a transatlantic visitor. It has become a bit famous and even non-birders have heard about it. And it has been there for flipping ages! Yes folks FINALLY Dave, Joy and I were going to see the White Crowned Sparrow at Cley. We duly arrived.

For those of you who don't know Cley is the Mecca of British Birdwatching. The local birders realising that a bunch of saddos would drive miles to see this got together with locals and seeded a drive. This meant the bird would be easy for birders to see, birders (a notoriously poor group of individuals, you can tell this by the £1000 bins, scopes and cameras they all carry ;) ) were asked to donate to the repair of the parish church (a particularly fine building I might add).

Anyway we waited, local birds tried for attention. Chaffinch? pah! A Barn Owl distracted us momentarily and then a hub bub. The flashy yank made its appearance, ooh nice, it flew over and was about 15 feet from me NO CAMERA!!! It didn't sit still long so I probably wouldn't have got a good shot I try to convince myself. But who cares it was a lovely view.

And may I say its nice to see that over £3000 has been collected so far.

We went to Salthouse to see if we could see a Lapland Bunting, we didn't but we had super views of 50 or so Snow Buntings. Photographers had planted food and so they and Turnstone were coming very close.

I had my phone set up to receive texts of unusual birds in Norfolk and off we went to Saxlingham for a Ross's Goose. We duly found a field with several thousand Pink-Footed Geese and there it was and a Barnacle Goose.

We then decided we were hungry and popped in to the Jolly Sailors at Brancaster. Duly sated we popped into Titchwell. Bramblings were at the feeder. Not much off see Red Throated Diver and Goldeneye but the walk through up Little Egret, Brent Geese, Ruff, Bar and Black Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Ruff, Redshank, Sanderling, Dunlin etc.

And so to home and one further Barn Owl on the way back!

A corking day in good company.

Oh picked up a super looking new book on British Dragonflies with a site guide.


Jan said...

Ok so I'll ask. Why didn't you take your cameras?

Pete said...

well I was with birders. I thought it wasn't fair to make them wait for me to take photos.

Jan said...

Birders don't take photos? Well I'm gobsmacked. Learn something new every day. Glad I just use a snap and shoot camera, I'd never get any photos!

Pete said...

well some do obviously. but the ones i with don't !

also if you want to carry a scope as well...

Tricia said...

How about a shopping basket on wheels? Then you could take your camera too :) Sounds a rewarding day with some excellent birds. All those Snow Buntings! I'd be happy to see one!

st said...

One or two choice birds there

Island Rambles Blog said...

Nice that a White Crowned sparrow visited you.. we are kind of used to them --nice article in paper.. ...why no camera???..what they can't wait for a quick photo...want photos. oh well glad you had a good day.

oldcrow61 said...

Sounds like you had a good day indeed.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see I'm not the only one around fascinated by dragonflies and the like. Love to watch them.