The weather today looked promising for birding – moderate winds from the north and east, rain on and off all day and poor visibility. We started off sea-watching at Sheringham – nothing spectacular but a reasonable passage of Skuas, mostly Arctic with a possible Long-tailed, plenty of terns, ducks, Gannet, a Guillemot and a handful of Kittiwake. Then, as there was a brief dry spell late morning, a return trip to the Italian Sparrow which, unlike yesterday performed very well. After lunch we headed towards Cley to find Pied Flycatcher which Bob & Sue needed for a year tick. They’d already been a steady trickle of scarce birds reports from along the Norfolk coast and then it came… ‘Booted Warbler at Blakeney Point’! We stopped off at Cley NWT to see the Pied Fly outside Daukes hide and then headed off for the beach carpark and the start of the three mile yomp up the Point. News came through that there was also an Icterine Warbler and a Wryneck on route, providing an additional impetus! The Icterine gave itself up pretty easily at Halfway House (unlike the bird we’d been for in the spring), a fleeting view of a Wryneck, more Pied Fly, Whinchat and we were there, staking out the Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata – a rare visitor from the eastern Russian steppes and our third Hippo species of the year! The bird obliged, with a modest amount of encouragement from the assembled crowd, by flying and perching amongst the suaeda. On the return walk we got great views of two Wryneck, more Pied Fly, Wheatear, two Spoonbill and Yellow Wagtail. A really great day.
I know we shouldn’t get excited about this bird… but I can’t help it!
One of a number of Pied Flycatchers along the Point
…the ‘prize’, Booted Warbler – a Norfolk tick for me
One of several Wryneck