First trip this year to the Norfolk Coast, and with both Mike and David. Would we get a special bird for a special day?
First stop was North Point Pools to get our bearing and check Birdguides. Twenty Blackwits, Avocets, Redshank, Shelduck, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper. A wing-tagged Marsh Harrier and distantly a Cuckoo calling. A decent first stop.
Titchwell seemed to be our best bet so we headed west. But first we stopped at Choseley Barns for the remaining Dotterel that had been reported that morning. We scanned with no luck but were saved when a birder found it sat down. We could just see a very peachy breast and a darker head but the heat haze made getting more detail difficult, but even in the heat haze I could see it turn its head.
With year tick 172 in the bag we went on to Titchwell. The three 1st year Little Gulls put on a decent display both on the ground and in flight. Our search for more birds was rudely interrupted by Mike who had found a Grey-Headed Wagtail on the bank. This bird had been seen yesterday but not so far today. We managed to get terrific views, even down to the gorget of dark feathers indicating its first year plumage. We managed to get a few others on to telescope views of this before it flew off over the reserve centre.
We got a few more birds - Mediterranean Gulls, Spoonbills, a couple of Little Terns on the tidal lagoon, Sanderlings on the beach, and then sat down on a bench by the reed bed; three old men on a day out, talking nonsense and pulling each others legs, and inbetween whiles we got first class views of Bearded Tit and Reed Warbler. So often birds ticked on sound not sight.
Just time to go back and check on the Dotterel. We decided that if it was still sat in the same place I would have to admit defeat. And there it was. Number 172. A lump of flint.
Phone scope pic of Grey Headed Wagtail