Purple Sandpiper, Sheringham beach, 31st August 2014
Today was spent in the company of Bob & Sue, our long-time birding buddies, attempting to replicate our achievements over the bank holiday, when we amassed a total of 104 species in Norfolk in a single day. We got off to a reasonable start by seeing forty different birds in the Felbrigg estate before breakfast! Yesterday most of the scarce birding action was on the coast, at Winterton dunes – birds included Greenish Warbler, Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. Suffice it to say that this morning we managed to see none of the aforementioned! A short coffee break, back at base, and on to Cley NWT – from here on the birding got better and better. From Dauke’s hide we saw a good selection of waders including five Little Stint, adult moulting Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper. Down at the beach, more Curlew Sandpipers, Wheatear, Spoonbill and, out at sea, Great and Arctic Skua, Guillemot and Black Tern – up to nine, including the four roosting on Arnold’s.
However, the best was still to come. A late afternoon return visit to the play-park at Weybourne to look for the reported Rose-coloured Starling was quickly rewarded when the adult ‘Pink Stink’ flew straight across the park and on to a nearby TV ariel! On to Sheringham for a final sea watch. With absolute 100% visibility and only a weak on-shore breeze the prospects were poor but the day ended in style with a rather unseasonal and very approachable Purple Sandpiper feeding unconcerned amongst the holiday makers!
Ninety odd birds, some of real quality, made for another great Norfolk birding day out.