Male Common Redstart
Today was always about Burnham Overy Dunes on the North Norfolk coast. Thick fog overnight and Easterly winds held so much promise.
I arrived at 06:15 and it was still foggy though this lifted quite quickly. I headed straight for the end of the sea wall already noting good numbers of small birds in the bushes. As I reached the Brambles at the North end of the wall it was clear that the fog had held back most of yesterdays birds. Two Red-breasted Flycatchers gave themselves up but the Yellow-browed Warbler took a bit longer. Lots of common migrants here such as Lesser Whitethroat, Common Redstart and Garden Warbler.
First winter Red-breasted Flycatchers
A walk toward Holkham Pines proved fruitful with a THIRD Red-breasted Flycatcher showing well. The long staying Barred Warbler was a bit more elusive but eventually showed itself. More and more common migrants were seen with huge numbers of Northern Wheatear and Common Redstart. I sat on a dune overlooking the Sallows and heard a high pitched whistle which drew me to another Yellow-browed Warbler. Overhead it was plain that birds of all shapes and sizes were on the move, groups of Eurasian Jays, Thrushes, Common Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and two Eurasian Hobbys were all seen. A Great Bittern was seen flying East over Holkham Freshmarsh.
Eurasian Jay...on the move.
Heading back toward the sea wall I could see birds that seemed to be flying in from the sea and diving into the nearest bush. A kindly gentleman pointed me in the direction of my second Barred Warbler of the day.
Back at the sea wall crowds were building to see the Red-breasted Flycatchers and Yellow-browed Warbler so I headed off toward Gun Hill to look for the Lapland bunting. I hadn't gone 50 yards when the flew thing flew East over my head calling loudly. Still...onwards. More migrants were noted including new birds such as Blackcap and Goldcrest. The number of Tree Pipits was also increasing. A Spotted Flycatcher was new here.
Time to head back. Another quick look around the sea wall added Pied Flycatcher and the pools gave up Black-necked Grebe and Green Sandpiper.
Photographs of some of the commoner migrants are posted below.
Some impressive numbers noted today are 30+ Common Redstart, 17 Whinchat, 3 Red-breasted Flycatchers, 49 Eurasian Jay and 11 Tree Pipits amongst others.
juvenile Willow Warbler