Norfolk Custom Tour For Two Day Two Holkham Cley And More 26 February 2023

Barn Owl 1.jpg

We had super views of Barn Owls on this Custom Tour for Two in North Norfolk.

Pre-breakfast in the hotel garden produced two Barn Owls – always such a thrill to see. Marsh Harriers, Red Kites and a Kestrel added to the birds of prey list along with displaying Stock Dove and Reed Buntings in the hedgerow – good start.

After a delicious breakfast we drove east to Burnham Overy Staithe and parked on the beach a beautiful spot with plenty of birds. Two Spoonbills were on the saltmarsh along with Little Egrets and hunting Red Kites. In the low water channel a big flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese chilled out on the sand along with Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plover. Nearer to us we enjoyed close looks at Black-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone and two showy Rock Pipits.

Yellowhammer Norfolk Sept

So wonderful to hear bird song again in the mornings including Yellowhammers.

A short drive further east took us to a viewpoint overlooking Holkham Marsh, a wonderful spot. Skylarks sang overhead and Yellowhammer belted out his “little bit of bread and no cheese” song from the hedge. Out on the marsh so many birds to enjoy including a big flock of Barnacle Geese, such beautiful birds. Then a nice surprise three Russian White-fronted Geese not usually seen at this end of the marsh, distant but good views with the superb telescopes. Lots of raptors here too with Common Buzzards, Red Kites, Marsh Harriers and Kestrel.

Further east we opted for an early lunch at Wiverton Café as we were passing, a rather strange place with some what hap hazard service but the food was good. At Cley beach the wind seemed even stronger and looking out to sea was hopeless the waves were huge and our eyes watered so much we hardly saw a bird! A flock of Golden Plover in the field behind the beach were beautiful to see in the sunshine. While watching these waders we heard news that the over wintering Long-billed Dowitcher, in the area since October 2022 but mobile, had been seen at Stiffkey back to the west. We jumped in the car and drove west! Stiffkey Fen is a pool by the busy main road with no parking so we had a walk to reach the spot. We were at the east end and the birds were at the west end but distant, the telescopes were put to good use checking through a flock of Black-tailed Godwits and yes there was the rarity! The Long-billed Dowitcher was feeding amongst its taller cousins in an area of wet grassland but tricky to see. We walked, very carefully, along the road and found a spot where it was wide enough to set up the scopes safely on the grass verge and here the views were better. A car drew up along the road close to the birds, out jumped a “birder” and off went every bird! What an idiot he had flushed all the birds by being way to close. Hopefully he didn’t see the dowitcher. All the waders flew high to west passing over us so we had flight views but not what we wanted. As we headed back to the car other birders were arriving hoping to see the rarity, they were not happy to hear it had been flushed by one selfish person.

As we were now at Stiffkey we parked overlooking the vast saltmarsh where we were in the sun and reasonably sheltered and it felt almost warm. Lots to see here with Marsh Harriers and Red Kites just about constantly in view, singing Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Stonechats, Brent Geese and a wonderful Barn Owl that came so close! Lovely relaxing end to the end.

We run our Birdwatching Trips throughout the year a mix of set departure tours and custom-made trips perfect for you! To book your custom tour or any of our set departure trips please email us here….

We can then make all the arrangements for your perfect Birdwatching Trips tour.

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