Saturday, 4 August 2012

Alpine Swift Sheringham Norfolk

Well I decided to give the Alpine Swift a try as it was still being reported yesterday. I picked up the Jims and left home at 5am. The M11 was closed so I had to take the long way round which made the journey two and a half hours long. At Sheringham I quickly located Nelson Road jut off the High Street and as I stepped from the car at 7.30am I found the Alpine Swift flying overhead within a few steps towards Beeston Bump. Bird number 253 of the year and a little craker it was flying first alone and then with a small group of Swifts giving great size comparison with the Alpine appearing twice the size of our common Swifts. The Alpine Swift has a wing span of nearly two feet (550mm) and whilst breeding in southern Europe it often turns up in the UK as it starts it's migration to southern Africa.
Record shot of the Alpine Swift
Alpine Swift

Having had good views of this summer visitor and taken a few record shots we decided to head down the road to Cley. I paid the £5 entrance fee (NWT) and spent some time in Swarovski Optik hide and Daukes Hide.
From here we had a total of nine Spoonbill, several Green shank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, LRP's Avocets, Ruff, Black Tailed Godwits, Lapwings, Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel, Curlew and Marsh Harrier.
We had hoped to find Little Stint at Cley but after a lengthy search we couldn't locate any.
Along the path to the hides we hear Bearded Tits "pinging" and saw Reed Warbler feeding young.

View over Pat's Pool from Dukes Hide Cley
We saw this Drinker moth on the way from the hide at Cley.
The Drinker Moth

After spending a few hours sitting in the hides at Cley we decided to move on to Titchwell. Twenty miles down the A149 and we're in another cracking reserve this one run by the RSPB.

We spent a couple of hours in the hides and missed the couple of showers that passed through luckily.
Here we had a cracking Curlew Sandpiper, Lot's of Black Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Avocet, Golden Plover, Spotted Redshank, Snipe, a single Dunlin, Two Little Gulls, and another six Spoonbills along with plenty of other species.

Travelled 280 miles today but that produced another year tick and a great days birding at two of North Norfolks best reserves.

Black Tailed Godwit at Titchwell

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