Wonderful Start To Our Norfolk Tour For Two 16 October 2020

Another Tour for Two another Red-flanked Bluetail - libary photo.

We love our October tours to Norfolk but this year is different instead of our usual group of six guests we have just two thanks to COVID-19 restrictions. We arranged to meet Barry and Wendy at Holme Nature Reserve on the North Norfolk coast at 1pm, they arrived a little ahead of us and we hurried to join them in the belt of pine trees on the dunes. Here a small group of birdwatchers, nicely spaced out, were staring into the trees. Literally the first bird we enjoyed with Barry and Wendy was a lovely Red-flanked Bluetail! What a start to our week long Norfolk Tour for Two. We had enjoyed a Ring Ouzel as we drove in along the entrance track to the reserve and barry and Wendy had clocked up a good list of birds at nearby RSPB Titchwell as they had only driven from Bedfordshire. Oh, we did see Red Grouse on the way over, though not in Norfolk!

As we watched the rather elusive Bluetail we noticed the Norfolk Ornithologists Association staff do a net round, where birds that have been trapped in mist nets are collected for ringing. We went over to see what they had caught and it was great to catch up with our old friend Roger Skeen and Sophie from the bird observatory. They had mostly Goldcrests over 100 ringed already today and it was lovely to see them so close. Also a gang of Long-tailed Tits were ringed along with Chaffinches.

As we slowly combed the area seeing the Bluetail again, lots of Goldcrests and a few Blackcaps we came across a very confiding Brambling on the path a lovely encounter, photo above.

We also enjoyed Marsh Harriers, a Great Skua, Brent Geese, Pink-footed Geese, masses of waders, Redwings and much more! Not a bad start.

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